Tuesday, June 08, 2010
My own brush with Sibling Rivalry and Jealousy prepared me to combat this when my second daughter Sayali was born 3 years and3 months after Lotta.
Lotta was a very sensitive child----extremely prickly and the brooding type----which made both Sudhir and me try harder to see that she adjusted well to the new addition in our home.
We were then living in a joint family in the South Bombay home and though all the children were never singled out for pampering----it was always all of them together-- it still made a difference that the baby'd be sharing her parents.Here help came from totally unexpected quarters----my "other" two children----Shilpa and Babu---Milind and Nina's children.Shilpa was 8 years old and considered herself to be very much the older sister----firmly putting both Babu and Lotta in their places when required-----she firmly took Sayali under her wing----changing diapers,keeping her amused----almost everything except lifting the baby up----- she kept an eye on Sayali after School----- she was very responsible and a great help!!!Sudhir concentrated wholly and solely on Lotta---playing with Sayali only when Lotta commanded it----otherwise ignoring her.The three children would hover around the baby all the time----Babu and Lotta squabbling about who'd sit next to Sayali-----Shilpa bossing around and shooing them away----being very protective and caring of the Baby.
After we shifted here Lotta would leave early morning with Sudhir and they'd travel together to the old house---she still attended School there.Both of them would drive back at night---Lotta spending the day there------and so by the time she shifted to School here Sayali was already more than a year old and both had adjusted to each other and to us four being a family.Both my daughters are closer to their father---I took over the job of being the disciplinarian and task master----so I was the one to mete out the spankings and the punishments-----their father left early and came home late six days a week---- hence I wanted them to spend quality time with him----I missed the early years with my father when he was working all hours on the Site---I didn't want my children to miss anything while growing up!!!
They grew up very close to each other---in fact people would ask me if they were twins---their bond was so strong!!!They'd drive me mad with their inane private jokes---their incessant giggling together over the stupidest things----their midnight feasts when they messed up my kitchen and left piles of pots and pans in the sink-----their singing at the top of their voices trying to drown each other out---and ganging up together in their arguments with their father----a million things that they shared and still share.They both are unpredictable and volatile---so they go for each other's jugular when furious with each other lots of times-----but their love for each other,their bond and their telepathy is very strong----they can communicate with each other without words!!!
Both are total opposites in some things----Lotta has lots of friends----she's very friendly and outgoing---- but no "Special" ones---Sayali on the other hand drove me mad by inviting her entire gang over for dayspends often!!!Both sing beautifully----both are extremely intelligent,knowledgeable and well read---but while Lotta is shy and sensitive---Sayali is confident and poised.Both hit back in a flash if hurt or ridiculed and therefore are well equipped to take on their detractors singly or jointly!!Both are very protective of each other and even today need to talk to each other atleast once a day----a bit expensive now seeing that Sayali's in UK and Lotta in USA------but they manage!!!Today their bond has stretched out and enveloped my grand-daughter within it's magical circle------and this threesome is very,very special to both Sudhir and me!!!!