Lessons from 4 mums in a waiting room

Today I had to take Pickles to the doctor. We were in the waiting room for a very long time. But never fear, I put all that time to good use, by learning some great lessons from the other mums around me.

Frog Mum

Frog Mum came in with a toddler and a pre-schooler. Both children were carrying books and the pre-schooler sat himself down and immediately opened his book and started looking through it on his own. The toddler passed his book to Frog Mum to read. The book was about frogs. “Now Aiden”, She began. “What’s this?” She pointed to a pictures in the book. “A frog!” Aiden replied. Good answer Aiden, that would have been my guess too. “Yes, but no I mean what type of frog?” “A green tree frog.” Wow, Aiden was a superstar. I would have been struggling. But apparently so was he, because Frog Mum was slightly exasperated: “No. It’s an African Spotted Frog.” Aiden nodded solemnly. “Yes,” He said with all the graveness of a scholar. Then Frog Mum continued: “See how he puffs himself up to attract the lady frogs?” I nearly fell off the chair. But Aiden just nodded again. He was so interested, it was fabulous to watch. This kid was going to know about the mating rituals of every species of frog before kindergarten. So, my takeaway lesson from Frog Mum was to treat my children a bit more as I would an adult. And to learn some more about the fascinating world of frogs.

Nonna Magpie

Sitting opposite us was a woman with her adult son. He was talking about his business and what his kids had been doing at school. She wasn’t listening to a word. She was watching Pords the whole time. If Pords dropped a toy, or the rusk she was chewing on, Nonna Magpie would swoop straight down and retrieve it for her. She may have looked kind of frail, but Nonna Magpie was sprightly as they come. At first I thought that her son was accompanying her to the doctor, but by the end I wondered if it was perhaps the other way around. From Nonna Magpie I’m going to learn to be more attentive. And not to complain about constantly having to bend down to pick up dropped items.

The Cat Lady

Cat Lady sat in the corner of the waiting room and talked the entire time about her fur baby. Now, this might not seem like that big a deal until you realise that we were in that waiting room for close to an hour. And she did not draw breath. I now know what and when that cat eats. The ways in which it’s behaviour has changed over the eight years since Cat Lady has owned it. Its preferred route through the retirement village where Cat Lady lives, and the full list of people that love the cat. The names of other, not so great, cats in the neighbourhood. A super story about the time Cat Lady’s daughter had to bring a ladder around to get the cat out of a tree. Three different people came and went from the seat next to her. I’m not sure she even had an appointment. But I’m pretty sure that anyone who loves their cat that much has a heart of gold. From cat lady I’m going to learn to celebrate the ones I love more loudly and more often… although perhaps not that loudly or that often.

Speedy Cheetah

We had been waiting for about half an hour when Speedy Cheetah arrived. She was in a pink tracksuit and looked like she’d just come from the gym. Her son, who was about eleven, complained the whole time. Evidently he had a cold and it wasn’t much fun. Speedy Cheetah patted him arm and said “Don’t worry the doctor will see us in a minute.” I felt sorry for the kid, that she had got his hopes up when they were so clearly running behind. Let alone the fact that the doctor really wasn’t going to be able to do much about his cold. But Speedy Cheetah was on it. She went and had a quick word to someone and moments later they were through. I don’t know what she said but it worked. I’m pretty sure the doctor also would have been talked into giving her son the secret cure for the common cold that doctors have been keeping under wraps for their own personal use. Speedy Cheetah inspired me to be more efficient and assertive right then and there.

So I sprang into action…

Pickles had fallen asleep with his head on my lap so I gently lifted him under one arm, had Pords tucked under the other, and hooked my bag through the tips of my fingers. I struggled across to the reception desk. “Be a cheetah. Be a cheetah.” I recited to myself. “Yes?” The receptionist looked at me from behind her glasses. “Ummm… well, we’ve been waiting for a long time. I was just wondering how much longer she’ll be?” She pretended to look something up. “You’re next in.” I felt a surge of cheetah power. I made that happen. No doubt everyone else in the room was learning lessons from me. This no-nonsense mum was getting things done. Half an hour later, we were finally called through.

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