They lie on the floor of the waiting room whilst their sister has her second batch of x-rays. A middle aged woman like me, peers at a magazine through her bifocals with the cord dangling. Each of my boys has a Pokemon toy in each hand. The receptionist and her assistant exchange files behind their desk. The Pokemons chatter together quietly in their own language, assisted by my sons. An elderly gentleman rests his hands on his stick as he waits for his wife to return. It’s a long wait. Two high school girls wait for their father. A couple of youngsters saunter in with rucksacks straight from school with their Dad. They sit close by as their father completes paperwork, concentrates on filling the boxes. My boys continue to play, quietly. This is the first occasion that I have ever been able to manage them all without incident in a waiting room, but of course I’m not really managing them at all, they’re managing themselves. If they were between 3 and maybe six years old, no-one would turn a hair, but of course they’re so much bigger. I could actually do what other people do, things like read a book whilst they play, but I don’t as for once, ironically, even though I could, I’d rather watch instead.
It’s a diary moment, a milestone, just a little bit later than some other people. The familiar tune of a Nintendo DS game twinkles and sparks attention. My boys prop themselves up on their elbows to look across at the back of the open game console, in somebody else’s hands, “d’ya wanna play wiv us?” he offers in a thoroughly unprecedented socially appropriate manner. The gamer and his brother flash glimpse over the console, sneer and resume gaming. “Oh well,” he sighs as they continue to Pokemon, no meltdown, no reaction, no bitterness, a competent acceptance of a casual, commonplace rebuff. I think to myself, because I am biased, ‘go on, have a go, how can you resist, they’re so adorable!’ It’s just another one of those occasions that I never imagined we would ever experience, when I know that everything will be just fine.
Yes, I’m on “Etsy” now:-
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