"Ms. Spears to the waiting room, Ms. Spears…"

So on Saturday afternoon, the unthinkable happened: I pulled another Britney, only this time resulting in a trip to the Royal Children’s Hospital. In my defense, it really was more of Beatrix pulling a K-Fed and me standing there in disbelief. I shall paint the picture for those of you who I haven’t yet informed. I have to go off on a bit of a rant tangent first, but fear not, I’ll eventually get there.

So we have security items in our house, right? Much to my disapproval…and I don’t mean alarms on our doors. I mean horrible, filthy, raggy toys that we have to drag around to malls, libraries, bathtime, the moon and back. These toys smell like that woman in the bathtub in The Shining would smell. The task having these toys on hand would be made easier if Beatrix didn’t have at least 15 special toys that she must drag around at all times. The two favourites of these are a really rancid looking blue rag with a teddy bear head she calls “Blankie” — that my mum bought specifically for her to have a security blanket, which I bet she’s kicking herself about now — and a fairly awkward looking giraffe that we found in a tub at Ikea known as “Rahh”, the Beatrixian noise that giraffes make.

There they are, the bastards! How I loathe them! If these items are not accessible at all times, the world ends. Out of fear, we actually bought a back-up replacement for Blankie so we could WASH it, that’s how dire things are. Even when playing with other toys, Beatrix has to have tabs on the blankie and the giraffe, in case some hoodlums make away with him while she isn’t watching – I refer here to the March 1st wash-day incident, where my Mum and I stupidly thought it’d be a good idea to show Bea how Blankie has a bath and then hang him on the line. We had to leave the house to distract Bea because she sat by the laundry door and sobbed.

Now, to my point. Beatrix woke up from her afternoon nap – shitty as usual – and demanded Ra, bursting into hysterical tears. After asking her at least four times where he was, and asking her to say please, I gave up, and went to the cot to get him. The elusive giraffe could not be found. I came back to the hallway and asked Bea where he was and she just looked at me, angrily, and screamed;


“ALRIGHT!” I screamed, and went back to my hunting.

10 minutes of frantic swearing later, I came back with Grover.

“I can’t find Rah, have this instead,” I said, passing the muppet to her angry highness.

This displeased her majesty, very obviously, and she threw herself backwards onto the floor to have a loud tantrum. Instead of landing on the lino, which would have hurt enough anyway, the back of her head struck the corner of my mother’s huge wooden chest. I tried to play it off with the usual “oopsie, you’re okay,” routine, but Bea was howling. I tried to cuddle her but she refused, and ran down the hallway sobbing. She fell three times as she did this, like she was drunk, then lay down in the hall, crying, and threw up. Insert panicking mother here. I picked her up and got on the phone to my Mama, since driving for me isn’t an option with a) no car, b) no license and c) definitely no driving skills.
My mum was selling antiques in Prahran, and couldn’t get home quick enough.

“Ring Ross,” she said, “and I’ll meet you at the hospital. Tell me when you’re there.”

“Ring Ross” is the loathed option in hospital situations. The guy is a good daddy, but he fails to recognise medical emergencies when they’re at hand. I rang him, and he was in Richmond cleaning a mate’s house, almost as far away as my Mum. After 15 minutes of begging with him and pleading (and him insisting I could take a bus, and then the train, and then a tram into the city instead) it became obvious that he wasn’t going to take me. I gave up and hung up in tears. I sat on the floor with poor Bea, both of us now crying, and considered ringing an ambulance and just putting up with the $600 dollar bill, when my Mama rang.

“Where are you? Why are you answering the phone at home? I’m in the waiting room.”

“I’m still here, Ross wouldn’t take me.”

“OH GOD! I’m coming now!”

The great thing about my mum is that she panics as if Bea were her own kid, which, in a way, I guess she is. My mum is like my honorary husband, she’s gone through the controlled cryings and the midnight screamings and the failed breast feedings minute by minute, all by my side.

Less than an hour later, we were at the Royal Children’s, and Miss Bea had forgot all about her tragic head injury and was running around the waiting room with the other kids, happy as Larry. The hospital staff gave me one of those condescending “you’re one of those over-reacting mothers, aren’t you?” looks and I felt like a dick. Turns out, Bea had a mild concussion and needed to be watched for a few days, but I refuse to admit that Ross was right and a cold-compress and a cuddle would have sorted it all out. It would have been dramatic if she’d just stayed upset until she’d seen the doctor!!

Damn kids.