I have been able to fix every single one of my little girl’s belongings that have needed fixing over the past 21 months.

I’ve taped back torn pages from a favourite picture book. Stitched back fallen buttons. Taken in too-loose mittens. Sewn up gaping holes in stuff toy animals. I’ve even successfully performed a knee operation on a paper chicken in the worn pages of ‘Happy Birthday Maisy’.

With minor injuries, like a bump on the head, or a finger that had gotten caught in a drawer, I could kiss her and make the pain go away. Sometimes there isn’t even a need to be pro-active on my part: she would just bring the hurt area to my lips, proclaim “Mmmmaaa-ck!” on my behalf and toddle off to continue playing.

Whenever she presents me with an item that needs fixing, be it a bruised knee or a toy that has come apart, the feeling of watching her knitted brow lift and her forlorn expression transform into happiness is simply too precious. It makes me beam from inside out knowing that she trusts me to make things right again for her – and that I can.

I’m her hero(ine). Simply because I am Mummy.

Not any more.

Coco has a bright florescent green rubber hedgehog – a gift from her grandpa. The squishy little ball of ‘spikes’ springs up and down from a rubber string and amuses her long enough for me to wolf down my dinner in peace – unless she insists on bouncing it on her baby sister’s head.

Two weeks ago, my brother-in-law sat on it.

Yes. SAT on it. And literally knocked the air – and the life – out of the rubber hedgehog.

The poor deflated creature – now as flat as a pancake – looked utterly miserable. I couldn’t even bring myself to snap a photo of it in its pitiful two-dimensional state.

Coco approached me, fingers gingerly holding her lifeless toy, raised her huge eyes to meet mine and using sign language, silently beseeched, “Make it round again, Mummy, make it round.”

She alternated between rolling her arms continuously ala “the wheels on the bus go round and round” and mimicking rolling a ball of PlayDough between her palms. “Make it round, please Mummy, make it round”, her eyes pleaded, brimming with hope.

I couldn’t. Her poor green pet was well and truly dead. For once, Mummy couldn’t make things right.

A look of realisation swept across her face.

Reality had bitten.

It was at that point that she learned that Mummy couldn’t always save the day.

As for me, it dawned on me then that I wouldn’t be able to solve every problem that she would face in time to come. For now, it’s a lifeless toy hedgehog. Tomorrow, maybe a rough kid at the playground. Next, possibly a more painful injury. In time to come, it could be a dead beloved (real) pet.

Reality sure sucks. 

I wish I could continue to kiss her and make things right each and every time.

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