Our toddler likes to reinvent herself. A few months ago she renamed herself “Lydia.” (Only she pronounces it “Yidia.”) Norah has been Yidia off and on for months. Whenever anyone asks her name she pipes up with “Name’s Yidia. Hi, I’m Yidia!” Lately Yidia has given way to “The Doctor,” or really, “The Dot-tow.” The Doctor is very concerned with everyone’s health, and she asks us all multiple times daily, “How you feewing?” with a very serious expression. Regardless of our response, the answer is the same. “The Dot-tow says you need some medicine. I am the Dot-tow.”
Then yesterday The Doctor had to come along to the health centre when Harriet needed some vaccinations. Being a medical professional herself she was quite interested in the whole thing up until Harriet cried. Then she was really upset. Particularly because the nurse put a band-aid on Harriet. The Doctor is terrified of band-aids. She began screaming, “No bannidge! She no like it! Haywet no like it! Stop it says The Dot-Tow!” I was just so glad that she wanted to protect Harriet. The long-suffering nurse gave her a sticker for her baby doll announcing mendaciously “I was good at the doctor” and we headed home.
On the way home, Baby accidentally fell out of the buggy and went under the wheel, scraping the plastic on her face pretty drastically. It was sad. When The Doctor saw it, she said, “Ohhhhh, Baby, you are not well! You need a west!” I trimmed off the shreds of gravelly plastic and did my best to repair Baby’s face, but I’m afraid from now on the sight of her countenance will be enough to make her immediately a patient in The Doctor’s clinic.
We have a rule that The Doctor stays in her bed when she wakes up until Mommy or Daddy come in. When I went in this morning she had been awake a few minutes, and amidst the chaotic jumble of blankets and stuffed animals I found Baby, with some curious yellowy-brown crust dried over the scratches on her face.
“Norah, what’s this on Baby’s face?”
“She have owies. The Dot-tow gave her medicine. I The Dot-tow.”
I couldn’t figure out what it was. My immediate concern, that it was medicine provided by The Doctor’s diaper, proved to be unfounded. We asked The Doctor but she would only give vague summaries of Baby’s treatment plan, not the source of this curious substance. It shouldn’t have taken me as long as it did. After all, I’m familiar by now with the logic of toddlers. The “medicine” came from The Doctor’s ear.