Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Just hold my hand, mummy

A is a kind, wise, intelligent little girl. She has many wonderful attributes but my goodness, she is not brave (I can say that being her mother) - P on the other hand is the kind of kid who will fall down three flights of stairs, lips quivering but not crying, and say she's OK. A (age 6) struggles with a graze, we are not talking about any blood here, just a bit of skin discolouration and she is distraught, great sobs and rivers of tears, snot pouring out of her nose, heaving telling me it hurts SOOOOOOO much that she can't possibly have a bath for a week as it will sting. She always refuses a plaster due to the fear of having to pull it off later. Bless. As an antenatal teacher I always wonder how she will fair in labour.

Well, the story goes that A came home from school with a plaster on her knee, rather a deep cut which nearly required a stitch. Uh oh. Three days of negotiations we decided that today was the day, I had to see what was underneath. Sat on the bathroom floor getting ready for her bath A decided that she wanted me to pull the plaster off.

"No, no, no NOOO, mummy!" A said changing her mind  "I'll do it" - I understood her need for control.

"OK darling" I soothed

"No, you do it.." she wailed indecisive about this huge moment in her life.

"OK, are you sure?" I queried, as I got ready peel off the plaster.

"Yes, no...yes!"  we both fell about laughing, A really has a lovely sense of humour.

"OK Mummy, I know, I WILL do it and you just hold my hand " A's decision had been made.

So I held her hand, stroked her back and after 3, ..one....two...three.... A very bravely ripped off her plaster using some deep breathing techniques we had practised as well.

"I DID IT, all by myself!" A whooped, obviously extremely proud.

And it got me thinking about labour. About all those times I have dads-to-be worried they will be a spare part during the labour process, so very often worried that they will be unable to help their partner with the pain. When the baby has been born I ask: "How do you think you helped your partner during labour?" and very often the woman will chip in and say: "Oh, he was wonderful, stroked my brow, held my hand, told me I was doing an amazing job..."

We forget the power of love and support. I will always be there to hold your hand darling A, you are a very brave little girl and of course you can do it.

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