Today, Squeak had a routine hospital appointment. When she had her one year check, the nurse noticed that she has uneven leg creases. So we had to go and get her hips x-rayed, and looked at by a consultant.
I was fairly unbothered by this. Big Girl had the same check done when she was small, and it turned out to be fine. Mostly, I was just irked about the amount of faffing required to get there.
To get to the appointment on time, we had to leave the house soon after picking Little Girl up. I don’t drive, due to having the spatial awareness of a drunken bum and the coordination of a sedated donkey. So bus it was. The bus route to the hospital takes bloody ages as it goes all over the place, so we had to leave early.
I could see so many ways that this journey could go wrong. So I did what I always do, and obsessively planned ahead. I had lunch and snacks packed for hunger and distraction purposes. I had toys and drinks, plus all the regular baby stuff. For me, this is just a couple of nappies, a pack of wipes and a change of clothes. I like to travel light.
I was pretty sure I had covered every potential disaster area. In my head, it was all going to go swimmingly, and I would look like the organised and capable mother that I am (in my head.)
And, as always, I still fucked up.
I can’t say I was particularly surprised by this. Prior to leaving, I even pondered posting a little message on my Facebook page, along the lines of, “Off to the hospital with Squeak and Little Girl for a routine appointment. I wonder which kid will embarrass me today?”
It’s like I’m psychic, or something. Something being ‘resigned to chaos inevitably following me wherever I go.’
I’ll leave you to pick.
It started off well. Despite Little Girl’s unrelenting urge to scoot with no feet on the ground, which makes things rather slow-going, we got home in plenty of time. The food was already prepared, so all I had to do was change Little Girl’s clothes and we were ready to head to the bus stop.
I was feeling a little smug, I can tell you.
The first thing that went wrong happened just after we got on the bus. The brakes on Squeak’s pram jammed, for no apparent reason. So I had to stand for the 40 minute journey, holding it in place with my inadequate leg muscles. My favourite bit was when the pram repeatedly slammed into my poor shins, which are already bruised and battered from many scooter-carrying injuries.
Still, I totally nailed it. Kids were fed, and we got to our appointment just in time.
After a bit of a wait, we were taken through to get her hips x-rayed. And that, my dear friends, is where it began to fall apart a bit.
I think I’ve mentioned that Squeak is going though the separation anxiety stage at the moment. This has made her really cautious of strangers. She’s fine as long as she’s with me, and they don’t look at her or touch her.
Which is totally achievable in most circumstances. A hospital appointment, as you can imagine, is not on the list.
As soon as I lay her down on the bed in the x-ray room, she began to scream at the very top of her lungs. Nothing I did made her feel better. She just really, really didn’t want to be messed with.
The radiographer showed me how to hold her still. I had to stretch her legs out completely straight, and keep them there until the x-ray was done. A piece of cake it was not. Somehow, Squeak had the strength of ten men, and she was fucking furious with me. I felt like I was holding down an irradiated baby octopus.
The radiographers retreated behind their screen. One said, “Have you got her completely still?”
“Yes!” I called. What I mean was, “I have no goddamn idea. Maybe?”
But my faux confidence must have been plausible, as they went ahead. And thankfully, it worked. Because there was no way I was doing that again.
Off we went, back to the clinic to wait for the consultant. Squeak was royally pissed off by this point. I think she sensed that we were not done yet.
The examination went exactly as I predicted. She yelled and kicked and threw herself about as the consultant tried to check her. He was trying to teach a student how to do it, but I’m fairly sure she didn’t hear a damn thing.
I can’t help but have a lot of sympathy for Squeak. The poor kid was scared shitless.
No, I mean that literally.
As this whole thing was going on, she managed to crap through every single nappy I had brought with me.
Don’t even ask me how. Don’t even ask.
My feelings of smuggery had become a bit tattered around the edges, but at this point they completely evaporated.
I managed to get her calmed down and happy by giving her a feed in the Reception area, but the stench remained. I racked my brains, but I only had one option.
No, it wasn’t fashioning a nappy out of my t-shirt. I may be resourceful, but I have my limits.
And it’s fucking January!
The bus journey home was a nauseatingly unpleasant sensory experience. Seriously, I feel bad for the passengers. The air was thick with the smell of the Devil’s faeces and strawberries.
Oh, they had strawberries for a snack. As convenient as it would be, I do not exude air-freshening pheromones on demand. And if I did, based on this experience I would emphatically not choose strawberry as my scent.
Squeak had the overwhelming audacity to fall asleep before we got home. Now, full nappy or no full nappy, there’s no way I’m waking that kid up.
Nope. Sorry. Not happening.
So I had to wait until she woke up to rid the house of that revolting object. I was starting to think that even strawberry pheromones would do, for now. Eventually, and assisted by a loud and dramatic tantrum from Little Girl, she roused. I am happy to say that I then rid the world of the closest thing to hell I’ve ever encountered.
I am surprised at my naivete, in thinking that anything will ever go according to plan. But I like to think that it’s best to be hopeful, just occasionally.
I might hold back on the smuggery next time, though.
And possibly, invest in some body armour. I suppose you can never be too prepared.