We are watching the movie Jumanji, all four of us. Its the scene where the young boy Peter rolls a 5 and Alan Parrish (Robin Williams) comes back from the jungles after 26 years and immediately starts calling out for his parents in his house, unaware that a lot has changed and that his parents no longer stay there. In less than a minute, Vansh asks in an extremely wavering voice which becomes quite loud when he is feeling the way he is right now, trying hard to hold back tears, "Where are his parents? When is he going to meet them? Why is he not being able to find them? Why are we watching this movie? I don't want to watch it! Lets switch it off!"
We switch it off. Before we can pacify Vansh, Jiya starts screaming "I want to watch it! I want to watch how he comes out of the game. I want to see elephants and monkeys and dinosaurs coming out of the game! Turn it on, turn it on!"
We somehow manage to settle for a break - changing into night suits, water, brush, the works! In the meantime we are able to convince Vansh that its just a movie - its fiction, it never happens for real. Alan will find his parents soon! (We hadn't watched the movie earlier but Hindi movies being our staple, we guessed he would.) We switch it on again - Vansh clings, Jiya gets closer and closer to the TV almost wanting to be a part of it. If she could, she would have just grabbed those dice and rolled them good.
We are at Chuck E Cheese and the Vansh is looking at some screen touch game and Jiya is going on those climbing tubes and slides. She tells me that she wants to go to the police car on the other end the way to which is a kind of a maze. I tell her she may and I'll guide her with my hand and eye movement because she can't hear me once inside the tubes. She moves on and after every meter or so there's circular peeks from where we can see each other. She keeps moving and at this point Ashwini calls out to Vansh to look at what Jiya is doing and if he would like to join her. I tell him not to do so because then Vansh wouldn't let her go either. Anyways, Vansh hadn't heard Ashwini (thankfully). So Jiya continues. She comes to a point where she has to change directions to get to the police car and I would not be visible to her for about 2 meters. I move my lips and my arms slowly to tell her to turn left and go in the green tube and then turn right. She starts but by this time Vansh comes and looks at her in the tubes and freaks out, waving to her to get back. A worried look flashes on her face. I repeat my previous arm and lip gestures. She goes on and in a few seconds reaches the police car and waves triumphantly, stays there for a few minutes and following my directions again comes back down a slide. Vansh, in the meantime has reached the end of the slide (from the floor side) and is calling out to her to come down soon.
Jiya wants to go again. Vansh tries to dissuade her. We try to encourage him to go with her. He says he'll just come down the slide (which is at the very beginning once you climb up) but is tempted to go further because there's a spaceship at one end and a police car at the other, both his favorites, asks in an uber innocent tone, "Jiya will take me there?" and somehow musters up the courage to go. Once they climb up, he is two minds whether to slide down or go ahead. Jiya is able to convince him to come behind her. The tube to the spaceship is straightforward. he quickly rushes there, stays there for like 4 seconds, follows my hand movement to the police car, stays there for another 5 (seconds) and rushes back and takes a different route. To be honest I had feared that. Its not rocket science but after all its a maze like 12 feet above the ground. Till the time I reach below him, he starts crying (we can't hear each other). I just calmly guide with my hands and lips as to which color tube to come through and he scrambles and finally back. Jiya wants to go yet again but all of us decide against it.
He is super cautious, she is brash. He is extremely sensitive, she is laid back.
And then there are other times when he'll just go and talk to people he has just met a couple of times in the apartment complex and be such an affable kid and she'll be this taking forever to warm up, unsociable child.
But what is constant is that if one is chalk, the other is cheese. We have read this pretty cute book on opposites about a brother and sister who like to do all things opposite - like drinking cold milk vs warm, playing outside vs inside, taking a light bag vs stuffing all soft toys. They seem to be playing those roles to the hilt.