Yesterday someone literally stole my child and replaced her with a wild, raving lunatic. I can’t even begin to describe my disappointment at this unfortunate kidnapping incident. I’m guessing it happened while I was hanging the washing out and Ella was playing (lying on a mat sucking her thumb) in the lounge room. When I left her, she was beside herself with happiness. There were smiles. There were squeals. There were beginning-of-laughter kind of sounds. Sucking ones thumb, friends, is the pinnacle of happiness, according to Ella. However, once I returned, the devil had actually incarnated into her body and had left me gobsmacked. FOR THE ENTIRE AFTERNOON.
6 straight hours, friends, intercepted only by short bouts of sleep when she exhausted herself too much to go on.
These kinds of afternoons are gut-wrenching. It’s challenge enough to have the physical stamina to endure the bouncing, the walking, the bouncing, the singing, the walking, and the bouncing, but the sheer emotional drain is near unbearable. To see your tiny little child in so much distress is horrendous, agonizing, heartbreaking. And the flicking between the compassion and pain you feel for them and the utter exasperation at their inability to stop crying makes for trying times.
And of course, of course you think it’s your fault. Out of anybody in the whole wide world, you should know what is wrong and you should know how to help. I did know what was wrong – the devil had ascended from its fiery pit and had trapped itself under Ella’s skin. But alas, I did not know how to help since exorcism is not something I have been before trained in. So I just had to wait. I had to hold a trashing-screaming-red-in-the-face child close to my chest for the hours and hours it would take the devil to kindly pick up his jacket and leave.
At 6:30pm, the devil did kindly pick up his jacket and leave. Actually, he did not do so kindly at all, but rather with one hell of a final fight. Anyway, whatever, let’s not get bogged down with the details. By 6:30 he was gone, and at the precise moment he left, there was a knock on the front door. THE FRONT DOOR THAT IS DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO ELLA’S SLEEPING QUARTERS.
I was not happy. If she even made a PEEP I could have ACTUALLY murdered whoever it was that had decided, at this moment, that I should forfeit any kind of reprieve I thought I had.
On my way to the door, I was already planning what I would say to this visitor, didn’t matter who it was.
And WHO do you think you ARE just turning up out of the blue AT THIS TIME OF DAY? Do you not KNOW what I’ve just been through? Have you no RESPECT for my life? Have you no sense to TIP-TOE and to knock QUIETLY??? If you, God help you, have just woken my child, I will ACTUALLY harm you. DO YOU HEAR ME???
I opened the front door ready to explode.
And this is what I saw:
And behind it was my Mum. My lovely, caring, generous, heaven-sent Mum. With a look on her face which said, “Honey, everything is going to be ok.”
She tells me this device is a self-rocking, self-vibrating, self-singing dream. It is sure to help, she tells me. All you kids loved it when you were little, she says.
And I felt so touched, so grateful, and so supported that I could have cried. I think it could have been my best ever Red-Tent moment.
This morning, when I woke, there was no devil. Only 100% pure, warm-your-heart Ella smiles all round.
I now have a you-better-get-scared-devil rocker device that will rock that nasty creature all the way back to where he came, should the occasion ever call for it. But most of all, I have a Red Tent.
And hopefully I will be able to turn up one night, unannounced, at Ella’s front door, offering her the same.