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Both the sisters are in the car, chatting happily, laughing and giggling so fondly like they’ve seen each other after ages. But it soon they would be each other’s enemies!
Today is Monday and I dash with a half bemused, half disgruntled face to pick Tanya up from school. Mondays are always difficult- the eyes are full of sleep owing to the two days of weekend and an upset routine.
She sits in the back seat of the car, talking about her day at school. As I listen to her, my mind races to beat the travel and pick my younger daughter, Opal, up. She must be waiting for me, I can’t get late or she’d get very antsy.
Now both the sisters are in the car, chatting happily, telling their stories, laughing and giggling so fondly like they’ve seen each other after ages. In my mind, I know that this happy-happy scene is going to last for a short time. Something will be a trigger and they will be each others’ worst enemies. So far, so good. I am happy that they are happy and not fighting. Whatever happens later, doesn’t even cross my mind.
As we drive home, they are still chit-chatting when all of a sudden, Tanya says, “Mom, let’s hurry! I have to go poop.”
I say, “Why didn’t you use the one at school before leaving? Now, in the middle of the road, you’re scaring me.”
Her younger sister, Opal, is under pressure too, because she’d be the one to suffer the most if the poop accident happens. So she is trying to calm Tanya down, talking her out of the thoughts that she has to poop. Apparently, she was successful in distracting Tanya. Finally 20 minutes later, we reach home and Tanya popped out of the car while I am still in it.
“Well, I am ready to go. Opal, can you quickly come with me?” Tanya says with an indiscernible wink. That sounded strange to and I wondered if Tanya had to go.
“Sure, go ahead, Opal and Tanya. I will be there in a moment and be sure to…” they were out of my sight before I could blink. I entered the house and I see that both of them are in the bathroom, talking to each other. One is in pain and the other very serious.
“What is going on? Opal! Why are you in the bathroom? Leave Tanya alone,” I nearly screamed.
“Tani, you have to push hard. It hurts because your poop is stuck. Apply pressure and it will come out.”
Outside, I am all queasy just thinking of what is going on. Suddenly, Opal rushes out the bathroom, pours a glass of water and runs to the bathroom again.
“Tani, drink water and apply pressure, the poop will come out. Also, breathe from your stomach.”
“No, Opal. Nothing is coming. out. It just hurts. What should I do now? Help me, please!”
I am outside, listening to their conversation and wondering how I wasn’t even asked for once. At the same time, I had a memory flash- from 12 years ago. The time when I was giving birth to Tanya and the nurse asked me to do the same Opal was asking Tanya to do. Only difference being the last time, it was a baby stuck and now it was poop. Then it was a nurse who was the pain-relieving in-charge and this time, it was the younger sister who was the pain-reliever.
I was unsure if I should laugh or cry or do something else when I thought, “It is strange how sisters can be saviours or strangers and sometimes, a bit of both.”
Age and problems don’t matter. I peeped into the bathroom as Tanya did her business. While emotional, I was a little queasy too. But I also realised that Opal was handling the situation way better than I could have. Apparently, Tanya was more comfortable with sharing her problems with Opal than she was with me. I decided to let them be and sort out whatever the situation was till I was called.
The mom in me, wanted to say something like, “Because you look like you pooped your pants, you should eat more fibre, drink more water, don’t eat so much junk,” and the like. But I stopped myself and let it go.
“Why are you rushing around?” Opal asked, stepping out of the bathroom, with the relieved face of a winner.
“I’m making sure you two are fine and need my help, Opal,” I said.
After the awkward moment of pooping and relieving was over, I was in for another interesting scene: Tanya almost piled herself into their closet, flipping through her clothes on wire hangers. I nodded in almost blank compliance and moved on.
Never had I thought I would see such a scene where both the sisters will be so much help to each other. However, when I decided to have another child, the deciding factor was what would happen to Tanya when, we, her parents, were no more. We did not want Tanya having a lonely life in a big country with no relatives. And even though, I wanted a boy child to balance the family, today of all days, I have no regrets of having a second girl child.
I also know that later, down the road, a similar incident will take place, except at that time, both the sisters will help each other with child birth. And I hope they sort that out as skilfully as they did today, even though they were dealing with a poop problem today.
After the ‘pooping reality show,’ they behaved like nothing happened. They were normal, ate their evening snack, talked and started doing their homework.
But my heart, the emotional roller coaster was on its full-swing. I felt like one happy mother.
Editor’s Note: This post was one of the short listed stories from the Muse Of The Month Contest for the month of December 2019.
Picture credits: Pexels
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