Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Year Four: Don't Panic

This is Day 4 of the October Memoir and Backstory Blog Challenge, which is something about a 4 year old.  To catch more on this, please visit  Jane Ann McLachlan.

It was after just a few minutes that I heard it.

"Wa-a-a-a-ahhh!"  "Mo-m-m-y!"

I ran to the bathroom door, white and tall.  And locked.  I checked it again.  It was really locked.

She was just four years old, wailing like she was dying, one fingernail at a time.  "Don't panic!" I said, with my mouth by the doorknob, squishing my lips in the tiny airspace therein. "Use your head!"

"Wa-a-a-a-ahhh Mommy!" Louder now, as if I never said one word.  How was she ever going to hear me if she was screaming so loud?  This was my conundrum.  It was double sided:  I wanted her quiet for myself and for her, and I was also desperate to quiet her down, lest the neighbors thought that I was torturing the poor girl.  Despite all, the screams continued.  Actually, they were 'wails'.  Worse than screams.  "Wa-a-a-a-ahhh!" "Wa-a-a-a-ahhh!" ...and then louder, "WA-A-A-A-AHHH!"  I called this Level Two crying.  A deeper, more morose effort was clearly heard.  Then the "Mo-m-m-y" turned into "MAMA!! MAMA"  I need you!"  Mmmm-aaaa-Mmmmm-aaaa!"  Oh my.

For a full five minutes, they continued.  I had sweat under my arms, and I just wanted her to take a breath so I could get two words in.  "Don't panic!  Use your head!"

Finally, finally, finally, when we were both so spent that it hurt, she talked to me.  "Huh?"  I calmed her down.  I told her to put her fingers over the lock thingie that stuck out.  "Huh?" I explained that it had to turn 'sideways' instead of 'up and down'.  I felt so stupid explaining this to a 4-year old.  How was she going to understand?   I calmly talked her through it and suddenly, 'Pop!'  The door opened.

She flew into my arms, sweaty, red face, panicked face, covered in a cloud of effort like PigPen from Peanuts.

It was as if nothing in the world could be any better at this very moment.

Because nothing in this world could have been any better at this very moment.

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