A Mouth To Feed

I love Children“. Here’s the childless and partnerless 30 year-old office professional trying to sound adorable and acceptable in her circle.

“What do you mean, you love All children?”

“Yes.”

Well, I reply No. Children, as innocent and defenceless as they are, should be taught to earn love and respect -and to find their individuality. You don’t just love them because they’re cute and do not pose a threat, or because they are the safest long term-investment you can make.

Most western children, in the brutest form of impulses-respondent homo sapiens, live in a world where adults submit to them in order to fulfil their broken longings for unconditional love and comfort. And this is what they’re learning. Affection traded in order to get their own way, or in the worse case a tantrum will do the job easily.

When you meet a child and your eyes instantly roll back into your skull in four-dimensional wonder, ecstasy and passion, just because of the child’s mere existence, then you are fooling the oblivious kid about the world he is going to encounter in the future, if he ever becomes a whole, healthy, respectable mouth that feeds itself.

 

The world is a fairly meritocratic place in most areas, but it can be a big bad place if you’re not vigilant. So children have to be taught to earn respect through paced effort following rules, self-control and resilience. Not because they’re cute- they’re all cute and there’s millions of them-.

 

There’s nothing wrong with not liking this one particular child. I don’t mean showing hostility towards it, but making it know why you don’t like him or her, and how he could gain your acceptance and respect. Lessons are best when learned as soon as possible.

 

It must be baffling for a kid to experience all the devoted love from adults, then a random range of different degrees of likes, dislikes and hates in the playground. They must be thinking “when I grow up everybody will love and respect me because they will all be adults by then”. Then their world crashes slowly.

 

The playground, where they are all somewhat equal in the hierarchy- teachers being bosses- is no longer there. They find a world of command and execution where the free lunch is no longer available.

 

Childhood in a civilised society is a place where energy and natural human aggressiveness must be channelled, if not mastered, for the greater wellness of the group. We teach them sports, games, crafts and knowledge. But what they can only see is the fittest kid in the playground terrorising the rest.

And the pupil who works the hardest- academically- is ridiculed, mocked and left aside.

It can take a hard hit for a child to realise that a little craftiness with cheating in exams or hacking exam questions can get him right to the doors of university which path has cost his parents seventeen years of doing a job they hated with people they loathed with a partner they couldn’t scent from a twelve-inch distance.

 

Going back to loving kids, kids must know why they are loved rather than how much they are loved. There’s something lovable in absolutely each individual, which makes the beauty of a diverse world, and if we don’t want a pot-smoking, swearing and disrespectful teenager, we should all start to be fair.

 

Roughly as fair as the world we live in.

The Children’s Hospital

IMG_1951votenow-2-transIMG_1951Despite the pain and drain that come from working at the Children’s Unit of St Patrick’s Hospital, Tricia loved every minute of her job. She called the children “my kids”. Her life and soul.

Bringing joy and confort to ill kids was like a job she was given by a star constellation since birth.

Since Dr Bailey joined the Unit she found that fighting for the well being of her kids despite the budget cuts was easier- and also he had once recommended her to take two more hours sleep if she wanted to look after the patients in the best way.

Tricia was the star nurse, also envied by her colleagues for her imagination and gift to tune into kids’ waves: when they felt pain, she would ask “what’s the name of this new pain?” and create a character for it.

Whether in the tummy, head or leg, she had elaborated a way to hypnotise the pain dead. “OK. The pain is called Dragon. Lets make him.” After stuffing a blue rubber glove and painting a face and name on it, she would smile and say “tell the Dragon to stop annoying you, or else we’ll punish it into the tissue box “.

“Stop annoying me, Dragon! Or I’ll snatch your ears off!”

“Watch out, he might spit fire from his mouth. Lets muzzle him.”

The fascination of the children pulled them out of their pain, as Tricia put a plaster onto the Dragon ‘s mouth.

“Do you want to sing a lullaby to the Dragon?”

“Maybe next time! The pain is gone and I wanna sleep!”

Eight year old Nathan was admitted and Dr Bailey stole Tricia for a minute “we’ll do our best to save him”.

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Nathan’s mother couldn’t help giving Tricia nasty looks but Tricia had gone through situations like that before. Nathan developed the habit of telling the ” pain glovies” that ” you are not coming to the wedding.”

“what wedding is this?” Tricia would ask.

“wait and see.”

But one day on an early shift at five AM, Nathan starting crying very loud. Tricia and Dr Bailey happened to be on shift.

” The tube hurts, said Nathan, lets kill it or it will not come to the wedding!”

” What wedding are you always talking about? asked an exhausted Dr Bailey.

” Yours and Tricia’s Wedding!”

The two health professionals looked into each others eyes during a very awkward second.

” OK, said the Doctor, ask the Gremlin to make me an engagement ring or we shall soak it under the sink!” So Nathan opened a plaster and Dr Bailey proposed. Despite the surrealism of the scene Tricia saw a sparkle in Dr Bailey’s eyes that she had never seen before- he was actually proposing to her, right there, in front of Nathan and the Gremlin.

After a tearful Yes, Nathan clapped with excitement, just as a healthy eight year old would, and continued

“The pain is gone! I can sleep forever now!”

” None of that” said Tricia

” I was only joking. Now lets make the Gremlin a girlfriend in case he comes back”.

Nathan was luckily discharged three days later, but strict Hospital rules determined there could be no contact with children after Hospital episodes- so he missed the wedding.

Shortly after, the Baileys received a Thank You card from Nathan’s mum and a picture showing him plummer, in his  bedroom with a dozen of stuffed gloves.

Tricia soon started training nurses in Hospital Play and their first born was named Nathaniel- after Nathan.

It is sad to think that not all Hospitalised children have Nathan’s luck, but there are amazing professionals and volunteers in these Units as children deserve to feel a sense of wonder, even if they will not survive.

The End

This story is based on true characters.

 

 

The Snail and the Bat

It was a stormy midnight near the palace.

The Bat was really enjoying the shower of vicious-like rain and looking for company. As he was flying near the hill, he thought he could remotely hear something crying.

It was a snail.

“Help, help, somebody help me!” The snail was drowning inside the puddle.

 

“This will make a nice dinner for me!” Thought the Bat.

 

“I’ve got you Snail, you’re safe now!” The Snail cried in relief by the puddle and said

 

“You saved my life! I shall be your very best friend from today! ”

The Bat’s heart looped at these words and he changed his mind about having the Snail for dinner.

 

“Do you need anything else, Snail?”

“Yes, please!  Can you get me a teddy-bat to play with?” Answered the baby snail.

 

So the bat flew back to his cave to get the toy and the rain stopped.

 

After three days of sunny weather the Bat was flying around the Palace and he caught a glimpse of the teddy-bat inside the fountain. It was the toy he has given to the Snail.

He went out to find his snail-friend.

“Why did you leave the present I gave you?”

The Snail looked down and said

“Because since I got the teddy-bat the rest of the snails are jealous and they won’t talk to me!”

 

Suddenly, a storm broke out again and the Bat and the Snail quickly took shelter.

 

“I’m sure we can fix your problem, said the Bat. Lets go and find your friends”

Both flew off under the rain seeking for the other snails, but they couldn’t find them. The Snail started to worry.

“They’re all in trouble, if you are looking for the snails, said the Spider who had heard them, outside the Stable! ”

 

“Come and show us, said the Bat!” All three friends flew clinged to each other towards the Stable and found six snails caught in a puddle.

The Baby Snail thought quick and said

“Spider, make a net as fast as you can and we will tie the teddy-bat to the end and throw it to get them out, safely!”

“Brilliant idea”,  said the Bat.

Once all creatures were safe by the Stable the Bat asked the snails,

“WHY have you been ignoring my snail friend? ”

“Because he won’t share the teddy-bat with us!”

“Baby Snail, said the Bat, friends are more important than toys. ”

“I know, I have realised this now. Why don’t you go get us six more teddy-bats and we can all learn how to swim?”

 

“Excellent idea!” Said the Snails,  the Bat and the Spider.

So the sun came out again and all the snails played happily in the water as the Bat and the Snail watched from a branch.

The End.