I was four years old and the doctor decided my tonsils should be removed. I guess my mother agreed and thought it best to do it before I was school age. Whatever the case, she devised a clever little ruse to get me to the hospital.
One day she explains to me that the kids at the hospital have no one to play with and we are going to take a trip there so I can play with them. The big day arrives and off we go. I get the creeps right away. The hospital is big, full of people, and I don’t like the whole idea of being there. The next thing I know, some nurses are putting me in some gown. I start complaining immediately to my mother standing right there. She explains that I need to wear pajamas so the other kids won’t feel bad, because that’s what they are wearing. So I settle down and change into the gown.
Well, before I could ask where are the kids, they put me on a table and start wheeling me away and my mother wasn’t following. I was scared to death. I am laying there asking for my mother and the doctors and nurses all wearing masks are looking down on me. That big light shining over my head. Then they put a mask over my face and tell me to count. I swear I was out cold in seconds.
When I wake up, I look around and see a room full of adults laying in beds. All probably there in recovery from their operations. I had a sore throat, but it didn’t phase me. I started saying, “I want my mommy,” over and over again. The nurse told me to take a nap. I was very smart, even at four, and I told her I already took a nap and I want my mommy. Then I hear someone in a nearby bed saying “Polly want a cracker.” I thought I was in a nuthouse. I got anxious and started demanding my mother. Of course, they were afraid I would hemorrhage if I kept asking for my mother, especially when I told them I would scream if they didn’t get her for me. Before you knew it she was there in the room. I was pretty glad to see her, even though she tricked me. I was supposed to have stayed overnight, but my mother got permission to take me home.
It was like Christmas when I got home! So many presents to open. I loved the little ironing board and iron. I think I got a tea set, a doll carriage and a baby doll too. I forgot all about my mother’s lies and deceit as I played for ten days with all my new toys.
I was also told I could have all the ice cream I wanted. Every time I asked for ice cream, my father would try to warm it up first! I asked for lemon ice, and my mother said she would have to ask the doctor about that. I never wanted to eat steak before the operation, but when I came home I demanded steak, which I was not supposed to have, so my throat could heal. Now what decent Italian mother is going to refuse to feed her four year old steak? Not mine. So I ate a nice big piece! At the end of ten days I went to be checked by the doctor, who gave me a clean bill of health. I asked him if I could have lemon ice and he said sure, you can have all you want.
I think getting my tonsils out was worth it and you would think I would have learned not to trust my mother ever again. But I didn’t and a few years later she pulled another stunt. If I remember I will blog about that one tomorrow.