Hospitals and wake-up calls
M had to go to hospital for a blood test today. Nothing serious, I might add.
I had to pull out my best parenting moves to get him out the front door. At three and a half, he’s old enough to remember his last vaccination – and whilst the jab itself wasn’t painful, he spent the following few days clutching his bruised arm and crying every time we had to take a jumper or T-shirt off. He’s not the bravest with minor injuries.
So I had to actually drag him sobbing out the door this time. He’s not generally a dramatic or tantrumming little person, so I’m still learning how to play him in these situations. He cried all the way in the car… “I don’t want to have a jab, Mummy, I just don’t want to!” in the saddest voice you’ve ever heard. It was a real pull on the heart strings as he was quite level headed about it through the big sobs and trying-to-be-brave intakes of breath… “But the doctor might not need to do it today / can you tell him that I’m scared? / I want to go to soft play first (carrot-dangled post-trauma treat)”.
Anyway, I didn’t do too badly at appeasing him. He was a bit calmer when we got there, but I was a little stressed and flappy from all the cajoling and energy I’d burnt up with reassuring chat. As well as tired baby wrangling.
Then we found the children’s ward and it hit me in the face.
‘It’ – being how bloody lucky we are.
We’re just merrily coming along for a 15 minute in-and-out blood test, yes M was a bit upset about it but he’s fit and healthy. Yet some of the children on this ward have been in hospital all over Christmas. Some are very poorly.
I had such a rush of mixed emotions – after all, blood tests are normally done in doctors or soul-less clinics. But we walked onto Oak Ward, and were hit with smiley doctors and nurses, beautiful Christmas trees, big Santas and tinsel aplenty, paintings, Lego, air hockey (I know!), books, a play-kitchen, craft table, ride-on cars…
M was beside himself, declaring at one point (post drama-free blood test I might add) that “this is the BEST hospital ever!” and I couldn’t help but agree with him. What an incredibly warm and fun place for children…
If they weren’t in hospital in the first place.
So let’s put everything into perspective folks. And wish all those poorly little people and their parents who haven’t had a very happy Christmas, a happier and healthier new year.
Thanks and hats off to all the staff on Oak Ward at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, who were very smiley, very Christmassy and very cool about me mentioning them in a blog post.