I know that when most people imagine this question being posed by a toddler, it’s normally something mortifying like they caught you having sex. But not this time.
You see, one of the biggest battles of being a disabled mummy is the maintenance of my poor, sore tired body. Kev has to go through my prescribed physio programme often to relieve the horrid tightness in my hamstrings. And today is the first time Squidge SAW him do it.
We thought she’d just clamber off the bed and amuse herself by emptying her Daddy’s sock drawer. But she watched him intently as he extended one of my legs to the ceiling, looking up with confusion, not needing the words for us to know what she was asking:
“What are you doing to Mummy?”
Physio is at best uncomfortable, more likely painful.
As soon as I let my first “Ow!” slip, Squidge snapped her head back round to Kev and she didn’t stay quiet this time:
“AH!” = “Daddy…. Mummy said that hurt!”
And as the “Ow’s” kept coming, Immy had her hands on my tummy, still looking between us both.
Kev took it to heart. “She thinks I’m hurting you Jo, tell her I’m not.”
I tried to. “Don’t worry baby. Daddy’s helping Mummy’s legs feel better.”
But the look of concern never left her little face. And with my next wince of pain, she pulled herself up and pushed Kev away, once again shouting “AH!”
For someone as yet nonverbal, neither of us could mistake the tone. “NO DADDY!”
Kev is horrified that she thinks he hurts me. But I am so proud. She showed so much love and care in her attention and actions. She of course is too young to understand Kev’s intent. But she understood my pain and she tried to take it away. My beautiful, loving girl.
It really settled me because I really do think she’ll have the capacity and indeed the compassion to one day understand what makes me different from all the other mummies.