Looking to the cat for translation…

I rolled over in bed, gave Punkin a pet, and asked her, “Can you translate?”

Kiddo had just been screaming and crying for what seemed like an eternity.  Being woken up by a three year old child screaming is not the most pleasant experience.  Immediately, you try to discern what is wrong and try to right the world again.  My brain is foggy and needed more sleep.

The problem is that the crisis could be anything.  Sobbing and screaming complicates the task.  When the child doesn’t want to be held and gets more upset and screams louder with each incorrect answer, the pressure on Mommy to rapidly problem solve is akin to the reaching the correct answer on a televised game show!  “Is that your final answer???”  If you’re wrong the scream-o-meter will increase 100 decibels.  Although, at this point in time, exploding eardrums and deafness doesn’t seem like a terrible thing.

Punky is unable to assist with the translation, but being a saint of a cat, she stays by my side.  I wish John was here, not only did he have incredible patience when it came to his son, he was well versed in the English language.  Neither the cat, nor the child seems able to speak English.  I’m trying to maintain my patience, relay concern and empathy, and get my brain to focus on six hours of sleep, while doing my best to translate the discernible garble that is coming from my child’s mouth.  I attempt to problems solve with, “take a deep breath,”  “calm down,” “Tell me what hurts?”  “Point to what hurts,” “what is the matter?”  “how can I help?”  “what do you need?”  I managed to refrain from, “Do you need a translator?”  The only words I seem to be able to make out is “My.”


Finally, a breakthrough, his zipper on his pajamas was stuck.  I unzip it.  And feel like maybe I’ve moved up a few standings and am not near the bottom of the “Best Mother” list.

Then child comes back screaming again.

Eventually, I decipher, “My belly hurts.”

Great… bellies are tough… they hurt when you’re hungry, when you ate too much, if you ate something that didn’t agree, because of gas, because you have to poop, and sometimes even if you just pooped.  I’m sure there are chapters in medical text with many illnesses, diseases, and maladies involving stomach aches as a symptom.  My mommy intuition which has already been proven to suck is guessing that he needs to eat.

I wasn’t blessed with that mommy intuition that some mommy’s have where they can pinpoint exactly what the problem is and solve it after being blindfolded and spun in a circle 3 times only having access to their child’s cry.

John was a lot better at figuring out kiddo when he was a baby and upset with something.  John was patient, methodical, and calm.  Me, not so much.  Although, baby issues seem to pale in comparison to 3 year old issues.

Somehow, I convince kiddo to get some breakfast.  He comes back with a cheese stick and a flat-bread.  Yep.. breakfast of champions.  But for now, the screaming has stopped.  There is yogurt and orange juice or milk, so he’ll get a better breakfast.

I wish I had John to help translate… to help parent… to live my life with… but, Punky is sweet, stays with me through the crying, serves as an occasional furry therapist, and in short, is one darn good cat.  Even though she can’t translate, she can empathize and support… as John was sometimes known to say, “It is what it is.”

About Mary K. Smith

I was widowed in July 2009, when I lost my beloved husband, John, to melanoma. Cancer SUCKS. We have a young son who was just a year old when his father died. I live on a small farm in Maryland which is home to horses, cats, and a dog. I started this blog as a way for me to heal, a way to remember my husband, and eventually I'd like to share it with our son so he can see the love that his father had for him, the love that we had for each other, what a great person his father was, and how hard his father fought to live.
This entry was posted in Cats, Life after John's Death, Nathaniel. Bookmark the permalink.

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