So, one day Mammaa woke me up early. She usually lets me sleep till I want to, but that particular day was different.
It was different in so many ways. She kept cooing things to me. Went on rambling about going “bye-bye” and “having fun” as she prepped my milk.
Pappaa was ironing my clothes and Mammaa was frantically searching for a particular pair of socks of mine. (What is it with Mamaa and lost socks!)
I didn’t know what all the fuss and hurry was about. I couldn’t quite lay my finger on it, but something was different. And I sensed something wrong was about to happen. Something very wrong.
My parents were palpably tensed. I could smell their anxiety in the air. Their fake smiles, and high, pretend- happy voices. The phony excitement. I saw right through them.
If you do not know, let me enlighten you- babies are born with an extremely potent gut instinct. It fades away with age, but it is paramount to our survival. We can sense fear, danger, anxiety, deceit and falsity. And that morning, there was a nasty cocktail of all these things thick in the air.
Was is a “pokey- appointment”, where they stick a needle into me again. Oh no! No way are they going to get me this time. No. NO.
I tried to delay the inevitable. Whatever it was.
I stalled. I refused milk and spit up breakfast. I ran away when Mammaa took me to the loo for a clean up, and I threw a fit when they tried to get a diaper on me.
But at the end, they got the better of me. I was dressed and ready. And Mammaa pulled out about half a dozen bags from no where. What were in them, I wondered. And where did they come from?
They strapped me into my seat and tried to say some reassuring words. We love you. You are fantastic. You are so smart. You will have sooo much fun. Yada yada yada….
I tried to tune them out, and concentrate on my favorite song which was on loop on the car stereo. It played about 4 times, and we stopped. Pappaa got me outside, and Mammaa got all the bags.
We went in. I vaguely remembered the place from before. I was sure we’d been there before, not exactly sure for what though.
It was bright and airy. And there were loads of pretty. smiley people walking around. It smelled fresh, but a sort of artificial fresh. Smelled like the stuff Mammaa sometimes rubs her hands with.
And there was an eerily disproportionate number of little people there. In short, I did not like or trust the place one bit.
I was curious though. What was this about? And maybe if we hung around there, I could explore the myriad colored, attractive stuff that was lying around.
My parents and the lady at the entrance spoke for a while. They all exchanged smiles and pleasantries. We were then taken to a room inside. It was then that the unthinkable happened.
Pappaa handed me to the strange lady with the cap on, Mammaa deposited all the bags and they said bye. I wailed and screamed with all my breath and might. I fought. They hung around for a bit and then….. THEY LEFT! They actually left me there!!!! Just like that.
Thereafter, I refused everything. Cool water, delicious strawberries, tasty treats, the most magical looking toys, the smiley people, the cool little people, the enticing bed; I did not care for any of them.
Would they ever come back I wondered. Is this where I’m going to live from now on. With these weird, smiley, big people and the multi-hued small people.
I ultimately did fall asleep that day and “they” (as in my untrustworthy parents) did come back in a bit. But I woke up in that strange, new place with a new perspective. And a plan.
If they ever try this stunt on me again…ever…. they would have hell to pay. I will see to that!
Till next time.
A determined, stoic and world- wise Zoe.