“I want Star Wars Lego, Angry Birds toys, a whizzing helicopter and then ….” O is not reciting the first draft of his Christmas List. Although Santa Claus is already watching in our house (Yes, I know it´s July, but desperate times and all that…..) We are on the way to his first ever ……..
Oh yes, today’s holiday activity is um, going to get “pinched” as O later calls it and the deal is to be super brave and then after go and choose a toy. I have failed to mention that the budget in my purse (in my life) is about 3.79, but we can deal with that later.
So, we go into the surgery ready to be “Really really brave , braver than the bravest big boy, Mummy” . We are ushered into the room, where unfortunately all optimism is squashed by the Ice-Queen of nurses. “Hold his legs between your legs ” she barks, slapping the ribbon thingy (sorry – my medical terminology is a bit shot!) around his arm and pulling super tightly. Cue; screaming and O trying to break free. Nothing I say is calming him, I look at the nurse, who , um, goes and answers the phone. O does a runner, I run after him and manage somehow to convince him to come back to “the chair” where things go from worse to worse. The nurse shouts at me for not holding him down properly. I don’t want to go on the defensive, but trying to hold still a writhing, screaming, 18 kilo child is no mean feat. The next thing we know is the nurse taking her gloves off and instructing us to come back at 12 o’ clock, (it later transpires that her shift finishes at 11.59) that now it’s impossible and off she goes to call in the other patient, only she is met by lioness me. Clutching a howling but slightly relieved O, I lock eye contact with her and ask her what exactly she expected , when she did NOTHING to engage with him, to calm him or to reassure him. She looks at me with a glassy stare and says nothing. Having had no less than 3 hours sleep all week, I am quite in the mood for a staring competition, but O has other plans and has wriggled free and is heading for the door.
Once back in the car, O is screaming ” That lady tried to kill me, she wants my skin and bones” “She wants my skin and bones!” he howls repeatedly.(I make a mental note to check episodes of Ben & Holly for murders). I reassure him that she didn’t, that she was probably having a bad day and that we need to go back later so that we can find out what’s making him “oopa”. (He has been ill with the same thing three times this year, and his doctor just wants to check he’s not deficient in something or other)
“No, Mummy, Noooo Muuuuummmmy!” Then amidst the sniffles “Oh! Can we go and get a present now?”
“No O, but after they check your blood then yes.” He is understandably not impressed and seems to think that that ordeal was in fact the actual blood test.
Fast forward a few fraught and tear-filled hours and a phone call from S, saying that he would take him at 12 , we are now outside the clinic. O is howling and saying ” Tell Daddy not to take me…” S is being uncharacteristically (in these situations) calm , instructs me to wait outside and in he goes with a hysterical child over his shoulder. I sit in the car, and cry ( i am prone to crying at the best of times , especially when children sing, ANY child, not just mine). Couple that with being zonked and there is no hope .
As a parent, all you want is for your children to be safe at all times and to only have contact with nice, friendly people. People like you , people who will make the children the centre of their universe (cos’ they are , aren’t they?) But is this healthy? Joining in with O, saying that the Nurse was naughty and not very nice. Should I just have said that this is in fact life and not everybody claps their hands and takes photos every time they put on their shoes or smear yoghurt on their faces. Am I doing him a huge disservice? Yes, that nurse was particularly gruesome but her and a zillion other people in the real world. Anyway, my meloncholiness was cut short by a beaming, giggling O and a rather smug looking S . “I was soo brave Mummy! I breathed in and out like I was blowing candles and look what they gave me! ” He says sticking his arm out proudly, to show off his shiny plasters. “Present now, Mummy?”
I take his photo and scrabble around in the glove compartment for money.