The Tiger Who Came To The Walk In Centre


It is a truth universally acknowledged that when your child finally sleeps the sort of hours you have dreamed about for years, you won’t sleep a wink and will be utterly convinced something catastrophic must be wrong which will result in a call to NHS 111.

My son (three) just hasn’t seemed right for a few days. He’s been as emotional as me watching a John Lewis Christmas ad, he’s suddenly terrified of everything, he hasn’t been eating and he looks as white as a sheet. His neck seemed to be stiff and swollen. Then last night he slept from 4pm to 8am.

So at eight o’clock this morning we (myself and grandma) shivered into the walk in centre with our little soldier to wait for two hours to be told we were wasting their time.

The walk in centre on a Saturday morning is a lovely snap shot of life. Simply lovely. If you didn’t feel ill before hand – it’s sure to make you come down with something. There was a one year old toddler walking about in his slippers and dressing gown, ever so often letting out a ridiculously loud battle call. His exhausted mum was trailing after him apologetically nodding at everyone, especially the elderly gentleman clutching his chest with his hearing aid on maximum.

There was a tiny baby who wailed every time his poor new mum tried to pull him off her breast. I remembered that feeling. I nodded at her in solidarity.

There was a little girl in the corner clutching a cardboard bowl. The dreaded cardboard bowl you’ll all know about if you’ve ever been to A&E of a night time. I remembered it well from my first labour as I vomited throughout the entire three days of it. I remembered my husband pretending to use one as a hat to try and get me to smile at ten centimetres dilated. Nice try mate.

I prayed she wouldn’t be ill both for her sake and for mine – I started to feel queasy. I shot her mum a sympathetic smile. I assumed if she had norovirus we probably all would soon.

My mother leaned over to let me know she could smell poo, making a disgusted face before asking me what veg I would like with my roast later. Not now Mother. Not now.

Last time I went to a walk in centre I had to sit next to man in a high vis with a nail through his thumb, and sitting next to my Mother for two hours was a close second to that kind of torture.

“Grandma, will you read me Tiger came to Tea?” he said in his tiniest sick voice.

“Yes Darling.” She said and in the middle of the house of plague my mum read aloud The Tiger Who Came To Tea. 

The room fell silent as we all listened to her Hyacinth Bucket (Bouquet if you please) voice reading the familiar story.

The baby being breastfed fixed his eyes on us, the Gladiator toddler sauntered over with his mum, the ladies behind us stared, even a burly drunk looking gentleman in a tracksuit looked over and listened. The audience of sick people united as the Tiger made his way through all the food in Sophie’s house. Everyone was captivated till the end. The baby fell asleep. My mum in the centre of the room like Mary Bleeding Poppins.

Everything felt nicer, safer. I felt less nauseas. Maybe this is all the divided world needs to unite – a grandma reading us all a nostalgic bedtime story.

We were called in after an eternity to be greeted by a rude Doctor who told us there was nothing wrong with him (my Mother’s instincts don’t seem to work).

So we all put our coats on and we walked down the road to go to a cafe. And all the street lamps were off and all the cars didn’t have their lights on but the little boy screamed that he hated cafes. So we walked down the road to a Sainsburys where we had to buy a toy for the poor (milking it) lamb.

And we got a very big bottle of calpol in case the cold should come again. And it did.

And Mummy got a very big bottle of wine because that’s what she did. And it was just right.

The end.


Depression : The search for Dr Right

Mummy's Writing Darling

A lifetime ago I joined a dating site in order to find Mr Right. I don’t mind telling you – I still have nightmares about it now. Where do I start?

There was the man who spent the whole meal only talking about how he had a severe peanut allergy and how he wouldn’t even order anything with pine nuts incase it was a misspelling. That was fun. There was the man who turned up wearing a sort of heavy duty army style back pack, which he didn’t take off and announced he had just “just come from a funeral”. He was terrifying. There was the man who clearly thought I looked fatter in real life than in my profile picture (don’t we all?) and spent the whole time shaking his head in annoyance and grilling me on how much I ate and if I liked exercise … like him? The subtext being “I am never ever going to see you again you lying lard eating pig”. I could go on. Suffice to say – I never met my Mr Right.

But now I’m married to a semi normal man who is rarely seen in a backpack and enjoys the odd peanut M&M.

Much like a bad date can put you off men forever, a bad experience with a Dr can put you off going to a GP ever again. The first time I ever saw a Dr about my depression (2009) he was an elder gentleman. He more or less rolled his eyes at me and I could tell what he was desperate to say was “Pull yourself together woman! Get a grip!” but instead he shook his head, frowned like my dad would if I tried to talk to him about lady problems and threw a prescription for anti depressants at me. I was so upset by the experience that I vowed to never go back to the doctors again and I didn’t take the tablets.

Then I had my baby (2013) so I thought I’d try again because well, I was a bit braver and I no longer had any dignity. I was met with a doctor who said I wasn’t quite depressed ‘enough’ and should come back when I was suicidal.

But this time I was feeling a bit more determined so I tried again. I explained to another Dr that I seemed to suffer from terrific highs and helpless lows. After she had looked at my baby and said “Ooh I love a fat baby” she then asked if I gambled. I said I didn’t – so she said I couldn’t possibly have Bipolar and sent me away with my ‘fat’ child.

Then I got pregnant for the second time (2015) and felt so atrocious I felt I had to go back, there was no choice. I had a doctor this time who was ok about it but said she couldn’t really do anything until I had the baby (just nine months to get through then) and said someone would call me. They never did.

Which brings me to present day. I thought I would give it one more shot and went along to the GP with very low expectations but a sort of fury that I was going to chain myself to the desk until they believed me.

And there she was: my Dr right. We clicked. She got it. She just got it. She believed me. She listened. She cared. She knew. She asked to see me again. She helped me.

We have met three times now and while I am not cured – I am better. I am believed. I am listened to. I am weightless.

Four weeks since our first appointment and I found myself yesterday dancing, really dancing around the kitchen with my three year old to the song below. We were giggling and stamping our feet and mummy was happy. My Dr right has changed my life and the lives of my children.

My message to anyone who is suffering is keep on trying, however hard it is, to find your Dr right. Just like dating – maybe you’ll get lucky your first time and meet the perfect person. Or maybe like me it’ll take a few nightmare meetings before you stumble across the person you were looking for all along.

The important thing is to not give up – there are good eggs out there. Trust me. You might just find your soul mate.