Thursday, 7 May 2015

How to wait around with kids

This week we had a trip to the hospital for an x-ray and consultation for Baby A's hip. Back when the twins were six months old, they were given x-rays to check their hips for signs of hip dysplasia. Baby J was breech, which was a risk factor for HD, but weirdly he was completely fine and it was Baby A that came up with a questionable result. We have since been for follow-ups and so far all has been fine. However he is strongly pigeon-toed and bow-legged, which has always had me a little paranoid about a hip development issue.
So the twins, Miss P and I headed to the hospital, where I figured it would be similar to the last time we attended - about a 20-30 minute wait, which I planned to wait out patiently with plenty of snacks for the babies and the iPad for Miss P. I thought I had it covered. Miss P would be lost in her games and the babies would eat and chill out in the pram.

It took us 20 minutes to get the x-ray done. No problem, we made it intact. Just.

Then we had to 'check-in', to see the specialist, which took another 20 minutes. By this point, the babies had started to get very whingey, because they were desperate for an explore. I continued pressing sultanas into their hands, a bit gutted that they weren't happy just to sit and watch the busy ward so I could play with my phone.

When we were finally able to check-in, they told me we could be waiting an hour to see the doctor, which is where it got a little hairy. We'd already been there an hour by this point. How on earth was I going to keep these bored, restless kids happy for another hour? I silently fumed and felt my face tighten up with stress. The kids had all had enough of being there and I was running out of ideas to keep them amused.

I pushed the pram around the lounge, hoping this would provide enough entertainment. I tried to let each baby out of the pram for a quick wander, but this was a pain in the arse because they thought it was funny to run off down the busy hospital corridor with me chasing them and leaving the other two kids behind. It was all very hairy.

Thankfully, we were ushered into the doctor's room well before the hour had passed, maybe because they couldn't take the noise from my kids any longer - which admittedly was part of my secret plan.

Once in the doctor's room, we again had to wait. The babies continued to cry and strain against their harnesses, while I desperately hunted through my nappy bag for something interesting for them to play with.

And then I found it. This:

I could have cried with relief. I can't believe I'd forgotten about stashing this little gem months ago, after we'd got it in a party loot bag. I started blowing bubbles and they instantly began to giggle and laugh. So simple! And that reminded me of all the other miniature things I had stashed away in the little pockets of my nappy bag (my memory is a complete sieve these days). I had miniature notepads and tiny packs of pencils and crayons. Specifically for moments like these, when I had to wait around with kids.

So, next time you go to a kids party, go through the loot bag and stash anything that the kids won't immediately miss in your nappy or hand bag for occasions like these. Because let's face it, the stuff you get in party bags is typically going to last ten minutes before it breaks, gets lost amongst the other toys, or rolls under the couch and is never seen again. Don't let the little vials of bubbles and tiny toys go to waste - stash them away and dig them out next time you and the kids are waiting in a cafĂ© or at the doctors. Even if they only buy you ten minutes of time, that is still ten minutes of sanity for you. The same goes for the miniature pencils or crayons kids tend to get in restaurants. Don't leave them on the table at the end of your meal, fill up those tiny internal pockets of your nappy bag! What else are we supposed to put in those sections?

When the doctor arrived and I had to put the bubbles away, the kids reverted back to their noisy, whingey selves but amidst all the commotion I heard him say to me that the x-rays looked absolutely fine. Unfortunately we have to go back in nine months for a final follow-up, but next time I think I'll try to bring just the one child along.....and the bubbles.

What about you - got any great tips to keep the kids happy while you're all waiting around? Do you have any secret weapons stashed in your bag for these moments?

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1 comment:

  1. Bubbles are surprisingly effective for keeping husbands busy, too!