Out of the Mouths of Babes

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? 




Filed under Living with Breast Cancer

4 responses to “Out of the Mouths of Babes

  1. Lisa

    OMG Leanne. I LOVE you. All I can say is that I’m SO glad I didn’t read this blog at work. So — while reading it, I’m envisioning you both so clearly and when Georgia puts her hand on your face and speaks back to you – I just lose it. Like sobbing, blubbering super loud, gasping, practically hyperventilating (I started to get dizzy) – thinking I’m gonna wake up Julian. THEN through tears I get to the ‘Up the biiiiig beanstalk… …DORA!!’ part, and I start laughing uncontrollably but still sobbing and my tears are now happy tears and I can’t even see the monitor anymore… I’ve never in my life ever had such a crazy cry before. Thank you. I’m sure you have no idea what you do for me and so many others when we read your courageous, so well articulated and hilarious blogs. What a gift. I love you – and SO GLAD I didn’t read this one at work. Whew – what a cry. Hang on to that greasy watermelon girl. YOU ROCK. xoL

  2. Patricia Ribeiro

    When Jan told me about it today I thought exactly the same thing. (very old soul)…..I cried and felt more than moved .She is wise she is pure light…….you have traveled so far ……..and yes you have been so brave…..and I am so happy that you are alive and strong ….to go all the way holding Georgia’s hand……..

    All my love dear wishing you always the best

  3. Geminigirl


    Whether Georgia is channeling Dora or spirits of other survivors or what she’s heard others say to you, she’s correct. You’ve climbed the cancer beanstalk and you are tired out!

    You are entitled to cry, feel sorry for yourself, whatever… Please don’t let anyone make you feel if you tried a little harder or were more determined that you wouldn’t be so tired. Unfortunately, I’ve been made to feel I just needed to “push” myself more. Interestingly, this “encouragement” (my tongue is firmly in my cheek) came from those who had never experienced cancer or it’s treatments’ side effects.

    Georgia and you are lucky to have each other. My daughter who was six when I finished my treatments was the one who gave me the strength to get through the hard work cancer treatments are and the on-going “suckiness” of the side effects to those treatments.

    I cannot begin to imagine finding the energy to be Mummy to such a little person when you feel like you are feeling. Take good and gentle care of yourself.


  4. lcoppen

    “Climbed the cancer beanstalk” — I love that expression, and I’m going to find as many opportunities as possible to use it!

    Thanks for these supportive and amazingly empathetic comments – i count them as blessings, as always.

    Here’s to old souls in tiny little packages!


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