The Mummy was a little worried about Jake’s health recently: as well as a runny nose & bad cough he had a temperature & was very tired & sluggish – very unlike his usual energetic self.
She was concerned enough that she thought a trip to the out-of-hours children’s doctor was called for. It was night-time & they had school the next day so rather than us all going she took Jake in while I stayed with Ellie to help settle her to sleep.
Instead of the usual books Ellie wanted to do colouring-in in 1 of her magazines, in bed. And I was expected – no, required – to join in with her.
I didn’t mind; I was happy to let her do what she wanted because of the difficult circumstances. They often become upset when they’re separated, & her knowing that Jake was ill & going to see a doctor would have made things worse for her.
We did a lot of colouring in, & went on for a long time! I tried to interest her in some books, even videos, but she just wasn’t interested.
I was starting to worry that it was getting late & that she was showing no sign of settling for sleep, & after all that was what I supposed to be doing: getting her off to sleep.
So I changed tack, telling her it was late, reminding her that she had school tomorrow & saying “Aren’t you tired? Don’t you want to sleep?”.
“No. I want to do colouring-in with you” was her reply.
I then stopped colouring-in & told her that I was tired (which was true) & that I was going to go to sleep. I lay my head back on the pillow & closed my eyes.
She wasn’t having it!
“No, Daddy: don’t go to sleep! Do colouring-in with me!”
Every time I tried I had the same result.
I decided to look as if I was actually asleep, & stayed with my head back & eyes shut while she insisted that I stay awake & do more colouring-in. She then became extremely distressed! Crying uncontrollably, really upset. This wasn’t just a tantrum, this was genuine distress.
“NO DADDY: WAKE UP!! DO COLOURING-IN WITH ME!!”
“Ellie, it’s late & we should be sleeping. It’s too late for colouring-in, it’s time to sleep. We can do more colouring-in tomorrow.”
“NO!!! THEN I’LL HAVE NO-ONE TO PLAY WITH!!!!” she wailed.
Then it struck me! She was missing Jake, & was worried! Colouring-in with me was her way of coping.
Separated from & worried about her twin she couldn’t stand feeling alone & was desperate to stay awake & have company, my company, ‘someone to play with’.
We carried on colouring-in until Jake & the Mummy came back, very soon after which both Ellie & Jake were soundly asleep.
They’re quite different, these twins of ours. When they’re at home playing they often play at different things. They often fight & argue.
It’s easy to forget that even if they don’t seem to be they are really close, that they really love each other & love being together – and that they always will.
Jake was fine, by the way – with a bit of medicine, rest & TLC he was back to his usual self in a few days.
For more Magic Moments just click the pic: