A daily photo-blog of my life as an American transplanted in the UK.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Year 2 Day 22: Uncontainable?
Welcome to the little game I get to play each time I have an appointment with the midwife. This is the teeny tiny receptacle that the doctor's surgery and hospital here provide for patients to use to otherwise carry their urine sample to appointments. Pleasant, I know. The best part of it is, the opening to this small container is the size of a British 10p coin (coincidentally roughly the same as a US quarter).
Riddle me this: HOW is someone, say 7.5 months pregnant and with a protruding 34 cm bump, supposed to navigate a stream of wee directly into the opening when, no matter how this person contortions their body, can't even SEE their own HAND?! I'd probably have enough trouble filling it with a trickle of water at the tap! The only conclusion that I have come to is that this must be a conspiracy, specifically against pregnant women, to wind us up and have a good laugh. Well, HA HA HA!
Seriously?! Pass me the Dixie cup already, doc!
Speaking of all things medical...I had my 33-week appointment this afternoon with the midwife (supposed to be done for 34 weeks, but had to go a week early as she is on holiday next week). I arrived on time, checked in, and went through the glass doors to the waiting room across from reception. There was another couple there already, sitting on a bench in the centre of the room. I sat on a chair on the perimeter knowing my wait wouldn't be long as my midwife, Rachel, tends to be efficient.
Moments after I sat down, four children came bursting through the door of the waiting room like a herd of elephants. A girl looking to be about 12, a boy about 10, a roughly 8-year-old girl, and another little girl who couldn't have been more than two. The toddler immediately went over to the small toy area and the eldest girl picked up and began thumbing through a magazine. The middle two children then proceeded to run, chasing each other in circles around the tiny room (also around the couple sitting in the middle). I wondered if the kids might belong to them, but as soon as I saw their surprised faces, I realised they didn't.
Just as soon as they swooped in upon us, the four of them were back out the door and running down the hall nearly tripping over one another. They disappeared around the corner and into one of the GP's rooms. I looked towards the reception for a witness, but saw another patient had arrived and was checking in, so no one must have seen the chaotic display. Then I looked at the couple in the room with me and they both shrugged and shook their heads.
Within the next five minutes the room filled up quickly with several more people and the reception area got a bit crowded with a queue of people checking in. Low and behold, the children (who I then determined were raised OBVIOUSLY by wolves) returned to the waiting room -- this time seemingly much better-behaved. However, it didn't last long before the same two began their chase again. It went on for 3-4 minutes and I looked around the room waiting for someone to speak up and tell them off. Instead, some people looked down while others rolled their eyes or shifted uncomfortably in their chairs. It was clear they were all prepared to sit and accept this annoyance and not say a word -- but I could not speak the same for myself. I'm American after all and I definitely speak my mind, even if not always out loud.
I looked again desperately towards reception and saw a crowd still around the desk, so there was no way the receptionist was going to notice to do anything about it. I even glanced down the hall to where the owner of these heathens was in one of the rooms behind a closed door, but they were oblivious to the behaviour. So I felt I had no choice and appointed myself.
In a firm and steady tone, without shouting, I said, "Excuse me. Is it really necessary for the two of you to be running around the room chasing each other the way you are?"
::insert the sound of crickets here::
They stopped mid-run, nearly knocking the other over and just stared at me with wide-gaping jaws. Then they looked around the room and noticed every single eye was on them. No sooner did I speak than an announcement came over the PA for me to go to room number 4, please. So, I stood up, still glaring at the children (who hadn't even moved from when I spoke) and I said to the room, "I'm really sorry, but it was bothering me and I felt something needed to be said since they have no supervision." Then I turned and left the silent room.
When I rounded the corner, I noticed the two children had exited the waiting area through the other doors and started to break into a run down the hall towards me and also towards the room where I could see a door cracked and a woman was sitting talking to a doctor. I stopped and gave them a total "teacher stare" and like deer in headlights they stopped again and the expressions fell from their faces. I looked slowly to the open door before looking back at them and threw up my hands saying, "Seriously?!"
Then I turned and walked on to room 4 where Rachel was waiting to take my blood pressure.
I had to give her fair warning that it may be up a bit and explained why. Despite the adrenaline rush from telling off the brats my blood pressure was a normal 130/70 and the appointment went well. Bunny is still head-down like a good little boy and she said my bump is growing nicely.
In the end I must say, I wouldn't normally have spoken up myself, but the kids were honestly starting to work my nerves. I appreciate children will be children, but they were old enough to know better. Had there been an adult looking after them in the room, or at least in the immediate vicinity, I would have let them handle it or at the very least, asked them to ask the children to stop. The last thing I needed though was for a 60 lb. child to come barrelling into my belly because they were carelessly messing about with no adult to intervene. I can only imagine what the small British population thought of me and my assertiveness when I left that room.
After two and a half years in a long-distance relationship, I packed my life of 29 years into 21 boxes and moved to England to marry and be with my husband, Matt. Now I'm reveling in the youth of my 30s in Great Britain, supply-teaching in primary schools near Birmingham and enjoying newlywed life, being a mommy, and all the surprises they bring!