by Varunika
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Last Friday morning did not commence with the FRIYAY feeling. It was rather messy and uncalled for. I woke up to the wailing sounds of my younger one. Now there are things you must know about my second born. For instance, 3 out 5 times, just before her scheduled class, her tummy hurts. Her performance hugely resembles the shepherd’s, of THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLF fame, which happens to be one of the more popular stories among children and storytellers, from the legendary Aesop’s fables. For those of you who haven’t read it, I will give you a gist of it.

 Once there was a shepherd boy who used to take his flock of sheep to a hill for grazing grass. To do away with his boredom, while the sheep merrily ate under the clear blue sky, he thought of playing a prank on the villagers staying put nearby. He shouted Wolf! Wolf! Help! Help!  The villagers came running along with sticks for the rescue, only to find out that the boy was simply joking. They went back miffed. After that episode, the boy would do this often. The poor villagers would be genuinely concerned and would run up the hill, to offer help. This continued for quite a few days until the wolf actually came one day and the villagers did not pay heed to the voice of the boy thinking it to be a farce, like always. Alas, the shepherd boy lost two of his chubbiest sheep to the wolf. Secretly he vowed never to lie again.

Coming back to my own notorious little Shepherd. As mentioned earlier, my younger one suddenly starts experiencing ripples in her tummy just before her online classes and if forced to sit, bellows in a decibel capable of blowing off my ear drums. I do admit that initially I used to give in to her howling. As a result, she missed out on a lot of classes. Now that I have learnt my lesson well, I mostly don’t pay heed to her tantrum’s early morning. This Friday was no different. Since my little shepherd had enacted this performance several times in the past, I did not believe her. I assumed there was no wolf and that my little shepherd did not need any help but was putting up a farce to bunk class. Except that this time, her stomach was genuinely hurting.

My mind was telling me that she’s bluffing you, but my heart was hinting otherwise. Since she was pressing her hands against the stomach too much, I decided to give her a hot water bag. I sent a text message to her teacher stating that because she has minor cramps, she would sit through the class with the water bag and mostly be a passive participant in the class activities. The teacher graciously gave her consent to my request. She grabbed the water bag and held it tightly throughout the class. Half an hour into her class, she seemed comfortable and voluntarily participated in the class activities as well. I smiled to myself thinking such a drama queen my little one was growing up to be.

The class got over and my little shepherd was back into business- Happily frolicking around the house. By the time lunch was prepared, she started complaining of tummy ache once again. Since she is a big-time foodie and is always looking forward to variety, I thought this must be an attempt to avoid the humble Daal rice. She requested for the hot water bag. I was in no mood of an unnecessary negotiation session, so I gave her the bag and lunch was a breeze post that.

Cut to evening, she was requesting for the water bag again. That’s when it struck me that maybe she wasn’t faking the pain, and a possible stomach infection was about to wreak havoc. I wasn’t wrong. By nightfall, she wasn’t willing to come out of the Toilet. By Saturday morning it became evident, much to my disappointment that she had Diarrhea. I took the necessary action. I increased her fluid intake, fed her easy to digest meals and started her on a medicine, one that almost all pediatricians prescribe in such cases.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, I have gained some amount of knowledge as far as medicines go for babies and toddler. I have had to run to pediatricians, many a times for my elder one in the past and with husband gone for months in a row, I was forced to handle many such situations alone. Nothing to be proud of, but the experience, does make you panic less the next time. I kept her under my watchful eye all the time. She wasn’t fatigued or feverish, just a little down due to the continuous bout of motions.

The entire Saturday went in cleaning poop, changing her pajamas, and turning down her request for eggs and chicken (her favorite). And all this while, the only thing that comforted her, was the hot water bag. I had to refill it with warm water many a times, but I was happy doing that, because despite the intermittent pain in her stomach, she wasn’t crying or clinging on to me.

We played a few board games later in the evening and the hot water bag played an instrumental role in keeping her spirits high. It also gave me a chance to talk to her and make her understand why consuming more of the ORS liquid was imperative for her health. She’s barely 4 years and obviously does not care much about the facts, but she listened and nodded her head. That was enough for me. The motions slowly came under control by Sunday afternoon. The pain went away as well. But she held on to the hot water bag in the night as well.

Today, she woke up all hale and hearty. The girls have played the whole day. As to the hot water bag, I guess it’s not needed anymore. Now watching them sleep, I do realize that the weekend wasn’t the kind I would have liked, but thanks to the water bag there weren’t any Monday blues! When I look at my little one, I cannot help but wonder what magic spell, the hot water bag cast on her, keeping an otherwise notorious child, calm even during pain.

All I could gather was this — The hot water bag did not cure her. The medicine and an increased fluid intake did. The water bag did one very important thing though. It gave her something to hold on to during a stressful time. It made the pain bearable, in her mind. `

Isn’t that what we all want during the troughs of our life? Something to hold on to. Something that we can keep close to us against all the odds. Something that heals the hurt, just by its mere presence. Something that makes a painful time bearable, much like hope and strength. And aren’t strength and hope the keys to survival?

So be that someone who passes hope and strength when someone else wants to hold on to you. Be like the water bag.


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Mrs Manju Pal September 21, 2021 - 8:27 PM

Well penned dear ….

Varunika September 21, 2021 - 8:49 PM

Thank you mom😊

Kalyani Vaidya September 21, 2021 - 9:07 PM

I love your little sheperd. And I also love her dramas. Loved tue the moral of the above blog…truly agree to the same.

Varunika September 21, 2021 - 10:48 PM

Thank you 😊 .

Neha September 21, 2021 - 10:24 PM

I could so relate to this blog … love it 💕

Varunika September 21, 2021 - 10:49 PM

Thank you dear!

Suman September 22, 2021 - 6:28 AM


Varunika September 22, 2021 - 6:25 PM

Thank you 😊

Sarla September 22, 2021 - 2:32 PM

Well written varunika,the waterbag really did the magic.loved the blog as always. Love to both the girls.

Varunika September 22, 2021 - 6:24 PM

Thank you so much 🥰

Sarla chauhan September 22, 2021 - 2:33 PM

Well written varunika,the waterbag really did the magic.loved the blog as always. Love to both the girls.

Radha Dua September 22, 2021 - 9:38 PM

Dear Varunika , your aunt Sarla Chauhan is my neighbour and my good friend , she always takes abt ur write ups and praised a lot , really speaking I just gave a little thought , thinking she may praising ur writings out of her love , but this rose my curiosity and I asked her to forward me too , and today only I happened to read you , I would appreciate you fully that u have woven it beautifully with and linked her initial actions with our long back heard childhood story ,and you gave a beautiful stop , a psychological some thing to cling to in one’s difficult times , Congratulations and blessings

Varunika September 22, 2021 - 10:31 PM

Dear Radha Aunty,
I am overwhelmed by your words. I cannot thank you enough for reading and finding time to pen such encouraging words. This truly means a lot to me. To be able to connect with people is the greatest joy for a writer. Thank you so much 🥰.


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