Friday, February 21, 2014

Playing Doctor

When I was a little girl my sisters and I used to play doctor with our dolls. We'd gather all of our babies, one for each of us was not nearly enough patients. We would place our dolls in our plastic play kitchen, pretending that the miniature freezer and oven were incubators and the stove top was the examining table. 

It was one of my very favorite things to play until we grew a bit and began participating in a new adventure called Bank which involved play money from our Monopoly and Payday board games and a wobbly green card table. 

I loved playing bank and I loved playing nurse to all of the doll babies. I know now even more than I knew then how much fun I was having.  These days I know that it's not nearly as fun when your teller drawer doesn't balance at a the bank or to draw up loan documents as it was to count the brightly colored money into the outstretched hands of my sisters and to write down the pretend amounts of money in each of our piles. 

Today I discovered that playing doctor to more than one patient at a time is not nearly as much fun in real life either. In the last three days every one of my kiddos have been ill. Two of them had been sacked worse than the others or so I thought until yesterday morning when two different patients came down with the bug and one of the serious cases from the day before made a remarkable improvement. 

This morning in the wee hours, the child that I thought would join us on the “well” side of the universe became the sickest of the bunch. We have chuckled about the Petrie dish that is our home  and the probable need of surgical masks. In a family the size of ours the odds of multiple simeltaneous sickness is not unheard of, but it's the first time we've reached the current doctor to patient ratio. 

The care for my children these last few days little resembles the care that my dolls received all those years ago.  Long ago when baby dolls were patients, their soft pink smiles never faded under the strain of their ailments. Their plastic foreheads remained ever cool to the touch. They stayed blissfully asleep all through the night no matter what the diagnosis. 

My real children are way too big to put in my little plastic doctor's office of years past. Their faces don’t default into gentle pink smiles nor do their foreheads rain cool to the touch. They do have rosy pink cheeks like my dolls used to, but those cheeks are perched under eyes that shine with fever. My living, breathing, germ-sharing patients wake at all hours of night needing care and comfort. Never did my dolls make me feel like a dragon slayer administering dose after dose of thick pink liquid to combat the hot breath of fevers nor did I ever feel the need to curl up to their plastic and cloth forms to chaperone their high fevers through the night. 

My residency as a baby doll doctor did little to prepare me for this current season of reality, but it did give me a soft and gentle dream of having little real ones someday to tend to in their illnesses. As in some cases however, the dream gets a bit tarnished by the contagious reality.

My kids will be well soon and back to their regular ornery lives and the knowing of that is abundant blessing. Just a few days more of this sickness for us I imagine, if, that is, our ailments mirror those common in our circles. We’re all excited to have ventured beyond what will certainly be a memorable family event in coming years…”Remember when we were ALL sick at the SAME time?” 

And remember it we will... just like my sisters and I remember the times of the double pneumonia epidemic that tore through our little plastic doll hospital all those years ago!

"If taking vitamins doesn't keep you healthy enough, try more laughter: The most wasted of all days is that on which one has not laughed."
~Nicholas-Sebastien de Champort

1 comment:

Sudeana said...

Oh the flood of memories of our dolls' epidemics and the bankers of 318 Pennyslvania Ave. Such sweet times to think back on! Miss ya!

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