Trapped in the empty ‘teach mothers how to breast feed’ area of the hospital during a fire is not a situation that I’d particularly recommend to anyone, but it’s still stupendous. My Hedgehog and I were visiting our jaundiced mother in the hospital and the three of us got ourselves locked into an obscure corner of the obstetrics wing. During a fire. A hospital fire. The hospital was on freaking fire and we were literally trapped by ourselves with no nurses or other people.
Just me, a giant teenage boy, a stony gall bladder yellow-coloured mother, an IV with only 30 minutes of battery left, and the world’s loudest alarm right above our heads. Seriously, this thing went off exactly every 2.6 seconds with the ferocity of the ninth doctor yelling at a Dalek.
We’d left the cheerful, people-filled section of the hospital for this secluded wing because my mom had 3 elderly roommates with various bowel conditions and no-one really wants to be around that for an extended period of time. Also, her room had no chairs. It’s not like the young healthy kids could ask the nice old man for the one chair in the room. So we’re peacefully sitting in these extremely uncomfortable chairs that are probably covered in spots of breast milk or something and listening to The Hedgehog tells us all about *gently* hitting one of his students in the head with a dodgeball.
The future educator of your children folks. To be fair, apparently the kid really really really wanted him to, which makes me wonder just how many dodgeballs this kid has taken to the head over his lifetime.
Also the mother is wearing two hospital gowns, one normal and one on backwards, and keeps nearly tripping over her IV tube – just to give you a proper mental image.
Fun fact: when a fire breaks out somewhere in the hospital all of the giant doors swing shut and lock automatically in a nightmare, the-zombies-are-coming scenario. Literally. One second you can go anywhere. The next a giant siren starts going off above your head, someone crackles through the intercom about a code red, and all the doors swing shut like you will never again be allowed to leave because you are all infected with the plague, congratulations and welcome to quarantine.
But still stupendous. First of all, how often do you really get to pretend you’re in a zombie movie? Not often. So that’s a point of favour right there. I was also reassured that it there had been zombies or intruders or a terrible plague of death or purple poka-dots then the hospital could effectively contain that jazz. If the giant hedgehog wasn’t going anywhere neither was anyone else, undead or otherwise.
I should also point out that as far as I can tell, there wasn’t actually a fire. Or at least not a large fire. So that’s great. You’re not allowed to use the elevator even after the alarm stops and door unlock so everybody is forced to be ultra healthy and use the stairs. This is good, hospitals should be promoting health and exercise. That’s like their mandate or whatever.
But finally and most stupendously, the mother, the hedgehog, and I have never been so chatty. I mean there’s not a lot else to do when you’re trapped in an empty tiny wing staring at diagrams of how to properly breastfeed. What are we going to do, read the breast feeding material? The mother’s been there, done that, and survived. Not really an issue for the male Hedgehog. And as for me, dear parsnips, are you trying to make me very very afraid of the future? I’ve got married friends and I’m barely acclimatized to that. Don’t throw tiny womb nuggets into the mix.
So we chatted about anything and everything. Hedgehog’s school. The Mother’s bile duct. My inability to properly paint plates. My strange ability to write 10 pages on the importance of door jambs to society. The Mother’s rotating roommates. Hedgehog’s dinner schedule for the next week. Literally everything.
And isn’t that always something stupendous when families get together and talk?