She knew she doesn’t sing very well. She’s not even good with babies. She heard that you have to sing to babies to make them sleep or calm. As for now, he doesn’t scream yet, which is a miracle. Babies consider her bad omen so they will give alarms to other babies in the same surrounding.
They cry as if their lives depend on it.
So why in the world would she volunteer babysitting a baby boy barely 3 months in this freezing place? Has she lost her mind?
Indeed she has.
She bought a one way ticket from Madrid straight to Edinburgh. Ryanair was being nice to many travel junkies that summer. 28 Euros is not a bad price. The fact is that her friend was worried sick. She doesn’t trust a girl backpacking alone in the month of Ramadhan so she made her come this way. She insist buying the ticket with her credit card. Her husband doesn’t mind the friend staying. At least they have some company. Not many people would stumble upon Newcastle just by coincidence, that happens to know them and speak their language.
They would start fasting the next day so it is with utmost importance that she arrives that day. 2 hours from Madrid and the wife instructed her clearly that she should take the train. She’ll be waiting at the second last stop to fetch her back home. That would be the perfect meeting since the last time they met was 5 years ago at the wedding.
The friend’s flight was a pleasant journey. She spoke her last Spanish words and felt bad leaving her favourite book store without finishing her last book. She arrived late due to fog and the backpack burst open at the train station.
Sigh. Good timing.
Never mind. All I have to do is move forward. She’s waiting for me.
Many people were nice to her. Obviously a foreigner in trouble. Awfully lost. Horrid bag. Poor girl. She welcomed kindness, especially from good looking men with red hair and green eyes. Irish men are a delight to listen to, whatever that is they’re rambling about.
Half an hour and she arrived at the promised venue. They hugged and the friend brought her to the family residence.
It reminds her of Harry Potter’s Uncle Vernon’s place. Cute.
The bundle of joy was in the father’s arms wriggling in excitement seeing the mother.
So this is him?
Yes. Isn’t he just wonderful?
Would you like to hold him?
Me? But he seems so tiny. I might break something.
Shut up [smile] He likes beautiful girls [smirk]
Haha. You got me to hold him. Good one.
He fits perfectly in her arms. His tiny hands were 2 balls of fists running through her hairs and grabbed the strands loose. My gosh, this boy is strong! I might go bald in a week!
There you go. I lost enough hair for the day.
The mother gladly accept the priceless treasure back. The father is busy and focused on the video game aiming for the highest score. The mother feed the baby. The ladies exchanged pleasantries, stories, and this went on for a month non-stop even while watching t.v, cooking and washing dishes. The husband marvels at this lengthy conversation.
Won’t you ladies just stop for a moment?
Shut up! We’re on good topics.
And what is that?
They have been there for a while now. The mother does her research in the evening and the father works in the morning. The baby stays at home playing alone. When the father arrives late, the mother has to wait up and the same thing happens to the mother.
She can’t just pretend that she doesn’t care. She lives in the same house.
Can I babysit him?
The mother was surprised. She doesn’t say anything at first but later said yes. She said she never meant to treat her like a nanny.
Practice makes perfect, she replied. I don’t have to worry about the basics when it’s my turn to have a baby.
So she’s up in the morning and first thing was kissing him, giggling along with him, hugging him, talking to him and before sleeping, singing to him. To her big surprise, he kinda liked it. He gurgled, spit, screamed a bit, vomited, laughed out loud and pull her hair some more but this time he was nicer. It was just a tug, not his first time full throttle force to dismiss hair from the skullcap.
Not to mention that she did it all in Spanish and all the lullabies are in French.
The mother was anxious. What happens if the friend return back home and the baby refused to sleep if he doesn’t listen to that particular song? She can’t remember much French anymore though that’s the reason she met the friend the first time – both studied French in high school.
Sing the usual Malay song, she said.
I don’t know any Malay lullabies nor English. I knew the ones we sang in Mademoiselle‘s class. Simply unforgettable.
The mother just hoped for the best. If hell breaks loose, she’ll download some French lullaby songs.
Just like she predicted. After a month, the baby refused her hugs and kisses, was down with fever and unable to sleep as the friend returned home.
For a week she played and replayed the same song until her heart mastered French lullabies in attempt to make him hers again.
Of course, he would always be hers.
Bon nuit mon petit!