My three and half year old daughter. My Princess. My sweetie pie. My simmalow. My babiyoo.
Every time she goes to sleep, even for a little nap, she finds it a hassle to get herself comfy. Then she falls asleep, shutting those beautiful long lashes, the creases from her forehead relaxing, as she slips into slumber. I bet she sees a lot of dreams.
What has disturbed me for a long while, is that whenever she awakens, she begins to cry. lots of it. Crying. And its worse when I am not beside her, like when I am in the kitchen or hall, or anywhere else.
It perturbs me even more, that she stills cries if I lie next to her. Why? Why do those lovely doe-eyes well up with tears and she wails and wails for a while.
Is it because of that day? That week? Atleast that is what my intuition tells me. Two years ago, my son was due to be born. According to the hospital rules, kids aren’t allowed during visit hours. I had no choice. My mom had flown in from KSA. So my mother-in-law and sister-in-law agreed to be with my daughter. Hubby had office those days.
A week before my surgery, I tried to schedule my daughter’s sleep, so that she slept late at night and woke up late the next day. I had to be at the hospital at 7 in the morning. The night before I left, she unusually hugged me close and slept. She held my hand the whole time. I couldn’t sleep. The whole night. I woke up at 6. Everything was ready. I poured out milk in her bottle. A few last minute talks with sister-in-law. I tip-toed around the room to get my bag and cover. I was sitting in the hall waiting for the auto, when she woke up. Silently as always and came walking to me. I sat her in my lap, hugged her. She could sense something, or maybe see it in my eyes. Separation. My heart was breaking. The auto came. I handed her over to my sister-in-law. Gave my baby a few gems which she loved. My SIL pretended to take her out for a walk by our second door. She loves walks. In the meantime we left by the main door. At the last minute, my baby asked for her water so my SIL turned around and came towards the main door.
She saw me. Saw me ready, going. Away from her. For how long, she didn’t knew. Her eyes began to water. She said mammaaaa. I can never ever ever ever forget that look. There she was, this tiny daughter of mine, in a yellow dress, curly hair. Crying. Because I was going. My mom and everyone else ushered me into the auto. And we left. I left. My daughter. Without me. For a whole freaking 5 days.
I couldn’t concentrate on anything once I reached the hospital. The image of walking away from my daughter was flashing in my mind constantly. My heart was mashed up. And then there was this nervousness of going under the needles and knives. The Cesarean Section. My husband held my hand and reassured me so many times. I kept telling him I miss my daughter. He kept saying she will be fine.
Time passed painfully slow. My son was born to me. The partial anesthesia made me lose all of my raging emotions. I just gave into tears. Of joy for my son, and pain for separation from my daughter.
My daughter didn’t speak sentences. She couldn’t explain anything. I could only sense her bewilderment and loneliness in her voice. She just kept saying mamma, mamma over the phone. In the first few days her voice was broken. Then towards the end of those exceptionally long 5 days, her voice strengthened. But there was an emptiness in her voice.
Time passed. She came with my mother-in-law to the hospital to pick me and her baby brother. We went to my mother’s place. Everything was back to normal. But my instinct told me, something had irrevocably changed. In both of us. But more in her. I couldn’t get it then.
She must have woken up each time, expecting me to be beside her, like always. But I wasn’t there. She must have roamed around the whole house looking for me silently. Then broken down when I didn’t appear for days and nights together. So much fear and horror for my one and half year old baby to go through. She must have cried so so much. Everyone must have done innumerable things to calm her down. They just couldn’t get her mom for her.
Its understandable, why it took her so long to come in terms with a sibling. Not because of any rivalry. But because I deserted her for 5 days. And nights.
I can’t calm her down when she wakes up now. Because I can’t go back in time and make myself present for those lonely wake-ups of 5 days and nights. I feel broken. But there is nothing I can do about it.
I talk to her. I ask her now to tell me why she cries each time she awakens. She never replies. She always has stories and huge essay answers for all of my questions. Why do you cry when you wake up? She doesn’t answer.
Does she still remember? That week? Or those memories faded and this just became a ritual. Maybe she might tell me when she grows up. Or it is going to remain her habit forever. To cry waking up, missing me.
I live away from my mom. Sometimes I yearn so much for her. But there is nothing I can do about it. Life is meant to brutally shoo a person away from the very emotion that is dear to you.
But I cannot let my daughter continue to cry when she wakes up. I don’t know how I am going to do it. But I have to….Stop her….from crying…each time she wakes up….for missing me…even when I am beside her….how? ..I don’t know…