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Giggles and Cuddles

by Roopa Sankaran 2 months ago in children
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Mommy and Dotty

Lollipop opens up her eyes to a new day, to the bright yellow sun playing peekaboo with the clouds, its warm rays streaming in through the window and caressing her face tenderly. She greets the day with a heartfelt smile, unbothered by the wet sheets and the soggy night dress clinging to her legs. She rolls out of bed, sending her stuffed doll and blanket to the floor. A mildly rancid smell permeates the room and she stops, making her way to the restroom. Her damp nightdress ends up on the floor as she goes, her footsteps light and quick on the cool morning floor. The sound of running water is loud in the tranquil early morning hours. The birds coo in their nest outside the window, nudging each other awake as the sky turns into beautiful shades of bronze, yellow and orange.

Deeming herself clean, Lollipop makes her way to her destination: her mother’s room. The door is cracked open two inches, it always is for her. Grinning, she tiptoes in, her grin getting wider at the sight before her. Raising her fists, the child takes a few steps back before launching herself into a running jump, her tiny body arcing through the air, defying gravity, before it lands on the bed, barely missing her slumbering mother’s outstretched arm. She lets out a gleeful giggle, the sound of it imitated by the rousing birds in the tree. She snuggles into the curve of her mother’s arm, cushioning her head against her chest. The mother’s hand comes up to rest on her head, accompanied by gentle mumblings as she rejoins her daughter in the world of the waking.

“Hi mommy.”

“Hello baby.” The mother croons, pressing a kiss to the crown of her head. She smells like flowers and sleep. Mother always laughs when the girl says it, saying that sleep has no smell. But it does. “What’s wrong?”

“Mommy, sorry,” The girl says sheepishly, “I wet the bed again.”

The mother lets out a soft noise before throwing her other arm around the little girl and folding her close to her heart. The girl goes, snuggling into the safe warm space like a kitten seeks out the warmth of a mother cat. “Oh baby, it’s okay. Did you wash yourself like I taught you?”

The girl nods, her nose brushing against the neckline of her mother’s nightdress, a larger version of the one she had discarded in the bathroom earlier.

“Yes, mommy.”

“Did you leave your nightdress on the floor?” Mother puts all the dirty clothes in the laundry basket, but she always says to leave the nightdress on the floor.

“Mm!”

“Good girl.”

Another kiss.

“Am I really a good girl?”

“Of course, baby. Why would you say that?”

The child tries to speak, to tell her mother that good girls don’t wet their beds and leave their mothers to clean up the mess. But a child’s thoughts are like a hummingbird, hovering over a flower for a good minute before flitting to and fro. Her mother’s hands in her hair, tenderly working out the knots, the cushiony warmth of her large frame and her comforting scent all wipe away those thoughts like a sponge wipe being run over a wet marble countertop.

Everyone has their little rituals and traditions. Mankind is built on them. Every person has their own thing that they do, either with themselves or others. The questions always start out simple and small before they run amok, like a little puppy loose in the garden, getting more ridiculous and senseless that they would even try a saint’s patience. But the mother listens and answers every question with practiced ease.

The girl is too young to know this, but will look fondly on this moment when she is older with a child of her own, telling them about the times she used to lie in bed with her mother and ask her anything and everything, just the two of them.

The child babbles. The mother listens.

When the torrent of questions doesn't stop, she opens her eyes and meets her daughter’s. She asks a few questions of her own and slowly, their chat meanders into dreams both waking and lucid ones. One thing leads to another, warm touches become playful and soon chuckles break the conversations. They start as a small trickle, just like a river, gains mirth through the conversation into a gurgling, wide, torrent of giggles that border on the uncontrollable.

Amidst the conversation the healing power of touch is boldly sought and wantonly shared, in abundance, an avalanche, all enveloping. The curls entangle and a muted ouch is simply soothed. The noses touching, tight pressing kisses on the cheek, the quick brush of lips on the forehead. The hands held in each other’s in a silent promise of undemanding yet all-encompassing love that two intertwined beings can share.

They drift in and out of consciousness. The girl’s hand plays idly with her mother’s earlobe, focused on the shiny golden earring dangling from it. Her mother’s ears are so pretty and the jewelry so shiny! The girl wants ears like her mother too, but her mother always tells her to wait when she’s older.

“But when will I be older?”

A playful smile, a hand pushing her wild curls off her face and a wink. “Mummy will tell you when you’re older.”

The unending hugs and unceasing prattle set the tone for the day. Full of love, joy, and zest.

Yes Lollipop, I feel your warmth when I hold you in your arms, hope my warm and welcoming arms are the home you always come back to.

children

About the author

Roopa Sankaran

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