Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Teddy Bear Hospital

Haki's home for a few days. It is glorious.

Today's Family Day itinerary included a trip to the Teddy Bear Hospital - a project of sheer brilliance.

This morning I suggested Lily the elephant didn't look well, and I'm pretty sure from that point onwards Esky believed having her stuffed toy seen by a medical professional was her idea. She decided Lily "wasn't breathing better," (projecting much?). She raved and raved en route about the treatment her friend was to receive, consoled Lily more than once, "We'll help you feel better, Lily!" and she exclaimed, "There's the hostipal!" as soon as it was in sight. She giggled and clapped, crying, "I'm so excited!" as we followed the balloon arrays up ramps, around corners, and ascending the stairs. We were met by friendly staff and guided to an examination room where a medical student introduced himself and asked Esky what her elephant's name was.

Esky blinked in response.
Long blinks.
She buried her head in my chest
She whispered her answers.
She became the tree frog all over again.
But slowly, she began to loosen up; she listened to Lily's breathing with a real stethoscope, pumped the rubber ball to check Lily's blood pressure, and looked on as Lily's temperature was taken, height measured, and weight recorded. She handled the instruments. She answered (albeit quietly) a doctor's questions. She spent time around the smells and sounds of medicine while she was well.

Esky agreed a bandage around Lily's chest ought to do the trick.

No sooner had the doors of the clinical studies lab swung closed behind us than Esky reemerged from behind her protective and cautious shroud; "Now we're going to go in the buggy to our car and go to the restaurant and see the water in the harbour! And Lily can come too!"

She was right. We went out for lunch at Port;
Where she proudly displayed Lily - healed.

Like I say, sheer brilliance.

Thank you to the lovely Jen, of the team behind the Dunedin project - for squeezing us in (our entire family even!), even though our little lass isn't affiliated with any kindy or group - we can see already how your work is helping to reduce childhood anxiety. x
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