Here’s the deal. I’m two. I don’t know about calendars or events, what day it is, or what special meetings have to happen. I take my cues from the big people in my life, mostly Momma and Daddy. Honestly, because I am two, I don’t really care either unless it affects me. Pretty much, if they are happy, I feel happy; if they go somewhere, I usually go too; if they get upset, it makes me feel upset. So you can imagine my surprise when I was told Momma and Daddy were going to stay with a doctor for a few days, over Christmas, and Lyla and I would stay with Gram and Papa. What? Why? What about me?
One day, Momma and Daddy dropped us off, after giving us big hugs, and left. Momma seemed, Daddy seemed upset, and it all made me feel icky in my tummy. Gram held me tight, Daddy said he’d be back as soon as he could, and they were gone. Just like that. They were gone. Lyla was oblivious, and I wished I could be too. Oh to be 11 months old again…when all you are aware of is when your next bottle will come. Nighttime came, and Daddy didn’t come back. We slept with Papa and Gram. Another day and night came, and we still didn’t go back home. I love it at Papa and Gram’s, but I couldn’t stop asking where Momma and Daddy were.
When I finally did see them, it was in a big doctor’s office, with lots of people; Momma was in a weird bed, with a strange dress on, and she was plugged into machines. Her face looked different, and she talked kinda different. I felt that scared, jumpy feeling again in my stomach. “Momma?”, I asked in a small voice. “I go nigh-night to Momma?”, I asked, and tried to climb onto the strange bed. Everyone yelled and stopped me, scaring me even more. I wanted to leave right away. Why was everyone so serious? Why was Momma in bed? Why was she here? None of it made sense. Why did she look like that? Why couldn’t I stay with her and Daddy?
After a few more days, Gram brought me and Lyla home where Momma and Daddy were waiting. I was so excited, and couldn’t wait to jump on Daddy! Momma still looked different. She took naps a lot. She must be really tired or something. She walked really funny too, all bent over and slow. Did she forget how to walk? Should I show her? There was that feeling again.
The next day I saw her get out of bed. I watched her from the hallway before that feeling took over and I ran to Gram yelling, “Momma scares me!”. Later I saw Momma crying and wondered if she was scared too. What was happening?
The next morning, Daddy and Gram were talking and decided they needed my help. They told me a story about Momma and her owie. They started calling me Dr. Nate. First they drew a line on my stomach and said it was just like Momma’s owie. It looked like a ladder to me, but it was cool. Then they had me go check on Momma. I was Dr. Nate and had to see if she needed water, if her owie was okay. I checked it. Hers looked like a ladder too!! Cool! Then I brought her water and ice, and kissed her hand. It was the first time I felt a huge smile on my face AND inside.
I get it now. At first, I was confused about everything that had happened. At least I think I was confused. I’m still trying to figure out each emotion as I grow. Whatever I was feeling, it came out as scared…mostly because I didn’t know what was happening or why. When my big people explained it to me and helped me be Dr. Nate, it became less scary. When I could be helper, something I knew and liked, it calmed me down.
I can hear Momma calling now. Dr. Nate to the rescue!