I'm not perfect. Who is? Hands up all those who are not very good at keeping in touch with people.... Good, I thought there would be a fair few of you. Sometimes such social ineptitude can cause a real problem, to wit this weekend.
Sunday saw my three and a half year old son scampering off for an afternoon of fun with a close friend. Fast forward a couple of hours and along came the call reporting an unfortunate incident involving a see-saw, a copiously bleeding chin and many tears. When the crestfallen pair returned home it was obvious that a trip to the A&E department was necessary.
It should have been straightforward to bundle my son into the car and rush him off to hospital were it not for the fact that any trip to our two local A&E departments will involve a degree of embarassment on my part.
I have only taken my son to A&E on one previous occasion when he was nine months old. I will gloss over the facts (he was crying, I was crazy) however upon entering the triage area the Sister in charge took one look at me, and asked if I remembered her. I did. We had been childhood buddies who lost touch over twenty years ago. She ensured I was treated speedily, reassured that the baby was perfectly fine and sent on my way with her telephone number and an entreaty to keep in touch. Needless to say, I lost the number almost instantaneously and haven't made contact since.
Then a few weeks ago, I was pushing the kids up the Sainsbury's crisp aisle when a male voice said my name. I looked up and was catapulted back twenty years to my university days when I was great mates with this same person but again lost touch over the years. He is now happily married, a proud father to a newborn baby and the Head Consultant at our second nearest A&E department. We exchanged numbers, entreated each other to stay in touch. You guessed right.... I haven't because it would feel a bit weird calling him up out of the blue to have a drink and catch up (although when I write it down it doesn't look like it should seem wierd....but it still definitely would be).
So you may understand why I was not leaping with enthusiasm at the prospect of having to encounter one of these fine medical professionals and embark upon some cringeworthy, grovelling explanation as to why I haven't been in touch. Luckily my husband is used to covering for my inadequacies and so he volunteered to take the wounded soldier off to have his cut glued back together. Fortunately it was all a big adventure to my son, and he is mightily proud of his big bandaged chin. As for me, I am now working on having an instantly accessible explanation for my communication failings in readiness for any future A&E dash.....any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated!