I think I’m a pretty laid back mum. I don’t mollycoddle T, I guide her and she learns. Actually we are both learning all the time. She’s a bright kid and a tough little cookie. She falls over and off things, she eats things she really probably shouldn’t (like hydrangea leaves and left over bunny food!), she touches bugs and worms and rubs animals, any animals. She has no fear. Isn’t she lucky? I see other kids, bigger kids that would run and hide behind their parent’s legs when I had Walter the puppy, T tried to pick him up for cuddles. I see kids that tense up into their parents arms when they are brought over to rub a pony, T will happily march into the field herself given half the chance. Once you smile at T, she’s happy to be your friend, I see other babies clinging to their parents for fear of going to someone new. I am incredibly lucky to have such a brave, independent and happy baby.
We all have fears, mine are needles, heights and glass floors/stairs but luckily I can identify them and choose to avoid these fears (if I can). They don’t consume me for these reasons.
Thursday, I witnessed T’s fear for the first time. And mine as a mother. Between both of us T managed to get locked into the car with the keys. She had been playing with the buttons to lock the car from the inside while I was putting in her seat. When I popped her into her seat, closed the door and realised what had happened. I tried all the doors, twice, nothing. I checked if my landlord was there to help, he wasn’t but thankfully my neighbour was just at her gate. I muttered to her that I had locked T in the car and I just started crying so she ran and got tape to put on the window to stop it shattering and a plastic bag and I found a brick. She tried to break the small fly window in the back door, it didn’t even crack. She went to get her mobile to ring someone and while she was gone I tried to break the window. That’s when I saw T’s fear. It was my fear mirrored, like a reflection but on this tiny person’s face. I wanted to get her out, I couldn’t. She wanted to get out, she couldn’t. I wanted to explain to her what was happening, I couldn’t. She wanted to understand, she couldn’t. With all my might I tried to break that window and you would think that the adrenalin and need to get my baby out of the hot car would have worked. It didn’t. My heart broke for T, seeing her mother, the one person that is constantly there for her, absolutely hysterical and looking demented thumping a brick against the car window.
My neighbour managed to find two men who were working in the village. They brought a hammer and within moments they had the window broken and when I saw one of them reaching over to open the door to allow me to get T, my fear subsided, as did T’s. Her sobs, turned to these little tucks and she buried her face in my neck. I feel terribly guilty for putting her through that but I know these things will happen and this is just the start of a very long line of things that will go wrong. Hopefully next time I will be less demented.