Today required a trip to the Doctors again. What with injections, female rubbish and all the usual childhood ailments of my offspring, I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time at our surgery. If I ever got a chance to choose the next surgery we could join and not just gratefully pounce on the only one accepting people, I would do a tour of all the options and then pick the one that had a comfortable and interesting waiting room in which we could while away the hours. Due to the area surrounding our Doctor's Surgery (I don't want to be rude but it is really not glamorous) a large number of the patients are the type of people who allow their children to walk off with the toys and books in the 'children's area' which means that a few weeks after any new toys are left, they are gone again. For the last few months I have noticed that they have now stopped bothering to add any new toys and so we are finally left with a large and broken plastic toadstool, a wooden cooker and a plastic baby cube in the sparse, plastic chair-filled waiting room. These toys have been here for years - I suppose because they are too big for anyone to surreptitiously walk out with hidden under their buggy - and therefore hold very little appeal to my children which means that all they have to entertain themselves with is the plastic chairs. The whole situation is particularly saddening and yet again, reminds me of how different life is in the country. At my mother's local surgery (admittedly a drive rather than a walk away if I was trying to be 'glass half full' about it all) the children's area has the most amazing array of fabulous toys and books, all well cared for and clean, in a nice carpeted area. The children and I actually enjoy a visit to this Surgery and the exciting toy section, which is lucky as we have to go almost every time we visit my mother's. G has an amazing ability to store up all illnesses for when we go to Suffolk - in the last few years there has been at least three ear infections, a chest infection and the Chicken Pox - and these are just the ones I remember - there could easily be more. We are off for half term next week and I'm thinking I should get mum to pre-book our emergency appointment now.
So, this morning I was at the Docs for Ted whose lungs are once again 'crook' (I've gone all Neighbours on you). I have spent the last few nights not sleeping for more than a few hours at a time due to Ted's amazing coughing and spluttering. I have been administering his inhaler religiously (he HATES it) but it wasn't making much difference and last night he was sick with all the coughing so after another sleepness night I awoke this morning and used the exciting new automated booking system to make an appointment (small things amaze me at 7am in the morning - finding out we could now use a computer to book a Doctor's appointment at all hours of the day and night instead of the randomised first past the post 7am battle I have usually had to fight - was almost mind blowing. I attempted to wake K up to tell him of the new exciting automated booking system but he clearly has a higher threshold for excitement and remained resolutely asleep). By 10 0'clock this morning Ted's chest infection was confirmed. I sort of already knew that he had one and instantly felt 'the guilt' for not taking him for diagnosis sooner - although in my considerable defence he was still running around as normal and getting in to all kinds of trouble so I didn't think it could be that serious. As penance for not taking him sooner, I rang my mother. Sure enough, she said 'I told you so', having heard him coughing down the phone on Wednesday. Then, when I told her the Doctor had said I shouldn't have been giving him Ibuprofen because it doesn't help chests she tried to talk but kept stopping herself in an annoyoing manner suggesting that she didn't feel I could 'cope' with hearing what she was going to say. Eventually she managed to finish a sentence and accused me of being far too 'free and easy' with medicating the children and told me I needed to be more careful - I give it out to Bea 'as if it were sweets'. I admit I have ever so slightly misused Medised in the past and actually the present, but I feel accusing me of over dosing the children was a little harsh. I was so troubled by her accusations I double checked the date on the Ibuprofen we were last prescribed and it was a 100ml bottle from March. Each dose is 5ml (plus at least 1 ml of spillage per dose) which means that even if I hadn't spilt a drop that is only twenty doses divided by three children in just over six months. I am pretty sure with these statistics I cannot fall in to the drug-abusing mother category. Still, phone call completed I felt justly punished for my negligent mothering over Ted and carried on to a lunch party for a newly three year old. Ted didn't seem that affected by either the temperature or the constant wheeze from his chest infection so it seemed silly to cancel. (That and I knew there was Cava, pancakes and cakes available so he would have had to be extremely sick for me not to attend.)
After I ate myself fat at the party (I ate the children's pancakes as well as the adult mozzarella salad on top of a number of cakes - not literally - that would be weird even for me, although I did on my Hen Weekend make a cold Coq au Vin and Mayo sandwich which I thought was perfectly normal behaviour but the reaction of everyone else would seem that it wasn't) there wasn't enough time to go home before the school run so I took a sleeping Ted to the cafe and had a wonderful half an hour of silence reading The Sun and drinking Diet Coke in the actual sun. It felt very decadent and amazingly peaceful before the chaos of the school pick up.
Upon pick up I learnt that the BIG news of today's day of learning was that Bea is NOT going to be playing her recorder in the ridiculously STUPID harvest festival. (Gasp) A few weeks ago, after three terms of expensive recorder lessons, Bea and I were thrilled to learn that she was finally going to be playing as part of the recorder group in the (painful for me) school concert. Finally, I thought, after two years of sitting through numerous recorder recitals by other people's children, I could sit on a child's chair in a hot and stuffy hall beaming with pride at my very own offspring playing a painfully slow version of 'The Grand Old Duke of York'. However, today she has been unceremoniously dropped. Now I know how Cheryl Cole must have felt. And Kelly Brook. It is upsetting. Bea has admitted to being upset about it several times this afternoon which makes me feel terrible. After a while I couldn't take her upset any longer and decided to PR the situation. I sat her down and informed her that the people who were allowed to play in the concert had clearly been spending an awful lot of time practising their poxy recorders whilst we have been out having a brilliant amount of fun and excitement over recent weekends which means that in fact, we are the winners and they are massive, sad losers. So, we have decided that when the recorder group stands up to play the bloody Grand old Duke of Sodding York, sans Bea, she will look at me and I will make the universal sign of the loser and we will laugh happily together. (I also, and I feel a little guilty over this one, told Bea that the poor woman was actually a rather rubbish teacher and that I will soon find her a 'proper' teacher for one on one teaching. I am deseperately worried that Bea might pipe up in the next lesson and tell the poor woman my thoughts on her lack of teaching ability. I DO hate confrontation and she has my email address.)
I am loathed to leave you as it means we are getting ever closer to a whole flipping day talking about Weight Watchers tomorrow. 'Training'. The very word makes me think of Bras, potties and long days spent in hotel conference rooms talking about losing weight. If I never spend another day in a sodding hotel conference room it will be too soon. Tomorrow is far too soon. I'll take a pad and pencil to write down anything amusing for your delectation. In the mean time I hope you will enjoy your Saturdays even more, safe in the knowledge that I am imprisoned in a room in Bexleyheath and that you are not. Sob. xxxxx