“Kouroshee what are you doing Baba jan?” I asked
Kourosh (one of my two year old twins) was running, not walking, around the children’s ward trying to collect as many discarded toys as possible. He was wearing a nappy and an open backed operating theatre gown. His bare, downy haired, back looked so kissable every time he bent to pick something up.
He stopped to look back at me for a moment before continuing with his quest.
Hearing the shuffling noises the ward sister walked in and froze as she saw Kourosh playing around the ward.
“You may as well start to get him dressed.” She suggested.
What had surprised everyone about Kourosh was that only 40 minutes before he had been under a surgeon’s knife. A 25 minute hernia operation which resulted in 2.5cm incision.
It was I who had volunteered to take him into theatre. My instructions were simple: sit him on your lap and hold his arms down. He may scream and cry when we put the mask to his face, but this will only make him breathe faster and therefore go under faster.
And scream, cry and plead he did.
“Nooooooo,” he cried pitifully.
“La la la la la,” I whispered as soothingly as I could into his ear.
And then his little body went limp. I reached to kiss his head before the theatre nurses and anaesthetist lifted his sleeping body away from me.
“Why don’t you and your wife go for a cup of coffee?” the ward sister asked me.
It was on our way to the canteen that I finally broke down. I stopped and leant against a wall as I sobbed quietly. Varinder, never one to cry in public places, asked me to stop crying or she would start too. A good cry does wonders for your state of mind and I felt quite chilled and clear headed as we returned to the day surgery unit.
As soon as we had sat down by his bed three nurses carrying a dazed looking Kourosh plopped him into his mummy’s arms. His first word was, ‘Cuddles’. And cuddle him we both did. He drank two large cups of water, a handful of animal biscuits and two bananas without throwing up. The next thing he did was to have a 20 minute nap and less than 40 minutes later he was RUNNING around the ward and asking for his twin brother, Siavash.
We knew then that it was time to go home.
A week has now passed since that day and I am happy to say that it is as if none of us had experienced this ordeal. Any parent will tell you that your child’s illnesses and operations are God’s way of teaching you a lesson for what you put your own parents through as a child. But nothing I did to my parents would have come near having to watch my little baby scream before going limp in my arms. I wish it on no one, not even my worst enemy.
Siamack Salari is CEO of Everyday Lives, recording human behavior for commercial marketing.