My daughter has the memory of an elephant. She never forgets. At least, she didn't forget the room where she last had her immunisations. As soon as we stepped into it, she burst into tears.
Because that was the joyful task of yesterday. My daughter getting her 12 month jabs. It's a cruel twist of fate really. All these babies turning one and enjoying all the presents, the parties and the extra attention, only for them to find a few days later that they have a date with a needle, or in this case, three.
My daughter certainly wasn't best pleased as soon as she discovered what was going on. What made it more cruel was she had been having a fantastic time in the waiting room, freaking out all the
sick people. She was in her usual high spirits, oohing and aahing at absolutely everything and anything. A quit smoking poster seemed to be a particular feast for her little eyes.
And of course she couldn't stop staring at everyone else in the waiting room. There was one man in particular who she kept insisting on turning around and gawping at and I could see he was getting more and more uncomfortable. I tried to distract her with Mr Speak the Mouse but it just wasn't enough to stop her.
Normally I would brand this kind of behaviour on the part of this man as quite sub-normal. My daughter didn't mean any harm and she was grinning the whole time she was eye-balling him, but I will make allowances as he was probably feeling quite ill- hence why he was at the doctors in the first place.
Even when the nurse came out to get us – are the people who give the injections nurses? – probably – my daughter was unperturbed. She must have thought – get in, another person to devour with my eyes.
But as soon as we got into the needle wielder's room, it all changed. Even the needle wielder – I mean nurse – commented on it, saying it was such a long time ago that my daughter had had her last jabs – she was 16 weeks so over half a life time ago – so how could she possibly remember?
To make things even more complicated, or perhaps even more incredible, my daughter had never been in this particular room before. We have moved house since her last immunisations and thus have moved doctors. There must be something about the atmosphere of these rooms. The lighting, the sterile tiled floor, the ominous looking couch in the corner, and I would imagine a particular medical smell picked up by my daughter's ultra-sensitive nose. Either way, she knew this environment meant bad news.
I'm just glad there are no more jabs until my daughter's three and a half-years-old.
There is something highly unnatural about having to hold my daughter down whilst needles are inserted into her thighs. My daughter was beside herself by this point as you can imagine and unfortunately didn't understand me when I told her it was almost all over for two and a half years.
However, judging by my daughter's super-human memory, in two and a half year's time, when we enter the needle wielder’s room again, she'll remember what's in store and at that age she'll be capable of running for the door.