I sometimes absolutely dread going out with my children for fear of what they will say in pleasant company.
I try to limit the damage by only taking one out at a time, but sometimes a double dose is unavoidable.
A trip to the supermarket is bad enough (“oi lady” is Mia’s greeting of choice to fellow shoppers while Dan is asking me (loudly) why that man’s top doesn’t fit all the way over his belly.
Getting their feet measured is another kind of hell I’d rather avoid.
It gets to the stage where I’d rather cut the toes out of their existing shoes to make them last just that little bit longer.
But a trip to the doctor’s surgery is just asking for trouble isn’t it?
Two inquisitive children in a doctor’s waiting room? It’s like the start of a very bad joke, only the joke is always on me.
I’d rather suffer the symptoms and stay well away quite frankly.
“Why is that lady ignoring her baby?” (Mia asking after a mum whose baby is demonstrating what a healthy pair of lungs it has).
“Is that man here because of his weird leg?” (a disabled, older gent who walked in on two crutches and one leg is visibly shorter than the other).
“What’s wrong with her, mummy” All of this is, of course, set at maximum volume..
However, sometimes a trip to the surgery with both of them is unavoidable. And it is never ever ever without incident.
Daniel suffers with hayfever during the summer (not that we’ve had much of one) and I can’t bear to see my little man struggling with symptoms that look like I’ve left him out in the rain all night.
So I have to take him to see the doctor to get him something to help him cope.
And, unable to fob Mia off on anyone, she comes too.
Good news when we arrive – we are in the upstairs waiting room. Yay.
Away from people.Yay.
We are the only ones there. Yay.
But then they get bored of ‘reading’ the pamplets about managing arthritis and how to give up smoking and they start to fidget. Oh no.
They sit really really quietly swinging their legs backwards and forwards, the swing getting higher and higher.
This is a BAD sign.
They are not just bored, they are BORED.
Then someone walks up the stairs.”What’s wrong with her mummy?” Mia points and doesn’t stop pointing until the new patient sits down opposite us.
The patient gives me a weak smile that’s all ‘can’t she control her children?’
“I don’t know Mia.” I try to whisper so as not to make a big deal of it. But Mia sits there on my lap and stares. STARES.
Someone else comes up the stairs but thankfully Mia remains quiet. Just the staring.
“Where is the doctor?”
“In one of these rooms. We will be called when it’s our turn to go in.”
No sooner have I said that than one of the doctors opens a door and calls someone in. It’s not us. Damn.
“That’s not a doctor! That’s a lady”.
This is said very loudly. I pray she didn’t hear, knowing full well she did. And knowing full well that’s the doctor we are due to see.
“Is there something wrong with her?” Another woman has walked up the stairs. The poor thing almost jumps out of her skin at the sight of a small child shooting an accusatory finger at her.
“Why is her eye like that? Is that why she’s here, because of her jammy eye?” (she heard someone say ‘manky’ once and thought it was ‘jammy’. I don’t even think manky is a word and if it is I have no idea if that is how you spell it so I appologise now).
“Can I tell the doctor about my sore twinkle?”
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WILL THE DOCTOR PLEASE CALL US IN NOW . . .
* Originally posted on August 22, 2008.