Mother had an appointment with her Podiatrist and I was rushing her out the door and into the car. The wheelchair was in the trunk, and I got in the car put on my seat belt, and Mother asked, “Where’s the Baby?”
“Uh… she’s sleeping in her bed.”
I usually tell her that Linda, who lives across the street, will be coming over to watch the baby. That wasn’t working today, so I ran back into the house to get her baby doll. I grabbed her by the arm, ran back to the car and carefully laid her in Mother’s lap. She was happy, and she talked to her little baby doll all the way to the doctor’s office. I listened and smiled as I was driving.
If you visit a nursing home you will see female Dementia patients holding baby dolls. Medical studies have found it to be a soothing effective therapy for improving dementia and Alzheimer patients’ quality of life. It’s interesting that God gave women the nurturing gene, and that need to nurture someone or something (real babies, dogs and cats, or dolls), exist throughout our lives. Whether we are 9 or 90, we love to hold and cuddle something.
We finally arrived at the Doctor’s office and I got the wheel chair out of the trunk. I rolled it around to Mother’s side of the car, and I gently picked up the baby doll and sat her in the back seat. I helped Mother into the wheelchair and quickly rolled her into the doctors’ office.
On the way Mother made a strange comment that puzzled me. She said, “Your picture is going to be the Newspaper.”
“Why is my picture going to be in the Newspaper?”
“It’s against the law to leave a baby in the car. The police will be coming to arrest you.”
I laughed and said, “I’ve left you in the car before.”
“Yeah, but I’m older than a baby.”
As we were waiting in the exam room for the doctor, Mother had a meltdown. After saying, “I’m worried about the baby” for the tenth time, I could tell this was going to be one of those broken records.
Then she said, “What if someone steals her?”
“Mother, THE CAR IS LOCKED!!” NO ONE CAN STEAL HER!!
“What if she dies in the car?”
“Trust me! She’s NOT going to die in the car!”
I’m really surprised you would do something like this. I thought you were my friend.”
“Okay, okay!” I’ll go get the baby!
I left Mother in the exam room and ran out to the car to get the baby doll. I grabbed her as fast as I could and brought her to Mother. She was sitting in the exam chair and I gently laid her in Mother’s lap. Suddenly Mother was happy and satisfied, and she started talking to her baby.
Dr. Jill walked in, looked at Mother and the baby doll, and said, “Which one is the patient?”
“I am,” said Mother.
“Is this your baby?”
What’s her name?”
I thought, “I’m waiting to hear this too.”
There was a ten second pause then Mother said, “Baby.”
“Hey Baby. It’s nice to meet you.”
Mother held her baby’s hand for Dr. Jill to shake. Then Dr. Jill began clipping Mother’s toe-nails. I was sitting in my chair holding back the laughter. (I’m thinking this is Blog material.)
Then Mother said to her doll, “Do you see what she’s doing?
I wondered if Mother was going to talk for her doll. Thank goodness that didn’t happen.
Dr. Jill said, “I like your matching outfits. Did you both plan on wearing pink? ”
“Yes." And she held up her baby to show off her outfit.
“Do you have other matching outfits?”
I don’t know.”
I was laughing so hard that tears were in the corners of my eyes.
Dr. Jill stopped and said, “When I finish your toes, I’ll check Baby’s toes.”
Mother said, “Thank you. That would be good.”
When Dr. Jill finished Mother’s toes, she gently picked up Baby doll and checked each little toe and then she checked her pulse.
Mother was very quiet and focused as she watched Dr. Jill checking Baby doll. When she finished, she said, “Everything looks good.” Then she carefully gave Baby doll back to Mother.
"Thank you for checking Baby’s toes. I think she likes you. She’s smiling at you.”
“I like her too. Bring Baby the next time you come.”
As I was rolling Mother out, Dr. Jill whispered to me, “I can’t wait to tell my eight year old daughter about Baby doll’s doctor visit. She thinks my profession is boring. This may change her mind.
I chuckled all the way to the car, and I laugh every time I think about it. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
It’s amazing how God gives us laughter. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, laughter is good medicine. I needed some good medicine and God supplied it in an amazing and creative way. Care givers, try to laugh more and enjoy the journey. It won’t last forever.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22