“T’Challa! Please tell me you found it! Shhh, shhh, it’s ok, love. Please stop crying. T’CHALLA!”
Nakia bellows from their bedroom at 2 am. Their infant, Orisa was giving them hell on wheels, keeping them up all night with her crying.
T’Challa looks through couch and under the couch trying to find their baby’s prized plushie that she has grown attached to. “I am looking for it still, Nakia. Are you sure she isn’t hungry?”
Nakia switches the baby to a her other shoulder, bouncing and pacing. “I fed her 30 minutes ago, she almost dried me up she feasted so.”
Orisa’s foghorn scream could be heard throughout the palace. She had strong lungs ever since she left Nakia’s womb, and she was giving herself a workout tonight.
Nakia sits down in a rocking chair, growing more tired by the minute. Orisa fought the sleep schedule they tried to set for her, hence why she is even still up at such an ungodly hour. But Nakia was stretching herself thin between motherhood, wife/queen duties, and trying to get back into shape as a War Dog.
T’Challa jogs back into their bedroom. “Maybe we should call my-”
Nakia snaps her fingers at T’Challa. “Do NOT call Queen Mother! We are Orisa’s parents, we can get her to rest on our own. Someone ought to be asleep around here.”
T’Challa walks in taking his daughter from her hands, shushing and bouncing her some more. “I will put her in her crib for now and keep looking. You lay down.”
Nakia holds her face in frustration. “I just don’t understand. How can a 6 month old love something so fiercely that they notice when it is gone? Am I not enough for you, sweet daughter?” Nakia asks of Orisa, who pays her no mind as tears stream down her cheeks, gasping for air between cries.
T’Challa kisses Nakia on top of her head. “I’m serious. Go to bed. I can handle our girl, you need your rest.”
Nakia pouts as she walks over to the bed. “I just don’t get it. Why am I not getting this motherhood thing down yet. When does it get easier?”
T’Challa clicks his tongue at her. “Please, I’ve never known you to sound naive, Nakia. None of this is easy, my mother would adopt Orisa in a second if she could, but she can’t, can she?” T’Challa baby talks Orisa through her wails.
Nakia lays down in a funk. “You know how I am, T’Challa. I am a fixer, I get things done. I don’t know what to do for her.”
T’Challa looks back to Nakia once more. “Just being her mother is enough. You are there for her every second of every day, do not take this tantrum personally. Once we have her toy, she will be fine. Lay down, I’ll turn the sound proof mode on.”
As T’Challa walks out the bedroom, he hits his kimoyo beads to activate the soundproof walls of the bedroom. They used to have a different purpose but as new parents, that is rarely needed as of late.
T’Challa walks down the stairs to call up Shuri, who picks up promptly. “Hello sister, sorry to have awaken-”
“What are you doing to my niece? She does not scream like this, I can hear her across the way.”
T’Challa sighs. “I have been trying to find her stuffed cat, have you seen it by chance?”
Shuri shakes her head. “No, but do you remember where you left it last?”
T’Challa thinks it over. “I brought it in her stroller when we went for a walk earlier today….Oh Bast! It must’ve fell out on the trail somewhere.”
Shuri scoffs. “Wildebeests have gotten to it by now. Baba is doing a great job, isn’t he, Orisa?”
Orisa cries out, reaching for Shuri, but get frustrated by the elusive hologram.
“I can not believe this. That was my toy from childhood, and now it is gone. When will she sleep??” T’Challa whines as his head begins to throb from the noise.
“I am sending over Okoye to help you out. Godspeed.” Shuri salutes, signing off.
T’Challa sits in the nursery, putting his daughter in her crib before walking quickly to the bedroom again.
Nakia pops up as soon as he opens the doors. “Did you find it?”
“I found out about it…” T’Challa says looking down.
Nakia looks defeated. “What happened.”
T’Challa purses his mouth, hating to let her down. “I’ll tell you but you aren’t going to like it…”
“Enough of the dramatics! My baby is crying, what happened to her one pacifier?” Nakia demanded.
“I lost it on the walk around the trail today. I set it on the bottom cubby part-”
“And I told you time and again that is not stable for the toy to stay in. How many times did it fall out where we luckily found it again, eh? Ohh, T’Challa…” Nakia lays back, clutching her forehead in duress.
T’Challa’s kimoyo beads light up. “Kumkani, I am here.” Okoye has arrived.
T’Challa trots downstairs as he opens the doors for Okoye. “I am so glad you are here. Could you watch the baby while I go look-”
Okoye gives him a side eye. “You think I am here to help you look for that thing? It is long gone, now where is she?”
T’Challa points in confusion. “Her nursery, but-”
Okoye heads upstairs swiftly as T’Challa remains close behind. Okoye approaches the crib, smiling at the hysterical child.
“Ohh, now look how you are acting, Princess Orisa.” Okoye, picks her up gently, laying her in her arms. “No need to be that way. You are just too spoiled for your own good, what have I told you?”
Orisa’s cries melt into a whimper as she looks up to Okoye.
“No one likes a privileged monarch. Granted, you can’t avoid that completely, but crying when no harm has come to you is a bit selfish little one.” Okoye sits down on the rocking chair.
T’Challa is stunned by the development. “How…what…”
“Go on to bed, kumkani. I have her under control. I will ask for you if I need you.” Okoye continues to speak to a soothed Orisa as he walks off to join Nakia.
Nakia was half asleep when he rolled into bed with her. “What are you doing, where is Orisa?”
“With Okoye in the nursery. Apparently they share a bond.”
Nakia sighs, clutching their blanket. “Even Okoye is better with her, and she has no children, no husband, is a hardened military general-”
T’Challa shushes her as her hugs her into him. “Now, give our friend some credit. She may be without her own, but she is wonderful with children in the village. She was a great help to us tonight.”
Nakia nods. “You are right. T’Challa, why have I become like this? My greatest fear realized, I have mommy brain and mood swings and it’s just overwhelming.”
T’Challa hugs his wife even tighter. He did notice a change in her since having Orisa, but figured it was normal because Orisa was not an easy child to rear.
“Nakia, I love you so much and I thank Bast everyday for you being my partner. Orisa is lucky to have half of you as part of her, which may be why she is so bratty…”
Nakia elbows him, chuckling a little.
“But do you think we may need to seek counsel? It couldn’t hurt, and I would be with you if needed, just to make sure everything is alright.” T’Challa whispers.
“That would be fine. T’Challa, I am feeling your necessity more and more…it is new to me, from being so independent.”
“You still are quite a bit. That’s why Okoye is here. Ask for help when you can, call me. We have plenty of family and loved ones who will help up when given the chance.”
Nakia looks back at T’Challa, bringing his face down to hers for a moment of affection before sleeping the best they have in weeks.