19 February, 2009

Brats In The Waiting Room

So I bit the bullet and went to see the doctor today. This was not my usual doctor (who was away). I waited a long time... but I expected this, so no biggy. I don't mind waiting, seriously, but what I can't stand is Bored Kids.

Today we had five different varieties. The first was Well Behaved Baby. Baby was about 12 months old. Daddy looked after baby on his lap. Daddy was patient, talked to baby, let baby stand on his legs and played games. This baby gets a gold star. Daddy gets two gold stars. Even Mummy gets one despite taking off her shoes and folding her legs on the sofa.

The second was Normal Kid. Normal kid was a little girl about four years old. The worst she did was get bored enough to circle the sofa chairs, walking between the backs and the window (tapping me on the head as she went past, just to make sure I noticed her). Normal kid did not scream, throw a tantrum, or run. But the way that her mother yelled, you'd think she had set fire to the curtains or something. I think Normal was just used to letting her mother go and quietly doing her own thing.

Then we have Spoilt Brat. Spoilt Brat is also about three or four years old, dressed entirely in pink, is overweight, has food stains all down the front of her, looks like she has slept in her braids for the last three days, and is not wearing any shoes. (Did I mention the carpet is something I wouldn't dare walk barefoot on?) Spoilt Brat also has a bottle of Coke in her chubby grubby hands, and wanders around alternatively whining and swigging from the bottle. When my son opened his tiny pack of cheese and crackers, Spoilt Brat sat right next to him on the sofa, stared at his food, then coughed all over him.

Spoilt Brat also got very bored. There are no books, no toys, no play equipment, not even a tv showing kid shows, to entertain her. So she starts walking on the sofas from one chair to the next. When this is no longer interesting, she walks behind them. She gets stuck, and begins wailing. Her mother lifts her out, kid climbs straight back in and gets stuck again. This time her mother pulls the armchair just out from the wall so she can get in and out - Brat decides she can now rearrange all the furniture in the room. When she pulls one armchair from next to another patient, slides it around and inserts it back to front, then climbs over, sits on the floor behind him and starts singing loudly, he gets annoyed and walks over to the other side of the room. Brat's mother mutters something about a smack if she doesn't stop. Brat begins an all out tantrum, jumping and stomping and screaming and yelling her damaged little voice out at the top of her lungs (it's obvious she does this often, just by hearing her half-voice as she screams).

The fourth and fifth kids were brothers. I noticed Chubby Baby first. Chubby Baby was wearing nothing but a nappy and a singlet. It was hardly a hot day, either. Chubby Baby was crawling all over the carpet that I wouldn't walk barefoot on. In between bursts of crawling he would put his hands in his mouth. Mmm, tasty.

His elder brother, perhaps three, was well-behaved. Big Brother was sick as a dog. I felt sorry for the little mite. My sympathy was only offered while he stayed a good five metres from me, however. The kid had a perpetually-runny nose, and constantly wiped it on his right arm-sleeve, evidenced by the horrible brown muck on only one sleeve of his shirt. He coughed non-stop as well, those wet snot-coughs only small children can do, where bacteria-laden green phlegm explodes from both orifices for maximum travelling distance.

The brothers' mother then changed Chubby's nappy - in the waiting room. And I KNOW there is a baby change table in the disabled toilet.

It was a most pleasant wait, I assure you.