Its raining outside, you turn on the television and you get the end credits of Roary the Racing Car. My first day post-operative day without hubby. The wound is bleeding, mmm, that’s not good. Never mind, the Mother – in -Law will appear soon.
Fast forward a couple of hours and I find myself standing in Stockwood Discovery Centre with the Mother-in -law. Unfortunately they have an exhibition on the British Postal Service, including a toddler ride on Postman Pat Van. “I don’t put money in those things,” I hint to the M-I-L. She takes the hint. We only have to stand there for half an hour. You can climb aboard some of the the carriages at Stockwood. Its not good to going during the school holidays, Toddler boy climbed aboard, seven seven years olds felt they should join him. I stood there in fear.
On our return, I had a phone call from the very swanky bed shop. Your credit card has been declined. “It can’t have been, its new. Toddler boy wants his bed. Celebrities endorse it. I’ll phone the credit card company, thanks.” On to Egg Credit cards, for once I navigated their system. Eventually I spoke to someone;
” Yes we do have all your details, you have credit in your account, we closed it last week”.
“WHAT!, You see I’m trying to buy something…”
“Nothing we can do I’m afraid and you can’t open another account with us for a year”
“WHAT!” A number of expletives ran through my mind.
Not to worry I have a John Lewis card, it just needs activating. Again, another series of questions successfully key-padded.
“Your card has not been activated recently so we cancelled it”
“What” OFGS, GRRRRRRRR. That’s teenage speak, to express my slight aggravation.
Meanwhile, in the living room, Toddler boy is bouncing around the Mother-in-Law on the sofa, in a manner only allowed by grandparents. There is a sudden spell of silence followed by a wail. I rush over, Toddler boy has passed out and is now screaming blue murder. This continues for about fifteen minutes despite being offered crisps, chocolate, sweeties and lollipops.
I phone the doctors; “Take him to the Minor Injuries unit”
I take him to the minor injuries unit which as its the NHS has a 30 minute parking limit and sees patients in 40 minutes or so. I have to go and speak to the man in the box about the parking. Whilst I’m away, an aggravated nurse wants to deal with Toddler Boy. I can’t be in two places at once. “You need to take him to A & E” Why, oh, why didn’t I just take him there in the first place, I think to myself. All the time wondering if there is a deepening red stain around my middle.
At baby A & E, Toddler boy decides he can walk, a bit, to the Fireman Sam Fire Engine. The nurse sees this. We have caught him out. Still, she advises its worth waiting to see the doctor, so I wait, for a long time. During the last ten minutes of my stay, a chav family come in. Six people for one toddler is a bit extreme. “Hes got a really high temperature” Oh God, I think to myself. A few members of the family and the child go off with the nurse. They are stupid. The child returns without his T-Shirt. He steals the Fire Engine from us, polluting the nearby air with his disease. Because I consider myself Middle Class, I say “Don’t worry, not a problem, no really, its fine”. That is not what I am thinking.
The Doctor sees the boy “Bring him back in three days if he is still not walking properly, I don’t want to irradiate him unnecessarily”. As I walk past the nurses station they say “Swine Flu”.
I return home. I ever so slightly burn the Pasta with spinach, sweetcorn and Gruyere. No-one notices. There is some new boy in Eastenders. There’s blood on my Pyjamas from the wound. I think I need some drugs. Deep breaths. And, that is the essence of life in the UK today.