Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ma-ma scolded auntie this morning

I chatted with a 2 year old boy while giving him his last dose of IV antibiotics before his discharge this morning. I happened to enter the room at a bad time, when the mother was scolding the maid fiercely over something. The mother quickly paused from lecturing the maid, as I informed her about the last dose of antibiotics. While fixing up the syringe driver, I asked the boy about his morning activities to check on his intake and output. An extract of the conversation went as follow.

"What did you eat for breakfast?"

"Pancakes, and xxx, and yyy."

[And we went down the list of breakfast items.]

"So did you like the pancakes?"

Boy smiles, "Yes, mmm."

"And, what did you do after eating the pancakes?"

The boy's face changed from happy to upset. He blurted, "Then ma-ma scolded auntie."

An awkward silence. The mother was embarrassed. The maid stood away, looking anxious. I quickly switched the topic to the syringe driver, "Hmm, ok. You see this, it is to push the medicine slowly into your body..."

Later, the mother informed me that they had lost the TV remote control. It was last seen on the sofa bed early this morning. The mother verbalized that the maid said that the remote was gone after another nurse entered the room early this morning. As I needed to attend to another patient, I assured her that we will find it later. We may get the housekeeper's help for it. Then the mother thought of pushing out the sofa bed and searching the floor behind the bed. Just as she started to push one side of the sofa bed out, she saw the remote. It had slipped between the folding joint of the sofa bed and landed into the supporting base of the bed.

IMHO, a missing TV remote is too small a matter to be scolding the maid harshly over. I wonder if the boy had not blurted out the remark, would the mother realize the example she is setting for her child? Good parenting is no easy feat indeed.

Lucky for this ma-ma, the boy showed empathy even at his tender age of 2+. Such snippets of children's innocence and sincerity makes working at paediatrics a blessing.

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