On Friday I took Little to the hospital to have grommets put in and adenoids taken out. Almost two years ago exactly, I took Big for the same thing.
In the car on the way, Little chatted the whole way. Topics ranged from ‘Can we see Australia’s clouds?’ ‘Is it going to be Spring in Australia next?’ to ‘What’s that button for?’ When I took Big she wasn’t able to ask anything. I chatted away and she couldn’t manage anything other than yes or no.
Little wanted to know everything about what was going to happen to her. Big asked nothing. (I told her what I thought she might want to know but I’m not sure if I told her what she was wondering about.)
Little expressed many feelings while we were waiting. ‘I’m scared.’ ‘I’m bored.’ ‘I’m hungry.’ ‘I’ve answered all these questions already!’ Big was silent.
Little checked I was a with her the whole way to theatre. Big couldn’t make eye contact at all.
Little kept her eyes on me the whole time they were putting her cannula in. Big looked at the nurse.
When I went to get Little after her operation, I could hear her shouting for me as soon as I got out of the lift. Big hadn’t asked for me at all.
When we got back to the ward, Little cuddled in for two hours. Big needed to be up as soon as we got back.
On the way home in the car, Little fell asleep. Despite having had only had six hours sleep in the hospital, Big stayed awake the whole way and couldn’t nap at home.
Hearing my child screaming for me was one of the hardest things I’ve had to hear. But seeing my child not be able to scream for me was harder. Little screamed because she knew I’d come. Big’s still not sure. I am not a safe place for Big. She has never napped here, never fallen asleep in our arms, never asked for something special, never just been still with us. I cannot imagine how she must have felt waking up in a bright, noisy room, full of strangers, in pain and not being able to ask for someone to come.
I really hope that one day we can become a safe place for Big. That one day I will hear her screaming for me to come because she trusts that I will.
The best bits
Big went to a girls rugby session at school last week. She made the choice to go all by herself, none of the other girls in her class went and she still went. Her class teacher followed at a distance and said she tried really hard.
After her operation Little was saying her tummy hurt. The nurse explained it could be air from having the breathing tube in and that she might need to trump. A bit later I asked her if she’d done a trump. ‘NO, that smells like a BOYS trump to me!’ My husband was the only boy in the room at that point and she looked at him very pointedly!