Through the Eyes of A Child
I opened my eyes. I was looking up at the ceiling. Why I was looking there, I don’t know, but I kept looking anyway, and laughing. I kicked my legs and shuck my arms, but it brought me no closer to what I was looking at. I called out “Ga, ga, gaagh, goo.”
There was no reply.
I lifted my head. But it fell back down. I was lying on my back, and I was covered from foot to neck in the blanket my Dada had tucked me into. I wanted to move my arms over my covers. But I didn’t know how to move them in coordinated motions. I had been practising since I arrived from my mother. But it takes a bit of getting used to.
I called out again “Goo – goo – mama.”
Again there was no reply. I kept kicking and shaking my arms. I shuck my head. I tried all the movements I had learned so far. But nothing seemed to move my cosy restraints. I looked up at the ceiling again. It was the same as it had been earlier on. But it was all I had to look at. There was bars on both sides of me ‘which I could probably look through’. But believe me, for the effort it would take to turn my head sideways; the ceiling was a much better option. As the room got brighter, I became more and more awake, and more and more restless.
I called out again “Mama – Dada – ga ga – goo goo.”
Still there was no reply. I kicked and I kicked. I pushed with my arms. I was determined. I was uncomfortable from lying there for so long. All I wanted to do was change my position. Oh yeah, and get out of my wet nappy.
I called louder this time “Mama – mama – mama.” Then out of frustration I said “Goo – gah -ga.”
I kept trying to free myself, and finally it paid off. One of my arms was free. I could move it right up to my head. I could touch my mouth, my nose, my ears, and the bars of my sleeping place. I could touch the bars. I could touch the bars and I could grip. What if I was to grip the bars and kick and shake at the same time? I tried it and I could.
I shouted a victory chant “Ga ga – goo goo.”
I kept kicking and shaking, and eventually my other arm was free. I had two arms to use now, and now that I had them I was going to use them well. I tried to push my cover down. But it was too much of a chore. So I hung onto the bar again with one hand. If my arms were longer I could have reached the other side as well. But they weren’t, so I couldn’t. I kept kicking and kicking. Then I had an idea. I kicked my legs, at the same time as pushing with my hands. It was working. My restraint was getting looser. I could move more freely. I was warm and I needed air. I stopped kicking for a bit and had another look at the ceiling. It was still the same.
I called out one last time “Ga ga mama – dada.”
Still there was no reply. Just a funny noise from my dada’s nose. I started kicking again. I was making real progress. I was starting to do some new movements. I had the sheets down to the top of my wet nappy. I had got this far. I could get further. As the sheet worked its way down to my feet I was feeling good.
I sang a little song “Ga ga goo goo – ga goo ga.”
At last my feet were free. My arms were free. Now if I could just learn how to stand up. If I could grip the bars with both hands and pull myself up, I could look at my sleeping mama and dada, instead of looking at the never changing ceiling. I managed to roll over onto my tummy. I moved my legs and my arms in different directions. I was slowly getting into the position I wanted to be in. I was making real progress. I was determined to stand by myself.
I heard a noise coming from where mama and dada were sleeping. I tried to look over. But my head was too heavy in the position I was in. I got a burst of energy and grabbed hold of the bars. I moved my legs. My head was rising up, and my body was following it. I was almost on my feet.
I called out “Dada – mama!”
There was no reply. I looked over at them. They were sleeping. They were sleeping, and I was standing. For the first time in my life I was standing, and they were asleep. I had to wake them. I had to let them see me.
I called out “Mama – mama – gaah.”
There was no reply, and I didn’t know how long I could stay like this for. I started shaking my legs. The bars shuck with me, and with them shaking there was a noise. I shuck harder. I called out. There was a movement in the bed. My mother’s head had moved and her eyes had opened. I was excited for her to see me standing up like this. I smiled at her. She smiled back at me.
I said “Ga ga – goo.”
Then it dawned on her. I could stand! I was doing it now! I could stand up! She sat up, smiled at me and said, “Hello sweetie. Did you stand up all by yourself?”
I laughed, and with pride I said “Goo gah.”
She lay back down and said “Good boy. Now lie back down and go asleep.”
I smiled back and said “Goo goo goo.” and I won’t tell you what that means!