Saturday, 11 February 2012

Medics and Music

Littleboy 1 made his second trip to an American ER this week, almost a year to date since the first one.

This time he managed to gash the top of his head, running under a slide in the school playground. ("We were playing Angry Birds, and I was the piggy," was his explanation).

Unlike before, I took him this time, and made the following observations about an American ER.

1. There is no-one that looks like George Clooney, or even Noah Wyle - instead, the doctors seemed about 18 years old and looked more like spotty college students.

2. No-one ran about demanding CBC and Chem7, or even asking for a 'psych consult'.

3. The staff were chatting about their lunch or the Super Bowl, rather than rowing about the patients or their love lives.

4. There really is no difference between the pediatric ER in the UK and US, other than the fact you have more forms to fill out and a nice $100 'co-pay' to be coughed up there and then.

Anyway, Littleboy 1 was once again stoical about it all, only slightly losing it when the doctor explained that he would have a staple put in his head. On first hearing this, I had confidently told him, "it's not like a stapler you use for paper, darling," (the boys are obsessed with stapling and are always nicking mine) only for the doctor to approach carrying what looked like, er, a stapler. Littleboy 1's chain started to wobble (and frankly I don't blame him), but it was soon all over and he now sports a shiny metal staple looking remarkably similar to a paper staple, under his hair. This appendage has clearly gained him something approaching infamy at school - apparently, several of his friends actually wrote about his staple in their journals yesterday.

Anyway, perhaps the most bizarre thing about the whole episode occurred when we came home from the ER. I asked him if he wanted to watch TV as a treat until his brother got home from school. He opted instead for playing the piano - manically, for about half an hour, and with intense brio.

Regular readers may remember that the boys started piano lessons in September, and Littleboy 1's first one in particular was disastrous, as he banged on the piano, misbehaved and refused to do anything the teacher asked. Well, those of you mulling the idea of starting your child on an instrument, do not let this put you off. About six weeks into his course of lessons, something miraculous occurred. Littleboy 1 decided he LOVED the piano. He began practising all the time, unprompted, improved very quickly and was soon racing through his first piano book. He performed brilliantly at the music school recital in December, and his teacher now says he is one of her most promising pupils. It was completely unpredicted, as we had thought Littleboy 2 would be the more musical one (he's doing fine, but as you would expect) - just goes to show you never can tell.

Even knowing that, I was still fairly astonished that after a session in the ER, all he wanted to do was practice the piano. Then I remembered the time that his grandfather - himself a very talented pianist - had accidentally swallowed a wasp in a glass of cider (yes, really.) Refusing all offers of being driven to hospital, his reaction was to drink more cider, then sit down and manically play the piano.....

Maybe it runs in the family.

11 comments:

Iota said...

Good news that he's ok, and that he likes the piano. I agree, it's a bit weird, the manic playing. But maybe it's a catharsis. Maybe it's his (and his forebears') way of getting emotion out into the open - in which case it's very healthy, I think. Better than bottling it all up.

Lynn said...

There's something so visual in all these episodes, gash in head from running under slide under Angry Birds influence, staple in head with impressed classmates looking on, intense piano playing, then to top it off, grandpa swallowing the wasp. It cries out to be made into a picture book of family stories. Any talented illustrators in the family?

Elsie Button said...

i think its totally amazing he chose the piano over tv - he will go far that boy! a staple in the head sounds nasty tho x

Circles in the Sand said...

Oh Poor F! I think I might dream about staples in heads tonight...what a brave boy! And as for the piano playing, that's amazing - it sounds like he's a natural-born talent. How lovely he's developing this as a hobby - imagine if it was the drums!

Expat mum said...

I understand totally. Whenever my teen is completely p'ed off with me, he plugs his electric guitar in and goes through his repertoire!!

Muddling Along said...

Am impressed that he's taken it to it so well - remember you posting about it before

Strange how behaviours are genetic, isn't it

'Cross the Pond said...

That's amazing! I think it must run in the family. It's nice to know he loves the piano - staple or no staple. Little boys are darling, if not daring. My 2 year old is certain to age me quickly. How will we ever survive their childhood?

Anonymous said...

We love you. We love Marco Polo. How about another game?

Tanya (Bump2Basics) said...

Ahh, glad he is alright. And it doesn't even sound like you had to do too much waiting in the ER. Thankfully my trips there have been limited but on both sides of the pond, waiting has played a bit part.

And fab news on the piano, just shows that when not pushed kids will just take to certain things. Music to my ears! (Ha..haa...)

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

I love that musical expression 'with brio'!
So glad he's ok, sorry tho that ER was so disappointing for you. Another illusion about American life dashed eh?

PantsWithNames said...

What was it about CBC Chem7? i still use that as a threat to the boys when they have a microscopic cut. No idea what it actually is....

Interesting about the piano. I'm mulling starting my LB1 off on a musical instrument, but have been procrastinating because i can't face the thought of enforcing the practicing!