The night is black and as I climb the stairs, I freeze.
“Mummy?” she chirps softly.
I feel the dread. I don’t want to re-put her back to sleep. I stand still and wait. She blissfully falls back asleep, and instead of feeling the dread, I feel warmth now. Not being needed, not demanded for, simply remembered, hopefully fondly.
This is not always the case.
Usually right before I attempt a nap, and lie down for literally two minutes, I hear my name again.
“Mummy?” first a chirp.
Then a sing-song. “Mummy-Mummy!”
Then, a whine. “Mummy-ee? Mummy-ee?”
Then the whine-morph-cry. “Mummy-ee-waaaah! Mummy-ee-waaah!”
Then the full-on-wail, “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Waaaaaaaaaaah!”
Then my name again, “MUMMY-EEE-EEEEE! MUMMY-EEE–EEEEE!”
This is when I realize that she will not go back to sleep, that I will need to go get her.
I’m back to two syllables said jubilantly as I enter her room and swoop her from the crib. Her features are fresh from a nap, her cheeks flattened yet squishier.
Reem Faruqi is Layali’s Motherhood Blogger. She is a doodler any chance she gets, a children’s book writer in the nights, a photographer on weekends, and a stay-at-home mom during the week to a preschooler and a toddler. Originally a second grade teacher, she is taking a break from the teaching world to mother her two daughters. Check out her blog, Doodling Through Life at www.reemfaruqi.com. You can follow her on Twitter: @ReemFaruqi or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ReemFaruqiPhotography.