I was genuinely looking forward to taking my youngest child to the doctors; honest I was. I don’t often get to do the everyday hum-drum things as I’m usually at work, or in hiding, so when the little things like this crop up, I like to do them to help out – particularly if my wife tells me I have to do them to help out. It’s funny how things work out…..
The beauty about a doctors’ appointment is that they are relatively contained affairs with a prearranged time and clear conversational narrative. They are pleasingly terse and business-like and require at most, limited preparation and minimal effort, much like my post-40s love-making stance.
(I should clarify, I do not have a love-making stance, but if I did, it would be propped up with a buckwheat pillow or resolutely horizontal, for nowadays I am a lazy lover indeed).
A rude awakening
As the morning of the doctors’ appointment dawned, true to form I had completely forgotten and thus was still in bed pretending to be asleep to avoid the cacophony of children downstairs. My wife, who supports me in life from what one could only call a unique perspective, kindly reminded me of my appointment duties a whopping 30 minutes before the appointment was due to commence and then promptly left the house with my other two children.
In less than 15 foul-mouthed minutes I had managed to shower, drink coffee, eat some toast and not murder a cat. A cat whose only purpose in ALL its nine lives is to badger me, when I am in no mood to be bloody badgered.
P*SS OFF MEMPHIS!
I donned my shoes and coat and checked my watch. 10 minutes and counting! With a purposeful stride, the Doctors’ Surgery is 5 minutes door to door.
I can do this!
I scooped up Number 3 into my arms and was about to strap him into his pushchair for the ride of his life when his most pressing contribution to proceedings became overwhelmingly apparent. The little shit had done a little SHIT.
The smell was life-changing.
I checked my watch again. There was absolutely NO WAY I was going to be able to perform faecal surgery and not be late. And I hates being late sir. What to do……what….to….do!
A shitty thing to do
After quickly assessing the pros and cons, I committed. I committed and then some. Appallingly, I squelched my child into his pushchair with my sincerest of apologies. It was bad. Really bad; like setting a stout birdbath in wet cement. Glory be I felt bad inside.
I promised to sort him out upon arrival at the Doctor’s, but he had a look of disgust on his face that even I could infer which was cemented, one can only assume, by the mire of shizer he was now sitting atop.
I felt like we would both remember this dirty moment for the rest of our lives. I would most likely recount it on my deathbed to a priest, him in about 15 years to a psychiatrist. I thought this was my Vietnam, but this was just the beginning……
I know his name and address?
With two minutes to spare, we arrived at the Doctors’ Surgery; me sweaty and he shitty, but nonetheless BANG ON time. And breathe …..(through your mouth).
I parked up Stinky in the corner and nonchalantly approached the automated sign-in machine ( a recent and most welcome addition in my opinion as it negates the need for human interaction) and then my heart sank. Sank to my boots. I was overwhelmed with panic and shame. But I knew straight away …..I was shit out of luck.
Without any other option available, I was forced to retrieve baby from a corner, and wheel the poo marinated infant all the way up to the grumpy Receptionist and quietly admit that I did not know his date of birth.
Lord have mercy on my soul.
I chose to interpret the smile that I was afforded by the usually arse-faced lady, as one of humanistic sympathy and not a scathing smirk, offered to a preposterous nobhead with a rudimentary grasp on parenthood. However, I didn’t have long to reflect on this because I needed to urgently rescue my boy from his festering quagmire of poop.
And then a Nurse with a deep voice called our name. OF COURSE, HE F*****G DID!
On any other given day, one could expect to sit for 15-20 minutes waiting for a tardy health care professional without a care in the world, but not today. Of course not today. Jesus on toast!
I wheeled Humpty Dumpty over to the nurse and explained that I just needed a couple of minutes to perform a quick nappy change and indicted over to the Gents. However, the nurse offered me his room as it was more far comfortable and so I accepted. Big mistake. BIG mistake.
A nappy, but not as we know it
Now it is fair to say that as a percentage of nappies, my wife has changed far more than I, however, I am no stranger to a quick nappy change and as such saw no issue with doing so in front of a male nurse who looked a bit like a nightclub bouncer. Big mistake. BIG.
As the NHS Hulk started filling in the red book (and asking me questions I could answer – thank God!) I quickly pulled down my boy’s jeans and…….. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?! I was expecting a nappy for heaven’s sake and instead was met with a pair of pull-ups fit to burst.
Now that might not seem like a big thing to you but a) I do not like surprises and b) I have no recollection of ever interacting with a non-nappy before.
What followed was undoubtedly the filthiest and most cack-handed attempt by any able-bodied person to change the ‘nappy’ of their child, whilst being observed by an NHS professional. Oh. My. GOD.
This CAN’T be, right?
As I pulled the pants down towards his knees, inevitably poo plopped out of the sides and on to the spick and span table. Well this is awkward!
I then realised that the downward pants trajectory had, again inevitably I suppose, smeared poo all down the back of his legs. I knew this couldn’t be right, but I was blinded by panic ( and poo).
At this point, I absolutely wanted to die. But sadly I remained alive, and thus live to tell the tale.
As I pulled the pants over his feet, both socks took a MAJOR hit, rendering them both a truly desperate advert for Fireman Sam. Pontypandy was in serious trouble – call Fireman…..oh….never mind.
A shite to behold
Once I had finally got the pants off, I stood back and admired my work……
My third born child lay splayed on a table, not in the slightest concerned with his terrible predicament; balls out, man-junk in hand, barefooted and smeared from waist to toe in his father’s ineptitude.
And whilst the massive man nurse sat patiently, twiddling his huge thumbs and wretching at the sight and sounds proffered forth, I emptied half a pack of wet wipes in a shameful, yet meticulous cleanup attempt. I was Dexter-like in my cleaning proficiency.
The rest of the appointment was uneventful I am pleased to say and so I left, my tail between my legs and a pair of shitty socks in my pocket. We’ve all been there.
I hate my
Later that day, my wife would tell me two pieces of information that would upset me, considerably.
Firstly, pull-ups pull apart at the sides like a nappy. WHATSTHATNOW?! It turns out that whilst they do not have sticky tabs, they are made of material designed to easily rip so that no-one is EVER required to remove them like a pair of pants because that is utterly impossible. Houdini couldn’t even escape from a pair of pull-ups unscathed. But you already knew that, didn’t you? See, this is why we can never be friends.
Secondly, and this is my favourite part, my wife tells me that the man-nurse is the parent of a child that my children go to school with, so wonderfully, he knows who I am. ISN’T THAT GREAT? I performed my very own Mr Bean scat show to a solo audience of one man, who can positively identify me to others.
THIS is my Vietnam.
I was genuinely looking forward to taking my youngest child to the doctors; honest I was.
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