I’m trapped. By my kids. Trapped. They have trapped me.

My one-year-old often chooses not to sleep at night. So I’m tired.

This is fine. I’m not dying. I may not be able to multi-task, I can barely single task, but I survive. As I chop vegetables into handy sticks for my child to angrily throw on the floor, I accidentally hear the news. I keep slicing, annoyed with what people in the world are doing, then I realise I have turned part of my finger into a handy vegetable stick. Blood comes. A lot of blood. I look at it, fascinated. I try to put a monkey plaster on it, but the plaster just floats away on the blood. “Ah.” my tired brain says. “I see.”

The waiting room at the minor injuries unit is crammed. The play area is like a refugee camp for war-torn Smurfs. There is a maddening cacophony of wailing, shouting, giggling, and a toy robot threatening to blast everyone with its laser, over and over again, as my son jabs the button on it’s chest. Five minutes more of this will destroy my mind.

Two-and-a-half hours later I go to the reception window. The wad of kitchen paper around my finger has turned red. I’m trying not to cry. “I just have to go and get my other kids from school.” I say.

“That’s fine.” She smiles. “We’re open till 9pm.”

“I won’t be long.” I plead. She smiles and nods.

When I return she has put me to the back of the queue. As she tell me this, my youngest audibly defecates in his trousers. I remember that I have forgotten the nappy bag. The receptionist sees my agony and gives me a sympathetic smile.


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