Ever since Polly had her vaccinations at one year old, she has been scared of the doctors and medical professionals poking at her with weird tools. This is not surprising, since you get three jabs in one go, which is cruel and mean and nasty and heartbreaking.
Unfortunately, since then she’s been ill quite a lot, involving several visits to the GPs and also one to A&E. Every time an otoscope, tongue depressor or stethoscope came out, she’d panic, scream and cling to me, expecting the worst.
This last weekend, we finally managed to get over to Wales to visit grandparents. It’s been a while, mostly because of illness. Waiting there for us was a Christmas gift for Polly (I said it had been a while).
When Polly opened it, she was so excited and happy. She often eyes up dolls in shops, enthusiastically yelling “Baby!” and requiring some real distraction techniques to move her on. She also loved the medical bag with all the kit, spending a lot of time doing (and undoing) the zip and using the instruments on the doll. The kit comes with a medicine bottle and a syringe like the one we give her Calpol or antibiotics with. She immediately recognised what this was for, and gave the baby some medicine (or, “mala” as Polly calls it, in a French accent for some reason).
Over the next few days, she has spent a lot of time playing with the doll and the medical kit. Thanks to my mum (who used to be a paediatrician) Polly has learned that the otoscope is for looking into ears (for some reason Polly pronounces “eye” and “ear” the same), and how the patient needs to breathe when listening to their chest with the stethoscope. You can tell when she’s got the stethoscope out, as she suddenly breathes differently to help the doctor hear her lungs!
As a result of all this doctor-patient role play with this medical kit, when we went to the doctors on Wednesday she was absolutely fine. She was completely relaxed, and didn’t even mind her throat being looked at using the tongue depressor. I was amazed, and so proud of her.
So, the consensus is that this is an excellent play set.
But why does it have to be so PINK? If this was normal coloured (by which I mean similarly coloured to the real-life doctor’s instruments) it would be a fantastic play set for a boy OR a girl.
I would never, never, never have bought this myself. I’m glad Polly got it, obviously, but I just wish it was NORMAL coloured.
In contrast, you can see the doctors kit I had when I was a kid below (Clue: it’s not pink)
The caring profession: it’s not for boys.