It began so well…

It’s the last day of the Easter holidays for us. For our last day, we ended up on one of our many trips to the doctors. I dread this. It’s my last resort.
Managing three in a waiting room for what feels like a day, but is probably 20-30mins, then, once in the surgery the two that aren’t ill launch themselves on the floor and start coughing like they are trying to part with an internal organ, to get the doctor to check them out as well. “I’m really poorly mummy, too”. “Ha, ha sweetheart, you’re fine really. Let the doctor examine your sister” comes my slightly high-pitched, ‘everything’s fine – I’m in control’ response. The doctor and I slowly get louder and louder, conversing above the din made by the now, nearly fitting children on the floor. They throw everything at their performance.

However, today was just a bit better. It seemed to be going well. In the waiting room, despite a lack of bribe snacks, colouring pens and books, they played together, one might say, beautifully. An older lady and her husband were sat waiting nearby and I saw them look at us and whisper to each other, but today, unlike usual, I felt we were getting a good report. The children sang ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ to pass the time and I felt like super mum. Finally it was our turn. There was some quarrelling in the surgery over toys, raised voices, but no feigned illnesses. It was all manageable. I should have known there was worse to come.

The pharmacy is in the same building as the doctors, and there we ran into aforementioned elderly couple. The woman came up to tell me how well behaved my children were and how lovely they played together. It was all a bit dreamlike – and then my time was up. The pharmacist took about ten minutes to get our prescription together and in that time, my children knocked over an entire shelf of toiletries twice (the second time happened as they were trying to help me put it back together) tried to climb the letters in the window display (to be fair, they did look fun to climb on, but that’s not the point) invented a hugging game which resulted in wrestling each other to the ground and managed to send one of the pharmacists flying across the floor as she ventured into the shop to get something from a shelf. It’s not that I was happily letting this happen, it’s just that there’s one of me and three of them, each running in different directions. They had clearly used up all their energy trying to be good for so long. I couldn’t get another rendition of ‘We’re going in a bear hunt’ going and struggled to muster more than 30 seconds of entertainment out of a height chart in the corner. On the plus side, our prescriptions may get pushed to the front of the queue from now on – and I’m sure the pharmacist will recover from her injuries and be walking again soon!

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