The small, warm weight of him is nuzzled against my stomach, his head sweaty against my breast. He has been here for days now, feeling safe encircled in my arms. Without the use of words, we communicate with touch - i know his tummy hurts so i give it a gentle massage; i know his throat aches so i offer him his water; to show how sleepy and sick and altogther frusturated he is he pulls gently at my ponytail, at the soft flesh under my chin. He wants no-one but me - even the Daddy he idolises so much has been pushed aside - and i feel strangely honoured that he wants me as his comfort.
His mum. Mummy. Muuuuuuuummmmmmy.
Yet, i too feel frusturated. I want my lap back - selfishly, perhaps, i want twenty minutes to have a shower without hearing the tired moans of my son, or an hour to cook and eat my dinner without having to fork mouthfuls of food very carefully over the top of his fluffy head. His father would take him - has taken him - but the constant siren wail of " Muuuum! Muuummmy! " is too hard to listen to. It is easier to work around him, to suffer the sore back and numb buttocks for him, to only go to the bathroom when he has fallen asleep and can be put down.
And then, when i again shift my weight beneath his smallness and find a new comfortable spot, i remind myself how lucky i am that it has only been days. That it is not months of sickness, of suffering, of tired frusturation. That we are at home on our lounge under a blanket watching Sesame Street and Play School, and not stuck in the paediatric ward of a hospital. That i even have a child to be sick, when other women want so badly to have a fluffy, sweaty, bundle calling out their name. And, most luckily, that i have family to support me, who gladly agree to take my boy for the night so i can cook, and eat, and fold the four baskets of washing that have piled up in the few days he has been sick.
And i smile through my discomfort, and hold him tighter. I brush the soft hair across his forehead, stroke the smooth baby skin of his cheek. This is only temporary, but he is mine forever....