I was changing my daughter yesterday — or rather, I was trying to pin her down with my right forearm without hurting her while attempting to maneuver pants over her wildly kicking feet as she tried to flip over onto her stomach with the ultimate (and to her mind, hilarious) goal of escaping me.
I was getting frustrated, I admit. I get frustrated easily when I’m tired and in case I haven’t mentioned my battle with fatigue, I am frikking exhausted all the frikking time. So, as my little girl struggled to escape me and giggled uproariously at the hilarity of it all and my frustration reached its peak, I just finally stopped. I dropped my arms, dropped my cajoling and coaxing, dropped everything and started to speak to her as though she were 35 years-old and not two and a half.
My voice was calm, a little pleading, but mostly reasoning: “Listen Georgia, I’m about at the end of my rope right now and I’m getting really stressed out here, so if you could just please try to help me get through this — just whatever you can do to help me, really honey, I’m just so tired…”
She suddenly stopped squirming and laughing and just looked at me. Then she reached her little hand up to my face (I swear I am not making this up) and said: “You’ve travelled so far and been so brave.”
No really. She said this while looking right in my eyes. And I think you’ll agree that’s some pretty freaky talk coming from someone who still sometimes screws up the alphabet. I was moved beyond words. And a little weirded out. I completely froze and got this eerie feeling, like she was maybe channeling the spirits of women who have died from breast cancer, or possibly revealing herself to be an envoy from an emotionally superior alien planet (I thought the line had a bit of a Star Trek ring to it). I may also have quickly checked for hidden cameras.
But then she went babbling on: “You had to go up the biiiiig beanstalk and over to the end of the rainbow and you found the king’s mommy…” Ahhh, of course – Dora! That pint-sized bossy little animated adventurer my kid’s so enamoured with. She was simply playing back a favourite episode of Dora, and not referring to my struggle with breast cancer and how much I’ve borne up til now. She’s just a toddler, of course she wasn’t responding to my little plea for help with this profoundly caring statement, giving me permission to be a little bit of a mess right now. How absurd, right?