After giving Maya huge fat kisses (she's not at that reciprocal stage yet so I took that kiss by force, grabbing her cheeks in my hands and kissing her all over her face), I handed her over to Nomathemba and made to leave. And then nanny tells me she dropped the cell phone we gave her in water and it's no longer working.
Why is she only telling me now? I scrambled around the house looking for a spare phone - so many had recently passed from my hands to friends and family - and now staring into the drawer they were usually kept, I felt despair. There sat a lone decrepit Samsung from 19-voetsek, that I was sure didn't work. As it turned out, it could receive incoming calls but not make outgoing ones. So the plan was to charge it, and then to send me an sms once it was charged. Fine. Another round of fat kisses and I was away heading towards the office like it was just another day.
Trying to get my office life back to normal - sorting out defunct email, restoring my contacts (the server had crashed in my absence) I did my best not to keep checking my phone.
By 12pm, I decided to drive back home - at Jean, my office manager's insistence. 'Get out the way get out the way!' I wanted to yell as the driver negotiated lunchtime traffic. When we finally got there in 11 and a half minutes flat, my hands were shaking as I turned the key and found my little one sitting in her Bumbo, playing with her teething ring, minding her own business while Nomathemba got on with the ironing.
Maya looked up as I called her name, flashed a brief obligatory smile and carried on fiddling with her toy as if I had only been gone two minutes. Kanti, what had I been expecting? Well, giggles and squeals and throwing open of arms is what!
I realised I hadn't been rushing home because I was worried something had happened... I had rushed home because I was missing Maya - and I didn't want her to forget me. My biggest fear: that she'll prefer her nanny over me. And instead of rushing into my arms - when she's able to - she'll cower behind nanny and smile shyly at me, like I'm a friendly looking stranger.
So it's the third week back at work and I'm doing absolutely fine. I'm enjoying being Zodwa for a few hours a day and then coming home and being Maya's mom and Hein's wife. Sometimes I can go for a few hours without thinking about her and then I look up at the photo of her on my desk or someone phones me and asks after her and my heart literally sings thinking about her. Mommy loves you more than you'll ever know Ms Maya.