Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunshine after the storm

Mother-daughter relations were at an all time low this past week.

The husband was off on a long (semi) work trip. Her Papa's absence left a big hole in Moppet's routine, particularly evenings and bed-time and she did not take it well. I'd countdown the days till his return every evening, but all she knew was that he was not there to brush her teeth and play aeroplane with her, and what does '6 more days till Papa comes back' really mean, anyway?

She responded by clinging even harder to me. Demanding to be carried everywhere, even within the house. Having meltdowns at the drop of a hat - the particular t-shirt she wanted to wear was in the wash, she must have popcorn RIGHT NOW, the cracker Mama gave her broke in two before she bit it, Mama must sit in the back seat of the car with her (and somehow drive the car, too!) - all these situations (and many, many more) provoked terrible kicking, screaming, raging tantrums.

I understood why she was acting out, but the understanding didn't translate into dealing with it as I should have. Physically, I'm not at my best. My back is in such bad shape that I have to wear a special lumbar support belt. Wrestling Moppet into her underpants when she's decided she'll wear orange ones or nothing, restraining her during one of her kicking rages, even just carrying her when she's actually being co-operative are tasks that are getting painfully harder every day.

Emotionally, I wasn't much better. The husband's long absence aggravated the loneliness that never quite leaves me. There was resentment that he was off having a good time in London and Paris, leaving me to deal with his monster child(ren) by myself. My reserves of patience were at an all-time low.

So I yelled back at Moppet when she screamed. I left her to her floor-smacking rages and curled up on my bed and cried. I turned up the music in the car to drown out her howling from the back seat. By bedtime every day, we didn't like each other very much. The hot, sticky, energy sapping weather did not help.

And then the storm came. Thunder, lightning, and driving rain. The wind whipped through the house, so strong it tore the netting off the balcony doors. A flash of light, a loud boom, and we lost power.

Our paths lit by the emergency light, mother and daughter met in the corridor as each came running to find the other. Moppet was a little frightened, and clung to me as I explained that the power had gone but there was nothing to be scared of and it would come back soon. She was only half reassured and sat close to me as we spent some quiet time reading a few books, drawing, colouring and doing puzzles by candlelight.

The storm died down, but the power was still out, so we moved out onto the balcony to enjoy the cool breeze and the refreshing smells of a city washed clean. Relief washed over me, like a fever had broken. It was the first time in many days that I felt truly at peace.

I began to sing softly and Moppet sat quietly on her little chair next to mine and listened. Occasionally, she piped up with a song request - Mama sing Jai Hind, Mama sing Ladki, Mama sing MashaAllah - and after a while, she said to me, "Now Moppet turn."

"Sure, baby, what are you going to sing?" I asked.

In reply she sang to me a song that I often sing for her:

"[...] Sunshine, ma onny sunshine
You make me happy, when skys gwey
You never know dear, how much I laab you
Peas don take ma sunshine away."*

It was such a perfect song for the moment. Tears poured down my cheeks as she sang in her clear baby voice. When she was done I gave her a great big hug, and she saw I was crying.

"No crying, Mama. Iss power gone. Come back soon. No scared, ok?'

*You are my sunshine, my only sunshine; You make me happy, when skies are grey; You'll never know dear, how much I love you; Please don't take my sunshine away"

Edit: Oh and the next day this happened. And then 2 days later the husband got home, so all's well in my world again :-)


Random Vignettes said...

Oh Maggie...don't these moments seem to make everything and I do mean EVERYTHING worth it?

On another note, my back is killing me too and I am still in the 6th month..good to know I have some company so what if you are a second time mommy and already dealing with a toddler!

Devaki said...

Sorry, no twist! :-)

Just lots of warm fuzzy feelings after reading this post. Hope the mother-daughter relation are back on track after this beautiful bonding session?

Suki said...

Now somebody explain to me why I have tears pouring down my cheeks!

CW said...

What a sweet, beautiful moment!! I had tears as I read this.

Collection Of Stars said...

This is exactly what I am going through right now.
My husband is still unable to move around much after his accident. I have had a knee surgery and KT's tantrums are not helping at all. I shout back and then when she become uncontrollable, have even resorted to crying :(
Then she does something so sweet and I feel terribly guilty and love her some more :)

Hope things are better now :)

Daisy said...

Gawd, spedning time with you preggies mommy folks- I am beginning to behave like one myself.. all emotional and tears streaming down my cheecks as I read this.. Somehow, that Sunshine song brings such happiness and sadness to me at the same time..

Anonymous said...

Oh Mags! I almost posted the exact song today. Always a fav with Nibbles (although he has learnt to anticipate some tasteless goo entering his mouth when I sing it these days)

Hope you find that rainbow if the rain dares disturb your sunshine.

Null Pointer

Anonymous said...

Awww, thats so sweet.

Mala said...

Moppet is an awesome little girl. If she's lucky, she'll grow to be almost as awesome as her mom !

Take care, you. BTW the sunshine song is a favourite around here as well :-)


Poppins said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. We should ban these guys from making their "pleasure" trips anymore what say? Even though I had my mom with me and therefore a more manageable time with Poppin when DH was away.

I told him that the next time he plans a trip that he can take the kid(s) along as well:)

Ooh about the backache. Take care sweets and make sure to get ample rest after the delivery otherwise this backache can be a killer.

Just Like That said...

Awwwww Maggie! Was feeling bad for you having to cope with all this when you're preggo.. and then Moppet dear comes up with that song.. Hugs to you, but a BEEEG BEEG hug to the little sweetie.
Made me wish so to hear the little girlie, even tho' you've written plenty of posts on her..
Made my eyes smart too..

Swati said... touching words left. Lovely song

SUR NOTES said...

bloggger ate my comment!!!

a big virtual hug to little moppet. and you take care...

beautiful post.

Anonymous said...

awww.. a hug for the ach-ey back, the missing husband and cranky kiddo.

u hv the nicest way of writing about things.. i kinda paints pictures in my head as i read along. *pat on the back!* :D

and i must say, u have an absolute doll for a daughter!
PS_ using anon..too lazy to sign in.

dipali said...

Awww. Such a beautiful post, Maggie. Hugs to the both of you.

DotMom said...

oh maggie.. when I read the first few paras.. I was shouting.. I know, I know.. This is exactly where I am. BG away for 2 weeks (again) on a semi-business trip. Chip's tantrums, my non-existent patience, etc. Your story has such a beautifulending.. is Moppett better now?? Chip is still very tantrummy.

Rohini said...

Semi-work is a generous description... ;)

ddmom said...

Such a sweet post.. You have penned down the emotions so beautifully..

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the edit - All's well that end's well, right!

K 3 (Monday morning blues, too lazy to sign in! ;)

Neera said...

Beautiful post! These are the moments which make it seem all worthwhile :)

Neera said...

Beautiful post! These are the moments which make it seem all worthwhile :)

Maggie said...

RV: Yeah, it puts things into perspective again. Sorry to hear about your back too, do try and get as much rest as you can, and make sure you do back strengthening exercises after the baby's born. I didn't bother with them after Moppet arrived, and I'm pretty sure that's a large reason why I'm having such a bad time now.

Devaki: Well, our tiffs continue :-) but I'm just in a better place now and dealing with it all better.

Suki, sweetheart, have I told you before what a special child you are? Yes? Many times? No matter, it can bear repeating :-)

COS: Oh dear. I hope things are better now? Hugs.

Mala: Aww, you don't think I've cried enough already? :-) But thank you, that's really sweet.

Poppins: Absolutely - work trips have been banned for the next 4 months in our household! :-)

JLT: I know, I should record her songs, they're really cute. I don't have a decent recorder around the house though....

Dotmom: Hugs! So Chip's over his anti-baba phase now? Moppet's better - still prone to tantrummy behaviour, but the husband's back, so all the strong-arming work is delegated to him now :-)

Rohini: Yeah, I'm such a nice person, aren't I? :-)

CW, NullPointer, Daisy, Dipali, DDMom, Utbt, Swati, Mandira, Sur, K3, Neera: Thank you :-)

Homecooked said...

Aww....the ending was so sweet :)

Anu said...

Hi Maggie,

Belated Congratulations! that's such a shweet post :) The terrible twos..Sigh! but these devils always come up with something to bring tears to your eyes and make you forget all the pain..Be careful with the back sweetie..mine still hurts :(

Nisha said...

Awww, sweet post. Sweet song. I'm imagining the song being sung in a child's voice and it brings a smile to my fave and tears to my eyes. So touching :)

Mystic Margarita said...

I, too, had a few trials with Popol when we were in the process of moving and R was home only during weekends. But then, moments like the one you mention are so redeeming and so beautiful, they make every bit of frustration disapper. Love the song - I sing it to Popol, too. Hugs to Moppet.

Sunita said...

Very sweet!!

The song farmaish is a regular activity in our household too :). Its the action songs that I get sick & tired of after the third rendition.

Sangeeta said...

hello there...visiting your blong for the first time and loved your posts.

Specially the Sunshine husband was travelling for 6 months last year and I went throught the exact phase that you have described with my daughter! I saw a replay of the entire phase. :)


Mona said...

aww, what a sweet post.
glad all's well in the moppet world again, mags.

Something to Say said...

Big Hugs to you Maggie - I know exactly what you are going thru. But these small moments of bonding make all those moments of rage, anger, frustration worth it, dont they?
And you take good care of your health and back...

noon said...

Sweet ending! :) I wish I could hear the music along with this post!
Take care of your back...God I can imagine how hard it must have been to not have hubby around to help esp when your back is aching!

Orchid said...

hey, all well??

Emaan said...

awww.. how sweet ! i like moppet already, cos even i trouble mommy a lot on her low days.... isn't life beautiful with babies !

Daisy said...

long time no c? u ok?

Sue said...

Tha Bhablet does these things to me sometimes. There must be some relation between Moppets and Bhablets.

Not sure if my arms will go around you right now :P but hugs anyway!

Sue said...

Oh and I actually came by to tell you to collect a wee thingie from my place. Happy Mum's Day.

Itchingtowrite said...

worth it sort of moments naa!!!

Just Like That said...

Hey Maggie, hows da pair of you and the Moppet? Quite some time sans post. All well, i hope. :-)

Lavs said...

A sweet something awaits you at my space. Come and collect it:-)

SUR NOTES said...

same as 'just like that'. all well, i hope.

Anonymous said...

Hope you're doing spiffy Mags. I'm sure its not your first, but a lil something for you lies on my blog.

Null Pointer

Maggie said...

Hey thanks for all the comments and mails checking on me - am around, just not spending too much time at the computer these days for a variety of reasons. New post coming up shortly.