Khushi had just started to go to school and I was enjoying her everyday stories revolving around school and her newly acquired logical thinking about her surroundings. We had a great time preparing for her first visit to Calcutta for a wedding in family. She and even I havent met all the Sarawagi family members till then, so we were super enthusiastic about it.
In the wedding, I was too tired to dance, and that was something not like Dipti. I never get tired of dancing,so first indication that something is wrong with me. So as soon as I returned to Bangalore, I planned a visit to doctor. Not in my far dreams have I thought I would be expecting. I didnt know how to react!
Khushi is a sober child, she understood Mummy cannot pick her up and Mummy is not well quite easily. First four months were very difficult. I hate to tell khushi I cannot play with her or answer her innocent questions, but those days, I had no other option!
The second pregnancy was nothing like my first. I had no time to watch what I am eating, what I am wearing. I didnt go for walks which I was so regular during the first. I drank tea ( People say tea makes the child dark in color, so in India we dont drink tea during pregnancy, which I followed thoroughly during my first pregnancy. I still have some Indian genes in me :P), I didnt have almonds, I was working late, I didnt listen to "Garbha Sanskar" (Music good for pregnant women to stimulate childs brain), no pregnancy yoga notng. On a lighter note, if Avani grows up and blames me for giving all the attention to her didi, I would be guilty of this crime. Atleast during those 9 months when she was inside me!
But at the same time, Avani was listening to the stories I read out to Khushi. She was learning software design and customer communication skills in office with me :) :P. She was honing her negotiation skills inside when I was negotiating with clients. And believe me I see the results of all these sessions now, when I see her communicating with absolute strangers and negotiating her way out for everything even when she cannot utter a single sensible word. So teaching during pregnancy helps :P. Personal experience can never be wrong :P
So the 9 months of my pregnancy were almost like any other months of my life, owing to the attention Khushi seeked from me. Khushi was super excited about the baby coming home. We started telling her bit by bit about the new member of the family. We were quite confident she will adjust to the new member easily, rather quite over confident in a way!
So finally when the baby was 2.8 kgs (desirable weight for a C-section) we planned for bringing her to meet the outside world. Finally, it was decided that Santa was going to deliver the baby to the Sarawagi's on the Christmas day.
People around me were not sure how to react, they were sympathetic about us since it was a second girl. Did I say sympathetic? Yes!! I didnt know why! And that was the time I decided, nobody on earth has the right to put down my daughter. Son's keep the family name alive, but daughters keep the family alive! So what on earth matters to me? The day I refuse to take the sympathy's of people, people stopped sympathizing and they never dared to show me any negativity towards my little angel.
The next 5 months of my Maternity leave was a bliss. But at the same time, very tough for me and Ashish. Though Khushi was a very sober child earlier reacted to the situation very aggressively. She did not want me to hold Avani, she did not approve of me feeding her. She was scared to leave me alone with Avani. When I am not around, Avani was her best toy, but when I am around, she wanted to push her away from me. I had a tough time dealing with Khushi as I didnt want to be unfair to the little one also. Avani also deserves the warmth and love from her mother.
Finally I had to consult my pediatrician regarding this and slowly and gradually we had to impose on her that Avani is her sister and she also needs mummy as you do. Even today, Khushi sometimes feel that I am attending Avani more than her. And that is the time I remember my conversation with my mother. Even when I grew up, I used to tell my mother that she favours my brother more. And she used to tell me that we both are equal for her. I am in those shoes today and can understand how difficult it is for a mother to favour one child over the other.
Finally when Avani started reacting and smiling to Khushi's conversations, Khushi started accepting her. She is more open to her now. They are inseperable now. The time Khushi is in school is the most dull time for Avani and she prefers to sleep that time rather than missing her sister. For Khushi she misses her sister wherever she goes alone. They giggle together and nobody on earth can make Avani laugh when she is crying except for Khushi. When Khushi dances infornt of her, she is the happiest. Avani bullies her elder sister almost all the time and pulls her hair for attention. Khushi has become more confident in picking up her little doll without dropping her. When I see them so happy together, I too wish I had a sister. Sisters bond differently!!
Avani is a socialite. Nobody can pass by without talking to her. She interacts with everybody around with such ease that I feel someday I would be known by her name. She has regular visitors in park, who come every evening just to meet her. She is the stress buster for so many people in my society. That toothless smile of her makes life easy. Ashish has a very special bond for Khushi, he used to say nobody can take Khushi's place in his life. But today Avani has made her own place in his life. She follows him whereever he goes and would insist on being picked up. She sleeps in between me and Ashish and would hold our hands whenever she gets up in the night. She needs my hand as well as Ashish's hand in the night. When Ashish goes out of station, she has a very disturbed sleep. Khushi calls Avani "Papa's chamchi" .. that means Papa's girl.
Avani doesnt like anybody sleeping after she wakes up. She will wake up with a big smile and a loud announcement that says " Hey Morning, I have arrived you may start now". With her sound I am automatically up and till I smile she smiles at me. Then first target is her Dad. She will wake him up and till he hugs her, she doesnt budge. She will poke in his eyes, she will put her finger in his mouth, bang his tummy, pull his clothes, do everything to wake him up. After he is up and has greeted her as the ritual demands she will move on to the next target. And as you might have guessed the next target is Khushi Didi. Khushi didi is like her personal property, she will scold her in her gibberish language and then sit on her back till she gets up. Khushi would smile and get up when she wakes her up. These days, Avani is my alarm clock for waking up Khushi.
Avani loves to play in a ball pool. She likes to play with Onions and potatoes kept in the kitchen. She loves to pull out all my clothes from my wardrobe and then play peekaboo with me. She has recently discovered the mirror and gets super excited speaking to the person she sees in the mirror.
One funny incidence happened recently at a friends place. Khushi was dancing on the music of drums played by an artist and Avani was also trying to dance. Someone was taking photos of them from one corner. I suddenly noticed that whenever the guy clicks a picture, she would smile at him. She has related smiling to getting clicked :). We had a tough time taking her non-smiling photo for Thailand Visa when we took her to a photo studio. As soon as the poor guy points the camera towards her, she started smiling. Kids are so much fun!
A silly thing like pulling out your spectacles and putting it back can make herlaugh. And tearing newspaper is her favorite timepass. We cannot beat her in tearing the paper in smaller bits. Avani loves choclates and she can eat your thumb incase you are not giving her the choclate you are holding in your hands.
If you say a NO to something she is doing, she will repeat the same thing again. And this time, she will make sure you are watching her and then she gives you this sheepish smile indicating that I am doing it again. I cant even scold her after that priceless sheepish smile.
She is very fond of the ryhme "Twinkle Twinkle little star" and she loves it when I do it with actions. To keep her entertained for atleast 10 minutes I put on ryhmes on my mobile and she happily takes the mobile in hand and keeps dancing on the music. With mobile I remembered, my mobile is a banging toy for her. She will pick up the mobile from the bed and bend down towards the ground and start banging it. My poor iphone didnt even know that it can be used as a banging toy someday! He is obliged to Avani for discovering its hidden tallent :)
She loves to do somersaults which her Dad helps her do. She gurgles with each somersaults and wants more each time she finishes it. We play a tickle game with her, we start with 1,2,3,4 and on 5 tickle her in her stomach. After few repetitions, she started gurgling in anticipation of 5. She would try to move her body away even before 5 comes. The height of anticipation is that she starts giggling on phone when Ashish counts 1,2,3,4.
She will pretend to speak on mobile in her own sweet language and even tries to change her voice modulation and pitch to make it sound real. Though her mobile is held behind her ears, which is forgivable for an 11 month old baby.
The first action she started finding funny was the sneezing sound "AAnnnchoo". She first giggled with the sound of Annchoo and those gurgly giggles would be cherrised forever and ever in my heart.I even have a video of the same! :)
The first word she has started relating with is nose. When I say nose, she sniffs her nose and looks like a cute little piggy. Other things she identifies with names are light, fan, painting,Didi and CD. Yes, CD, she loves to throw away all the CDs from the CD rack and then bang it on the floor. Sometimes you can see Vidya Balan, Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and few other hoties lying beneath her feet. Gurls dont feel bad, she wont compete you as of now. May be your kids some day :).
She has a special fondness for our driver Raju as he picks her up and take her out loafing at times. Whenever we call Raju, she looks at the door and waits for Raju to come in.
She is a complete water baby, she loves being in water. She can play for hours in the bucket. She and Khushi sit in the bath tub almost every weekend and play with toys in water for God knows how much time. She refuses to get up and insists on being in the bucket every morning during her bath. Not only that she loved the sea. She was thrilled to be on the beach and was busy playing with waves and sand when we went to Goa. She crawled away from the beach when the waves came chasing her. It was a pleasure to see her interacting with waves in this fashion.Kids can so easily interact with everything around in their own unique ways!
She hates eating her own food, we literally have to force food in her mouth and she refuses to close her mouth. Finally her mouth cannot be opened any longer so she has to close it. Every bite she takes, she knows what she is eating and removes all the unwanted tastes from her mouth as soon as you sneak anything unusual in her mouth. But on the contrary you have to give her whatever you are eating as she wants everything you are eating in your plate. I call it "TAX" which you have to pay before you can eat your food. She loves eating fruits as her sister does.
Avani is a restless soul like me, she cannot sit at one place, so I cannot read out stories to her as I used to do for Khushi. She is more interested in tearing the pages than listening to the stories.As a die hard optimist, I take it like - she is more interested in practicals than theory.
Her first fancy dress was in a friend's kids jungle theme birthday party. She was dressed up as a cute little Rabbit. So cute that I could have eaten up that little bunny rabbit.
In the park, Avani can fight for herself and intimidate the toughest of competitors. She can shout and pull back her toys and sometimes even others toys(which ofcourse she thinks is her birth right) as and when required. Two kids, same environment, same genes but so much of difference in the basic nature.
She has started saying few words like " Didi" "Mumma" and the most clear word she says is " Yeh Kya hai?". For everything she says " Yeh Kya hai?" which ofcourse does not mean literally.
She is a very sharp child and she has a very strong mind of herself. You cannot make her forget things by diverting her attention, you need to fulfill her wish then only she will budge.
I sometime wonder, the little girl who was not able to smile sometime back can stand, giggle at jokes, beat the dustbin as if she is beating the drums, open the toy and take out batteries from it, follow the sound and reach us in any room, shout when anything is happening against her wishes, play with water as if she was born in water, love the waves of sea, play peekaboo when she sees a peice of cloth around, throw a ball, pick a full size ball in one hand and sometimes even cuddle u when u need the most.
God has not stopped making angels yet!! And we all have a little devil in us! So this devilish angel of mine would one day make us proud I am sure!!
And with this I promise, you will soon get to read "Avani's dose of the day!!"