Last night, I had a night call at 10.30pm, rushed home from work and managed to be done with dinner / shower by 8.30pm (early by my standards) spent a precious 30 minutes with the little girl before nursing her so that she would sleep and I could take the call. She did, at about 9.30pm.
As I typed furiously and took the call, I heard heartbreaking screams. Desperate and furious screams. She cried with all she had. I grit my teeth and tried to focus on the call, so that I can try to speed it up in any way possible.
When the call ended, I went out of the room I was in to see the little girl. Her eyes were swollen, her voice was hoarse and she refused to be handed over to me. She was angry I sensed. Why didn’t mummy come for me when I wanted her so badly. It took a long while before she would let me carry her. I hugged her close and told her “I’m sorry, mummy was working. I love you.” She look at me for a good while then hugged me so tight I couldn’t breathe. That was when I felt her heart beat. So fast. Did she have a nightmare?
To calm her down, I talked to her. Showed her pictures of a puppy (she went “Aw Aw Aw Aw” and “Puppy!”), showed her pictures of her favourite bath-time duckies (she went “Duck Duck… 鸭鸭, 鸭鸭”) and I called Daddy (overseas again) so she could see him, offer him a drink with her plastic “cup” and kiss him. When I saw that she had calmed down and was in a overtired daze, I told her “keep your toys baby, let sleep“.. she passed me what was in her hands without protest.
|The puppy picture she loves|
|A picture of Daddy I have on hand to use when we have connectivity issues|
But she was overtired by then and even the nursing did not work. She tried to fall asleep in various positions on bed, sitting on my tummy, lying on my chest but ultimately went back to nursing. She would be willing to nurse in even awkward positions just to get a shot at falling asleep.
No words can describe how I felt when her limp body rested in my arms. Utterly exhausted and just desperate for sleep, begging for sleep. By 1am, way pass her usual late bedtime at 10pm, she lay in bed, motionless. Her eyes were swollen and open. She was whimpering. She was still awake. I band-aid my broken heart together and tried every trick in my book to help her sleep, nothing was beneath me. I was useless as her Mummy. Not willing to let her cry it out but inapt at teaching her to fall asleep.
She fell asleep eventually, 15minutes later. Nursed to sleep.
The sound of her heavy, tired breathing was music to my ears.
I’m exhausted as well but sleep is not coming.
On nights like this, I always wonder what the hell am I doing.
And I’m furious really. Very.