So, this is my first reference to the baby of the 5 Bankieteers after multiple references to Ja’far and the other siblings.
At her tender age of just 7 weeks she can still make us laugh, but in different ways to the older ones. She can’t yet climb my back in sujood or hide in a cupboard. All the internet is good for her in her eyes was using it to download the white noise app that sends her to sleep so you won’t catch her trying to sneak online. She barely had any hair either so you won’t catch her hiding her comb (yet!).
She doesn’t do much yet, but I witnessed her first smile at 3 weeks. Not one of those ones that they do in their sleep, or when they’re about to fill their nappy. No. This was an eyes wide open kinda smile. I was so sure it was a proper social smile, and not just an isolated case, so worked my efforts multiple times a day to try and recreate that beautiful moment once more, but it only seemed to make an appearance when she was sleeping which wasn’t the same. Beautiful as it is, it is not as fulfilling as the real deal.
The real deal – the one that says a thousand words without making a sound.
Soon enough the real eyes open smiles started happening. However, this early on they occur few and far between and require a lot of effort to receive.
The battle for that smile continued, but now with a reward shared every now and again.
The others had seen her smile too now, so they were also on a constant search for that smile again. There is something so beautiful about it.
A genuine smile that doesn’t know the pains of this world.
The things you do to make 6 week old smile! Between us we tried everything looking for that secret weapon; crazy dancing, blowing raspberries, pulling faces and, peekaboo. Most of the time every effort was returned with a ‘whatever’ face that says ‘I know exactly what you are doing, but you are not worthy of my time yet, you gotta really work it if you want me to smile’.
Tirelessly searching for tickle spot to no avail, except tears!
Talking in high pitched baby voices just to be greeted with the blank stare like she can’t even hear you, but you know she can!
Whilst I could see she was paying attention to me I was sure I could get her to smile now. I continued conversing with her in a high pitched, one way discussion about her new pink jumper with a bunny on it, extending every vowel and repeating every adjective 2 or 3 times. ‘a pretty jumper’ became ‘a preeety preeety jumpeeer’.
It seemed to be working Something was erupting in her lips. Corners up, corners down, one in each direction, yawn, pout, sneeze.
No smile yet.
Hold on, something was brewing there now.
My sweet chatter had not gone to waste. Maybe I should grab my phone and capture the moment.
Her lips were moving. Something was about to erupt…
… Oh, something erupted alright, but it wasn’t coming from her mouth! The eruption came from down below!
And so the battle continued.
She smiled for her siblings with little effort.
These are the siblings that will bug you later and you them, Sumayyah! Yet I, your mother, who bore you for 9 months, endured sickness, pain and illness in carrying you, went through excruciating pain to deliver you, and now wakes up multiple times in the night to feed you, doesn’t even get a little raise of the corners of your lips? Not even just a small token of your appreciation? Yet your siblings who bug you and make so much noise keeping you awake in the day when all you want to do is sleep for another 2 hours get the biggest, cutest gummy smiles?
All was not lost though. I was never going to give up.
Then it happened. In my highest pitch baby voice I said ‘Captain Pooooopypants’ whilst tickling her cheeks. A random statement that came out of my mouth as I saw Ahmad’s Captain Underpants book on the table in front of me. I didn’t expect a smile from it, but sure enough her eyes opened wide as did her mouth as she grinned her big gummy smile from ear to ear.
A single smile is worth a thousand sleepless nights.
That smile said ‘thank you for waking up at all hours to see to my basic needs’
That smile made me feel like the most important person in her world.
That smile melts my heart. Every. Single. Time.
That smile shines the light on a dull day.
That smile that no matter how rotten my day has been tells me everything will be ok.
That smile uplifts me in an instant.