His Abah came home with two helium-filled balloons. One blue, the other white.
16-month-old Ikram laughed and was very excited. We gave him the balloons, tied to a long piece of string. The balloons floated to the ceiling and he stared at them in bewilderment.
I pulled them down for him. Once again, he laughed and started to play.
Suddenly, they floated to the living room and up toward the ceiling fan. I rushed to switch off the fan, fearing that the balloons would burst and frighten the children. Fortunately, they didnt burst. Instead, they were entangled to the fan and couldn't be pulled down.
Ikram started to cry.
His Abah had to carry the ladder, climb up to the ceiling, and take down the balloons. He washed them under the tap while Ikram stood and watched.
We thought that he would be happy to get back the balloons.
We handed the clean balloons to him but he simply refused to take them. Instead he was all teary-faced. All attempts for him to hold the balloons were futile. He seemed to be afraid of the two balloons and wouldnt go anywhere near them.
That was four days ago. Ikram still seems fearful of the balloons.
I dont know what goes on in his mind that causes him to be so afraid.
Now I'm having problems trying to coax him to be brave again and to go near the balloons.
One thing for sure, the housephone is on its hook for the first time this year.
Ikram has not touched it since that fateful day.
The reason? The balloons are left next to the phone.