Monday, July 11, 2005

Hush Little Baby...

Such a busy shift today...as is any Monday. This is the day that every man and his dog needs to come to see our doctors, regardless of whether they belong to our surgery or not. Every morning pre-schoolers come in to have their meningiccocal vaccines, there is always extra noise. A mum brought in her wee 1 yr old boy to see the doc, she had two other young children with her....she was holding the baby and trying to read a story to the other two youngsters....the baby was gripey and basically crying the whole time in her ear. She ignored him and continued reading...funny how we tend to shut out noises like this when we're used to hearing them.

I couldn't stop myself any longer....I got up from behind the desk, went and basically severed the bubble of this family of four....and plucked that child right out of Mum's arms. He was beautiful...so tiny for 12 months old. Obviously I asked Mum if I could hold him...I didn't want her thinking I was grabbing and running off with him. I told her how much I loved little babies....held her son, cooed at him and walked him around for a little while....went down the back, showed him off to one of the nurses like a wee trophy..."Ha! Look what I've got!"

Double bonus.....he stopped crying the moment I picked him up (I suspect he just needed the movement) and I got to cuddle yet another baby...yay!) By the time I'd finished rocking him around and singing to him, Mum had finished the book she was reading to her daughters and the doctor was ready to see the baby. I had to give him back...boo.

Mothers with young children are part of my day at work all the time. I see them coming in, sometimes looking rather tired and harrassed, trying to keep their brood happy and under control. Sometimes failing. I often wonder how they do it...most of the time they seem calmly accepting that this is how things are for now. Then I remember....I was one of those Mums....my boys are only 19 months apart, so there was a time in my life when toddler behaviour ruled my household. I remember trying to take the two of them shopping with me...best of friends they were...so trying Mum's patience was pretty high on the list. Both competitive souls...I would play a game with them...."Quick! Come sit right here!" *pointing to a safe, out of the way, corner of the store*...."Let's play a game....the first person who makes a noise loses the game ok?". They'd both nod their heads, park themselves down, eyes sparkling mischeviously and be quiet and still...just long enough for me to finish my purchase.

This obviously can't be played too frequently....only for those particular days when you can't handle hearing any more noise, or it looks like other shoppers are getting flustered by little people rushing around getting in the way. The bottom line is, regardless of how much hard work it was...how dirty I got with sandpits, play dough, finger painting etc....I wouldn't trade those years in for anything.

As we're wiping the snot that's mixed with sand from their faces....as we're holding their hands under the tap, cleaning off the spaghetti they've squished between their fingers....and as we're holding them, both of us naked in the shower, washing all manner of caked food out of their hair and earholes....we're having the time of our lives. How can we not be? We scrulptured those little faces with a million tender kisses during those years....we're the first people to make them smile and laugh...the first people to hear their first words.

Yep, despite the sleepless nights, the energy draining from us and the fact that we had to keep going and going like the Energizer bunny....it's worth every stinky, soggy minute of it.

Love always is.
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