I was in the Doctor’s office yesterday. No worries – just a checkup. I should live for another 65 years.
There was a young boy making trouble for his mother. I can’t judge age. He was shorter than my walker, had a pacifier in his mouth and trundled around the room with confidence and speed, but still a little wobble.
I think waiting rooms are a special kind of torture for the young. At least it seemed that way for me as a child. Full of people who are studiously ignoring each other and generally not talking. It is like an elevator that you are in for twenty minutes. Certainly not a natural state of being. Kids pick up on the awkward stillness. Plus they are naturally curious in a place where curiosity is not encouraged. Finally, there is nothing for them to do.
This child seemed to have a special instinct for actions that would make his mother uncomfortable. She was also minding the child’s elder brother. The older boy would take her distraction as an excuse to emulate his younger sibling. It was an amusing case of the older taking his cue from the younger.
The boy, the younger one, started by playing with the flap n the garbage can lid.
“Don’t touch the garbage child. It’s dirty,” cautioned his mother. Every once and a while the Doctor’s receptionist’s would echo to call. The child would pause and carefully regard the speaker. He had clear blue eyes that took in the area like a hunting bird. Pause completed he’d push the flap again. He understood and he wasn’t insouciant, but he wasn’t about to obey either.
Two tries verbellay and then mom would get up and pick him up and carry him over to his brother. Or try. The brother would have taken that opportunity to wander off himself. But he would return with a call.
To keep the babe put would have required restraining him and then he would have kicked up a fuss. He was quite happy so long as he was worrying his mom. After the garbage can he came over to play with the brake cables on my walker. Then he tried to wander behind the front desk and watch the ladies work.
Each time his mom would call. Once or twice. She’d be ignored respectfully and the boy would take fetching and then the elder would wander off himself just to be called back.
The tot would circle from one forbidden part of the room to another, trying them in turn – perhaps hoping that they would no longer be off limits. He could really move when required and once managed to slip off down the hallway towards the examination rooms with his mom in hot pursuit.
I’m not sure what made him happier. The exploration or the disobedience or worrying his mother. Another mom came in with a newborn. “Another 12 months and this will be your life too,” said mom one to mom two as she again wrangled her pair.
The whole scenario just put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.