The NHS Mum

The scene is set…

Dramatic slow motion kicks in as the Hollywood style music ratchets up the tension…

World ending style emotional chaos as horrifically ‘THE EVENT’ explodes into reality…

Technicolor detail gorily examines every minute detail of the life threatening wound…

“Mummy… Mummy… It hurts” wails the six year old with unholy volume as he falls off his scooter…

At this stage I must point out my telling of this tale has no fluffiness, from the overcastting perspectives of a former child I know how the earth shattering incident feels at that tender age, no Hollywood drama will ever come close to the suddenness of the shock you feel. I must also tell you my mum is an NHS veteran, which means she is unaffected by anything short of… no, pretty much unaffected by anything and clinical to the core!

The devil himself could rise up and claim the earth as his playground, my mum would point out he needs a shave, hoofs are untidy and use the words “DON’T YOU DARE ADDRESS ME WITH THAT TONE” with such refined anger even God would sit up straight with a creeping feeling of fear. The only thing scarier is my sister in a bad mood! The devil and god would be cowering together behind the nearest piece furniture saying prayers in that instance.

Now that you have a grasp of what my mum is like, how scary she is (please don’t kill me for writing this mum, I’m too young) and that she has as much sympathy as a psychotic terminator, yet somehow has earned the accredited title of ‘THE MUM TO END ALL MUMS’. We return to our dramatic recreation of ‘The Event’…

Little Tommy is sitting on the ground, a bloody graze on his knee “Mummy… Mummy… It hurts” the banshee scream repeats, now the opposite extreme to the NHS mum would at this point be smothering the child in nausea inducing “There there, all better now, don’t cry little Tommy” followed by the bucket requiring “let’s look at your iddy biddy leg, don’t worry baby it’ll be fine, aww little Tommy hurt himself”.

This is not my childhood, these are not the words of the NHS mum and this is not like anything I remember.

“Well I told you not to go that fast” the first words delivered with a hint of authoritarian discipline to cast the incident in its proper light

“Stop crying, count to ten” as the child who is recovering from the shell shocking initial words recovers the ability of basic communication

“Where does it hurt” asked as bluntly as a ‘bad cop’ interrogator, followed by “this is going to hurt a bit” short bursts of pain are felt as the NHS mum reverts to training and without mercy wipes the wound like a carpenter rough sanding woodwork

“It’s just a graze, you’ll live” again, blunt as a brick delivery, “But mummy it hurts” replies the child, “If it’s that bad that we’ll have to sit in casualty for three hours and you’ll have to go to bed early, without any TV” needless to say little Tommy has a miraculous recovery!

This example highlights the ruthlessness of the NHS mum, a true patron of reason and clinical logic over the ineffectual over pouring of emotional drivel, needless to say it doesn’t paint the picture of what the ‘fluffy bunny types’ consider a caring parent. But I must point out the side of the coin that this episode fails to explore, who do you think will grow up to better deal with emergencies?

‘There there, all better now, don’t cry little Tommy’ may placate the child, but that’s about it as little Tommy learns to cry a lot!? Or ‘Stop crying, count to ten’ ‘Where does it hurt’ ‘It’s just a graze, you’ll live’ so that brave little Tommy gets up and moves on, the NHS mum saving her empathy and emotional stocks for situations that are worthy and requiring of the ‘There there’ approach.

You can guess which mothering approach gets my vote…

And don’t get me started on the ‘Financial Institute Father’!


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