There are days, then there are DAYS. Those days when even your coffee needs a coffee, and your masseuse needs a massage. This week was one of those.
I’m nursing a terrible hot-tea burn on my thigh. It’s hard to sleep, and even harder to wear clothes! The things we take for granted! Venezuela is struggling with having two presidents; Maraga is struggling with his sloth of a judiciary and I’m struggling with wearing clothes! But I’m definitely doing better than Venezuela.
I can’t stand anything below my back, because the burn is right on my hipbone. But I can tell you it could have been worse. It was a choice between the hot tea pouring on top of miss. T’s head or on me. That’s a no-brainer – we can literally die for these babies.
I’m now a certified ninja. The way I tilted that jug and redirected it to myself and the way I scooped up miss. T in one swift movement and got her under a shower in a split-second impulse, Jack Bauer would be proud. I’m adding that to my CV: Ninja extra-ordinaire. Skill set – supernatural abilities to evacuate victims from potential hazardous situations to safety. Alright, I’m being melodramatic but I’m sure other moms will agree.
Despite being a convalescent, I still needed to take miss. Z to school daily. And then I remembered that we are now a couple of days past 18 months and we haven’t taken that measles jab yet. I try to laugh it off but the nurses at the hospital have no sense of humor.
I want to explain to them, in diagrams, how hectic those Mother and Child Health visits are, especially when it’s those dreaded jabs days. It’s a bull-fight preparation. Like a good matador, I have to put on my capote in readiness for the fight. The jabs – the bulls – are merciless. Finally the estocada, and the war with fevers and crankiness and an inconsolable neonate is over.
My shame is the size of a vitamin A capsule – I feel nothing – so I swallow it with little effort. And then I take the real Vitamin A capsule and squeeze it inside baby’s mouth. She immediately forgives me and the nurse who gave her the jab. I think Vitamin A is sweet, it must have been bursting carrot juice inside her mouth. I should get one too! I deserve something sweet after the struggle holding her down for the jab.
My wound is threatening to exudate, so I hurry to the car and apply my ointment, fasten missy to her car seat and start driving. A few meters ahead, I see this mother we were with at the clinic. She was my bashing mate, we who only go for the appointments when there is a jab. She’s walking in the sweltering heat and I feel her pain in my bones. I stop the car and give her a ride. We have a grand time laughing at how we were bashed by the nurses!
I drop her off and I stare at her as she walks away, clutching her son tightly. I remember a post I saw on facebook a couple of days ago. I wanted to share that post on my wall, but then it had a photo of a mother and her two children, all three of them naked, in the shower. I wasn’t so sure, I guess I still care what you people think of me. Should I?
At first, I shuddered, thinking someone sneaked up on me and too a photo of us. Because I’ve been there, I’ve done that. Many times.
So, I copied it.
When a mother says she’s tired, that’s all she meant!
She did not say she wants to drop her son and forget that he or she exists.
When a mother says she wanted some time alone, just her, that’s all she meant!
She didn’t say she’s sorry to be a mother and that motherhood was a mistake in her life.
When a mother says she needs help to get things done, that’s exactly what she meant!
She is not saying that she is incapable.
When a mother makes noodles for dinner, it does not mean she does noodles every day of the week and that her son/daughter is a child who does not know vegetables and meats.
When you arrive at a mother’s house and face disorganization, it doesn’t mean that every day that house is disorganized.
When a mother says she’d love to go out with her friends, that’s all she meant! She doesn’t want to go back to being “Single / not a mother” and like it as if she had no responsibility.
When a mother says she’s worried and afraid, that’s what she meant! She didn’t say she’s going to falter, and much less she’s a coward.
When you listen to a mother screaming, it doesn’t mean she just screams, probably she has spoken 300 times with normal voice tone.
When you see a nervous mother, on the edge of madness, doesn’t mean every day she’s in that situation.
There is a whole context, a whole situation.
I totally feel this mother, because this week, I was that mother. And hats off to Mr. K, who’s the real Ninja, by the way.