Friday, June 02, 2006

Daughter of Eurynome

I see lots of kids in the course of a normal day in practice. They tear around the room howling like banshees. They tip the lego bricks all over the carpet and use them to make rayguns (or worse). They line up the cars in neat rows all across my desk, howl and screach when approached, laugh at my jokes (if they know what's good for them), or sit cringing in abject terror next to mum or dad throughout the consultation....

In other words they carry on just like kids everywhere.

Not so Grace.

Her parents must have been struck by some bolt of inspiration six years ago when they named her. She is otherworldly, and for ten minutes this morning I was captivated. Dressed in a simple white dress and white woolen cardigan she stood in front of my desk smiling and co-operative.

The consultation was entirely unremarkable. She has had earache for a few days after a cold, but is actually now almost better and needs no treatment, Mum just wanted it checked. But throughout her visit she was calm and stillness personified. Grace indeed.

To be fair her brother was equally well behaved and remained quietly in the background fingers twitching away on the Gameboy, but otherwise entirely unobtrusive. This must be what seeing children was like all the time back in the 1950s, but nowadays it was utterly remarkable and truly enchanting.

15 comments:

Dr Phibes said...

"They tear around the room howling like banshees".

And these are usually the same children who are desperately unwell when the appointment is made.

Anonymous said...

A child dressed all in white?
That can't be normal.

I couldn't manage to stay dressed in white for more than two minutes before I spilt black ink over myself, or fell in a muddy puddle, or tipped tar on myself, or something.

Katy Newton said...

No, my parents would never have put me in a white dress. I was a particularly grimy, sticky sort of child.

Doctor Jest said...

Dr Phibes-- Yes indeed. Seems we've all been there as they say....

Anon / Katy -- my point exactly. Otherworldly.

wendz said...

But why do GP's have such interesting 'things' on their desks that just beg for kids to reach out and pick them up....my doc has the most fascinating array of objects on display, from his travels- even I want to stroke and touch them..we end up chatting about his travels for a good 15 minutes while my boy trashes the desk..(yes French GP's have all the time in the world and an appt. lasts a good 30 minutes with lots of laughter and irrelevant chatter) - makes one feel a lot better just for having been there! :o)

stitchwort said...

Hello -
just browsed by. Your young patient in white is probably a "victim of parental abuse", having been "brainwashed" into behaving like a human being. Or perhaps her Mum feeds her on real food, not fast food or stuff out of the ready-meals chiller cabinet?
And children were NOT like that back in the 1950s - I know, I was one of those 1950s children.

Z said...

I was an adorable 50s child. Big green eyes, blonde hair, shyly immaculate behaviour. I must have been insufferable.

Don't know about white dress though. Asking for trouble.

Doctor Jest said...

Wendz-- glad to see the tradition of a desk full of "tat" is honoured in France as in blighty. I think it must have something to do with the Generalists borderline ADHD personailty traits.

30 minute appointments... how wonderful.

*briefly ponders emigration*

Stitchwort-- you may be on to something. I'm afraid you've shattered my illusion of "kinder gentler times" though. Oh well I'll soldier on somehow...

z-- wonderful. perhaps I can cling to my illusions for a little longer;-)

MJ said...

These 'banshee like children' also create mayhem in an A&E department. Why the paediatrics waiting area provides toys for them to play with I do not know.

Accuse me of being harsh, but if the child is sick then s/he will not want to play, if the sick child's sibling is also there s/he tends to create more damage by hitting another child over the head with said plastic toy.

Does this happen in general practice? Or do I just work in an area where children appear to be extremely badly behaved. I just thank god I don't specialise in paeds.

Doctor Jest said...

mj-- yes indeed, they do it here too. Still it all helps generate a bit of trade for A&E ;-)

MJ said...

Indeed. I mean I love having to take lego bricks out of a child's scalp because her brother decided to plant them there.

It actually has been seen - I assisted with removing an embedded lego brick from the back of this kid's head. I just wondered how hard the brother must have hit her with it.

And no, contrary to her requests she didn't get tp keep the lego!

Doctor Jest said...

so that's another lego milennium falcon missing a crucial bit then ;-(

see he got it in there using "the force".

MJ said...

Actually it was part of the rotorblades for a helicopter but I like your thinking!

wendz said...

What a jolly lot your doccies are...embedded lego bits and manic chidren indeed..I shall have to visit more often to fill my morbid curiosity quotient.

Doctor Jest said...

Wendz-- A&E docs have all the best stomach churning stories. Really handy at dinner parties and other polite social gatherings. Specially if the foods good and your not looking to be invited back. Otherwise you can rather shoot yourself in the foot as it were.

Or so Lady J tells me :-(