I went for my last immunotherapy appointment yesterday and as usual my two sweet little trolls were in tow.
Usually when mentioning them in reference to a doctors visit I might call them ‘cheeky devils’ or ‘naughty little nessies’. They are children after all, and my children. I can hardly blame them for struggling to sit still or for making their father look like a total ass. But they pushed me to the edge this time.
It always starts off the same way as we pull into the car park. Nikita shrieking and moaning that she doesn’t want a needle. Siena requesting a needle. Me remonstrating with Nikita that it doesn’t hurt and it’s just a little prick but regardless, neither of them are getting a needle as it’s for daddy.
We saunter into the rooms and I am momentarily distracted by the baffling observation of a child sitting quietly next to his mother. Some unsuspecting people look over with twinkled eyes and half smiles, indicating possible naive thoughts such as how cute or that’s sweet.
Siena heads straight over to the little rickety toy rocking horse before Nikita announces to me (and the rest of the practice) that she needs a drink of water. I begin to deny the request (best not to start pandering to demands the minute we get into the door) but the kind lady behind the desk has already agreed in the same breath, and Nikita is stalking over with her to the staff room.
‘Nikita that’s the workers room. Stay outside while the nice lady gets the water for…Siena!’
My youngest has managed to take advantage of the distraction with supreme efficiency. By the time I notice her, she’s wrist deep in the staff lolly basket retrieving a Redskin. Nikita’s there at teleport speed with the lady simpering along behind, offering a kind smile and an ‘it’s all right’. My eldest grabs herself a Milko while at the same time giving the room a hawk eyed once over for other opportunities.
We thank the kind lady and head back to our seats, the two ‘dears’ crowding around, awaiting the opened treats. They bite half each before offering each other a bit of theirs. I block the gesture claiming that they are both sick and shouldn’t be swapping germs (like that makes any real sense). I only have time to witness a second of the mastered, guilt inducing, disappointed looks, before I am taken by an overwhelming need to visit the unisex toilet. This isn’t going to be a quick visit.
‘Girls stay here on these chairs, Daddy needs to head to the toilet.’
Not 3 minutes in to conducting my business I hear a struggling with the door knob.
‘Daddy? Daddy are you there?’
‘Yes Nik’? Just hang on. I’m coming.’
‘But I need to tell you something.’
‘Siena. Um. Um. Um. Siena ate my lolly.’
Grrrrrrrr. ‘I. Will. Sort. It. Out. When. I. Come. Out.’
I emerge, avoiding all possible eye contact, while honing in on the saddened face distorted by the weight of a heavy lower lip and a scornful frown, directed at the red mouthed gremlin on the rocking horse.
I take the gremlin off the horse which she is violently abusing and sit her down on the chair next to me. The forlorn figure of my eldest is in the other seat looking on expectantly.
‘Siena, did you eat Nikita’s lolly?’
Silent eyes point to the ground. Another lower lip descends. A string of dribble sparkles at the point of no return.
‘Siena. Did you eat the rest of Nikita’s lolly?’
Silence and stubbornness is followed by an almost indiscernible nod.
‘Right. Well, when we get home, Nikita’s going to have another lolly and you aren’t going to get one.’
The mouth opens into a Scream mask and in consistent character, remains momentarily silent. The dribble then stretches down to the carpet followed by a sound that begins as a low keening, and ends in a full blown, heavy based moaning of sorrow out-poured.
Once again I avoid all external eye contact as I look to my oldest for a glimpse of the satisfaction of justice served.
I am rewarded with a surly and distant look.
I turn back to remonstrate with her sister, whispering with venom through gritted teeth…
‘If you don’t stop crying, you’ll go straight into the naughty corner when you get home.’
She starts to quiet down and I turn back to her victim. Little miss petulance’s response to having been so wronged, has been to rip her little Styrofoam cup into tiny little pieces. She stands there lost in a world of anger and litter.
I barely contain my own anger as I rasp ‘Nikita!’, fitfully picking up the mess.
As I turn back, the young one is playing a new game called lets stand on the magazines.
I rip her off and the cover rips away. I tuck it below an ancient issue of Time.
Mercifully, my name is called.
I order the hell’s minions to follow me to the nurses room, smacking at wondering hands reaching at ornaments along the way.
I sit and wait for my injection. Siena asks for bubbles. I jump in before the nurse to deny the request and simultaneously burn a look into Nikita which she knows means let go of the F…ing curtain.
She returns my look with contempt and slumps down next to me on the chair, then proceeds to squeal and whine throughout the injection process like a stuck pig as if she herself, was the one receiving the needle. Her sister stares on wide eyed with morbid fascination.
We leave the room after a second rejection of the bubbles.
It sets the next half hour of compulsory observation to be one of chaotic noise, mopy dispositions, and more under the breath threats.
At last, the half hour comes to an end and the nurse inspects my arms, giving me the all clear.
The clinic breathes a collective sigh of relief. The twinkling eyes have all left the building.
I line up at the front desk to check out. A little to hastily, the lady tells me that there’s no need to wait…
…’it’s OK. I’ll push the button for you’…
…’Oh thanks so much’ I say. But as I leave, I cant help but wonder if it was some sort of self serving favour.
We get into the car and I’m finishing of a little rant …
‘…and every time it’s the same thing. You girls just don’t care what Dad…’
‘…hawwwwwk, pfffstt. Pft. Pft. Pft.’
I turn to my left and see the antihistamine tablet that I had lost earlier half chewed, covered in my 3 year old’s saliva and now sitting miserably in the car’s centre console.
We meet eyes. Her face is screwed up. My face is screwed up.
‘One more false move. You both mark my words! One more false move! I wont yell! I wont speak! I will simply put you both to bed without dinneeeeeeeeerrrrrrr!’
They seem worried. Its only the 17th time I’ve said it in the last hour.
I settle down after a while. I judge that I have myself as much as anyone to blame.
A visit to the doctor probably wasn’t the most ideal time to also spend half an hour on the phone to the bank.