Yesterday morning I arose with butterflies in my stomach. As usual I tiptoed about the room, choosing my clothes for the day - so cautiously, so stealthily and so fearfully; as if afraid to awaken a sleeping bear.
But there was no bear. Oh no, this was so much worse. So much more terrifying. The sound of its shallow even breathing alone was enough to turn my insides to jelly. My shaky hands lifted my shirt off the dressing table - I froze with dread as one of its buttons knocked gently against the dressing table surface. I fought back tears of relief - there was no movement.
And then, suddenly -from a dark corner of the room, I heard it. My pulse quickened. It couldn't be. Again - movement. I prayed silently, '' Please let it be my imagination!''
Then - silence. My prayers answered. Or so I'd thought...
''Mommeeeee!'' came the voice. Two hours earlier than her (two-year old Aisha's) usual waking-up time. Guaranteeing her exhaustion and hence, a day of tantrums and ill-temper.
''Hello, my darling!'' I said, a cheerful smile plastered to my face. Only the beads of perspiration on my brow revealed my inner terror.
She stared at me for an unbearable few seconds. Time slowed to a torturous pace. I waited, not knowing what the mood would be. Hoping. Praying.
She smiled. Again, tears of relief. Short-lived relief.
''I want my panty and my 'going clothes'. (She sleeps in a nappy, but wears a panty during the day. Her 'going clothes' are her day clothes, i.e. not her pyjamas - her clothes for going places).
''Okay, darling, '' I said, a bit too cheerfully.
I did as commanded and returned the items to her bed. (She will not get up until I've dressed and changed her).
My hand brushed her tummy. She giggled. My heart filled with hope. I touched her tummy again. This time - laughter.
Then, becoming braver, I leaned down, pretending to chew her tummy with my lips.
The laughter stopped. But no anger followed. Just, it seemed, disappointment at me having ruined the game.
''Mommy, be sensible,'' was her vexed rebuke.
''Er, excuse me?'' I asked, not sure if I'd heard correctly.
''Please be sensible,'' she repeated.
And so began another day of ill-tempered tantrums and tirades, interspersed though, with delightful laughter and ongoing surprises at all she is learning. Her broadening vocabulary never ceases to amaze me, especially as she throws my words back at me (as shown above). Her clever comments have me dumbfounded and excited. The loving way in which she comes to hug me and plants kisses all over my face, melts my heart - even when, after allowing me to plant a few kisses on her chubby cheeks, she will abruptly pull away, saying, ''That's enough,'' and then walk off.
So, do I wish this tantrum phase would pass? Do I wish that I could fast forward to an easier time ahead? Surprisingly not. Because along with all the tantrums, she also provides us with so much joy. So much surprise. I cannot tell you how often I just observe her with wonder - the way she reasons, the things she says, the jokes she makes. Her ability to comprehend; to express herself. Her vocabulary. Her clever humour.
But mostly her loving nature. I will miss the way she lies next to me at night, touching my face. How she'll throw her arms around me, saying ''I love you''. How, out of nowhere, she'll say ''Thank you Allah (God) for my mommy and my daddy and my brother and my sisters''.
So yes, I shall spend the next few months suffering her tantrums and tirades, but - at the same time, I am so thankful that I am able to experience every moment, pleasant and unpleasant, with her. I wish there was a way to capture every moment of awe and wonder which she brings to our lives. And I definitely don't wish that this time would pass faster.
Camouflaged as a harmless little girl:
Before the event triggering the transformation (No one knows what could trigger this event - this phenomenon is still subject to much research - conducted by her cautious, yet diligent siblings)
And - a few minutes later:
But the transformation has also been known to work in reverse
|Utterly spent from a tantrum, she refuses to get up onto the seat and falls asleep on the floor of the car|