We entered the bus at 2 pm, the exact moment when she goes to nap. Sure enough, in about 3.45773 seconds, she started getting restless and I took out my brahmastra. She was just as thrilled to see them as I had been. "Thank you, Mama!" She said as she took them from me. She examined them for a few seconds and then said, "Oh, Mama! I forgot to say 'Thank you!'".
"No, baby," I said, "You did say 'Thank you' to me."
"No, Mama! I forgot to say 'Thank you' to the nurse."
"Dr. L's nurse. She gave me the stickers."
Oh wow. These 3-year-olds and their memory. Dr. L is her endrocrinologist whom we'd seen more than a month ago. After she said it, I vaguely remembered that her nurse had indeed given some stickers.
She played with the stickers throughout the bus ride and soon we reached the hospital. She was still fiddling with them when we entered Dr. T's clinic. Dr. T always likes to start off by making small talk with his small patients, and so does the nurse in his clinic. He said, "Oh, you have stickers! Where did you get them?"
"Dr. L's nurse gave them to me." Xena said.
Dr. T looked stumped for a while, and then said, "Oh you saw Dr. L? Hmmm... let me check what he said." He flipped through Xena's hospital file to look for it and really struggled because with all her gazillions of health issues starting from her birth, her file is the size of a Yellow Pages directory. I kid you not. His very competent nurse jumped in and in less than 3 seconds, had found the page he was looking for. He read it and then turned to his nurse. I thought he was going to discuss something Dr. L had written in the file.
"So Dr. L has been handing out stickers, huh?" He said to her. The nurse smiled and turned around to fiddle with something I could not see. Dr. T went back to examining Xena and then asking me the usual 2098437598435 questions about her. By the time we were done, the nurse had conjured up a rabbit toy, complete with long ears, out of... a blue surgical glove! (At first I thought it was a regular animal-shaped balloon, but Viv pointed out that it was a surgical glove. Mind. Blown.) The nurse even showed Xena how to make the rabbit's ears flap and then handed it to her. Xena was over the moon.
So that's what she had been doing when she had turned around. She had even drawn a face using markers. And the entire time, she had still been paying keen attention to everything he was saying because she recapped it for us very clearly (next appointment, medicines to take, etc.).
Dr. T looked at Xena's delighted face approvingly and then proudly grinned, "They are giving out stickers, huh? Well, we are giving out animals!"
"So it's a competition between the clinics!" I remarked. They laughed.
I was still smiling as we left the clinic. It was so cute and so heart-warming. In the middle of a busy day in one of the busiest hospitals in Singapore, a doctor and a nurse, without compromising their primary duties, had found some time to conjure up some fun.