I went to the dentist with the children late yesterday afternoon. As we approached the front door, it sounded more like a nursery school than a dentists surgery. We went inside.
The waiting room was almost full and my heart sank. Small Sprog is not good at waiting. I had no need to worry though. We had no hope of being the center of attention today, that honour was going to go to another mother, the mummy of 3 boys !
Her eldest, who was probably about 9, was sitting on the floor trying to do, what looked like, homework. He was being quiet and good. His brother, perhaps about 7, had a colouring book and a huge tub of felt tip pens (gosh, she must pack for every occasion, I thought) However he was not happy. He wanted to write not draw. "Use the back of the colouring book" said The Patient Mother. "Noooooo" came the reply. He wanted to have 'proper paper' like his brother.
While she was fielding this situation the youngest brother, who was sitting on her lap, was shouting "It doesn't work, it doesn't work!" At the top of his voice and brandishing his Nintendo dangerously in front of his mothers face, his legs kicking furiously and only missing oldest brothers nose by a hairs breadth.
"Use the back of the colouring book" She quietly repeated as middle son scowled at her. She tried to sooth youngest son. The 7 year old then took matters into his own hands and ripped a sheet of paper from his eldest brothers homework book! "Mummmm!" Shouted older brother, and so on......
I couldn't help but stare incredulously, I tried really hard not to, I mean, well, we've all been there; Grumpy children, tired and end of dayish, small room and ages to wait. And I wasn't staring with disapproval, no not at all, it was fascinating! The Patient Mother had a serene, almost saintly, look about her, I was agog. She was unruffled and cool as a cucumber. How did she mange it? As mothers, at one time or another, it has happened to us all and I have to say, I don't think people had ever stared at me, in a similar situation, for my serene looks and saintliness!!
Sadly, not long after we sat down, she was called to room 2. She picked up youngest son with one arm and rammed things in a bag with the other, at the same time she asked middle son to put all his pens away and older son to pick up his homework, whilst simultaneously herding all three boys towards the treatment room door. She managed admirably. In fact she ought to have had a medal for her stress free performance. How did she do it?
Suddenly, I realised my jaw had dropped open. I closed it rapidly, just as Small Sprog began to wail "Mummm, I'm bored!"