I set off on Thursday to Centre Mall with June, Niamh, Magdalena, and Niamh’s daughter Shauna for a girls’ day out. The sun was splitting the stones (as usual :-p), and we were on the hunt for winter clothing for the adults among us. We went to Winners first, which is the Canadian version of TkMaxx, and then headed on to the Mall. I stuck Rebecca in a trolley and we mooched around the shops and stopped for a smoothie. The rest of the kids were having a hot lunch in school, so I was free till 3.20pm. Happy days.
I discovered a fabulous book shop which we will definitely be returning to some Saturday for story time. It’s called Indigo http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/home/ and it had giant teacups for children to sit in while they’re reading.
As we were leaving to hit the next shopping mecca, my phone rang. It was Nicholas’ teacher, Crystal Haynes. She is amazing, a real mammy figure and so kind to all the children. “Hi, Barbara. I’m sorry to have to call you, but I’m afraid that Nicholas seems to have a bug in his ear”. A bug? What kind of a f^%*ing bug? “He was outside playing, and apparently a bug flew in, and he feels that it is still in there because he can hear it buzzing”. Urgh. “He isn’t distressed or in pain”, she added hastily. Okaaaaaay. No pain. Just a buzzing bug. I abandoned the shopping trip, dropped all the ladies home and headed off to rescue him.
We arrived at the school to find a very cheerful Nicholas. “I have a BUG in my EAR!”, he announced importantly. Well son, so long as you’re happy….. “This has never happened before” said Crystal mournfully. I’m afraid that mightn’t be the last time she ever says that about Nicholas.
Off we went to the Medical Walk-In Clinic beside us. About three thousand people sat in the waiting room. I went over to the receptionist, who took all his details and then asked me what the problem was. “He has a bug stuck in his ear”, I whispered. She recoiled. “He won’t be waiting long”, she whispered back. We sat down to wait. Nicholas has no volume control whatsoever, so the other patients were well-entertained for the next ten minutes.
The nurse came out and called us. “Nicholas Ridey?” I got up and shepherded a protesting child towards the door. “It’s not us! That’s not my name! It’s not ..umph”. I clamped my hand over his mouth and propelled him rapidly into the next room. “It’s OK!” I hissed. “She meant to say REIDY!” We sat and waited for about 10 minutes and in swept a tall, handsome Canadian.
“Hey, sweetie!” he beamed. Wow. I started to blush and then realised he was addressing Nicholas, who eyed him suspiciously. He produced a light thingy and went to look in Nicholas’ ear. “OWWWWWWWwwwww!” he shrieked and jumped away as if he’d been stabbed. “I haven’t touched you yet” said the doctor. Oh God, here we go, I thought. It’s going to be like the time four doctors had to hold him in a headlock just to get his head x-rayed. “It’s. Only. A. Light” I said through gritted teeth. He tried again, and decided there definitely was something suspicious in his ear. Off we went to the treatment room. I was practically dragging Nicholas along by the ears at this stage. He took out a huge syringe, filled it with water and stuck a bowl under Nicholas’ ear. Nicholas wasn’t having any of it. I tried placating him, threatening him, bribing him. The doctor threatened to walk out in 10 seconds if he didn’t surrender. Finally the promise of a magazine with a toy won out. He sat. I held the bowl. The doctor syringed. All perfect. Out came a hard ball of black wax. Turned out the bug was gone, but Nicholas’ strenuous efforts to dislodge it had dislodged this kernel, which was then rattling around in his ear canal. It’s unlikely that it was buzzing, but then’ Nicholas has a very vivid imagination.
The doctor was delighted, and decided to keep going with the other ear. More mutiny from the child. “Double or nothing?” suggested the doctor. Nicholas looked quizzical. “A magazine and sweets, or nothing”. Sounded like a good deal, so we went with the left ear, sorted that one out, thanked the lovely man and stood up to go. “Don’t forget, double or nothing” he reminded Nicholas. Traitor.
Here’s my injured soldier waiting to be cured: