This afternoon, I was strolling past the boy’s room when I heard a voice yell “Help! Someone Help me!” I walked up to the door and tried to open it. It was jammed. Right. Stay calm Yoms.
“Henry, are you in there? Are you ok?”
“Yes, mummy. The door is stuck.”
“Don’t worry, I’m here. I’m not leaving you, OK?”
I asked for help to be called and walked back to the door. Like the penultimate scene of disaster movie I sat in the doorway and chatted with Henry. While chatting, calmly, my mind was racing. Did he use the loo, does he need his bum wiped? I enquired. No, he just wanted change his sweaty clothes after playing outside.
He played outside, the equator, the sun, the heat, dehydration! “Baby, why don’t you get some water.”
I listened as he walked up towards his desk where I had left 2 travel size bottles of water. Don’t ask me why. OK so at the beginning of Covid-19, one of the fake stories going round said, Covid-19 could not handle heat and so if you drank water regularly, the virus, if you had it, would move from your mouth to your stomach and die due to the heat and acid there. This is not the time for judgment. Focus. My son is trapped in his bedroom with his bed, all his toys, iPad and my computer. Yes I am panicking for no reason but I don’t care.
“Argh!” I heard him struggle and realised he still needs help breaking the bottle seal. I don’t know why I said it but I heard these words come out of my mouth, “Use your muscles.”
“Good idea mummy”. Suddenly I could hear metal and plastic rustling.
“What are you doing? Don’t use anything just wait”
“I am trying to use my muscles.”
I was confused. Just then, like a scene from the climax of said disaster movie, from the cloudy ashes emerged the figure of Mr Gabriel. If he had hair, it would be blowing in the wind, but he’s bald so moving on.
“Step back from the door!” I screamed. “Stand by your bed”.
Using his shoulder to give the door two great rams, the door swung open.
“Baby!!” I ran to my baby and whisked him up. “Are you ok?” I checked his face for signs of trauma.
“I’m fine,” he said and walked back to his closet. I heard the rusting noise again, but this time I could see the reason. He was tugging at his Spiderman costume. What in the name of goodness and mercy.
“Henry, what are you doing?”
“I am trying to get my muscles”, then it clicked. The muscles on his costume. Merciful assurance!
“No need” I said, “I’ll open it for you.”
“No!” He yelled, “I want to open it myself.”
Due to what he had just been through, I didn’t think this was the time to tell him the truth about the foam muscles and six-pack on his costume. As he changed, I quietly cracked the seal and closed the bottle.
Costume on, beaming from ear to ear, Henry walked up to me, took the bottle and with one effortless twist opened the bottle and took a swig.
“You see mummy. I used my muscles.”
I smiled back. “Yes you did baby. My very own strongman.” Sometimes, I don’t do too badly at this mom thing.
Later in the evening, his dad, who knew nothing of the day’s drama as he had been at work, locked himself in the room. When I was informed, I didn’t even get off the couch. I asked for Mr Gabriel’s help again. If a grown man cannot survive a few hours in a boys room, its above me now.