When Curious Alex Goes to the Hospital

Like any kid, I suppose, Alexander goes through phases of play. But as of late, almost all toys have taken a backseat as he’s been completely engrossed in these role-playing games, fireman, zoo (the newest) and ohh, the absolute favorite- Hospital. Based on the book Curious George Goes to the Hospital, playing hospital with Alex involves quite an extensive process and game play.

It begins like this. Muma sits in the ‘clinic’ and waits to see if any ‘patients’ are going to come in today. Alexander races around the house ending in a crash on the floor, and then makes his way, hobbling, to the clinic. “Welcome, Sir” says Dr. Mama, “How can I help you today?” “My leg/arm/hand/foot/fingers… hurt,” says Alex. “Let me show you what I did…” Alex proceeds to demonstrate his fall from a few moments earlier. “Ohh,” answers Mama concernedly, “it looks like you really hurt your leg/arm/hand/foot/fingers… on that one.” (Alex may correct you if you guess the wrong hurt part) A testing process of wiggling, exercising, or light tapping of the owie ensues. “Does that hurt?” “Oooh yes!” Answers Alex, sometimes groaning. It is always concluded that an x-ray is needed, followed by some kind of machinery and a sound effect.

Alexander receives a bracelet with his name on it, and is wheeled (carried sit-style) with a squeaky wheel to his hospital bed (aka couch). He’s made comfortable, with pillows, blankets as requested, a night stand with sometimes a lamp, a button (squeaky toy) to call “Mama Nurse!!!” And then the nurse comes in to take his vital signs. If he has a temperature he gets a ‘poke’ (“It’ll only hurt for a minute.” says Alex), and then if he complains of pain, ‘Mama Nurse’ brings him some kind of pill (raisin, m&m, what have you) “for the pain.” There are then a series of button ringings for “Mama Nurse!!!” Requests for water (usually in a tiny baby bottle, just because he likes it and it’s un-spilly), lunch, a book, a toy, or Mama Nurse’s personal favorite- the ever vague “I need something…” Sometimes someone sends him flowers for his nightstand, or Nurse brings him a phone to call friends and family. For pretend lunch he is usually brought Tuna (a few P.F. Goldfish in a cup). For real lunch he’s usually ‘wheeled’ over to the cafeteria (aka table), but in an elaborate game such as this one when Aidan was napping well, he got to check his items from a menu and eat his real lunch ‘in his room.’ He thought this was just oh so swell, and we’ve only done it a couple of times. Sometimes surgery is required- we take out the bad bones, and put in new ones. Sometimes extra ‘boo boo cream’ (lotion) is needed to ease the pain.

Sometimes, “the mayor is coming!” though there’s been a lot of talk about this one but I’m never sure what’s supposed to happen when “the mayor comes.” Sometimes it’s Mayor Aidan, waking up from his nap. But often times Nurse Aidan will “assist in chart work,” “answer phone calls” (play with the toy phone), or keep Alexander company in his room (sit and play on a blanket next to the couch). Sometimes Mama has to tend to her ‘other patient’ and Alex has to wait a bit when he pushes his “Mama Nurse!!!!” button (over and over again). When Mama is the patient, Aidan is happy to sit with Mama in the hospital bed, and be brought toys and other paraphernalia as “Alex Nurse” sees fit.

Early versions of the game, took Alexander to the playroom- where he spent a few minutes in the toy corner, but lately he’s content to be doted upon lying on the couch. We also went through a discharge process early-on where he got to leave the hospital on his bike, brought for him to the valet, but we haven’t seen this request in quite a while. Lately it seems that patient Alex could be sick indefinitely so the game ends with Nurse Mama finally saying, “Okay, Alex it looks like you’re all better now, I’ll check you one last time, and then it’s time to …”

I can’t really complain about the event, even though we play one form or another pretty much every day. Alex likes to be doctor too, and he’s very good at taking care of Muma, wrapping the wrap, and bringing all sorts of things over. Though sometimes the lotion deal gets a little messy, and a couple times surgery meant that he ended up ‘sawing off’ the ankle ending with a “there- you’re all better! But usually he’ll even tell Muma- ok “now you go to sleep until…” “Okay”, says Muma– not-so-reluctant to lay her head upon the pillow Dr. Alex brought and snuggle into the blankets.

Oh, what a treasure this little boy is. Through all of his phases and phrases, little voice and adorable expressions, his understanding and ever expanding creativity and processes simply amaze us. David said the other day that when he finally decides in life what it is that he wants “to do”- we’ll probably say- “Of course!!! We should have known all along! You’ve been doing that since you were two!” So we shall see, aside from doctor then we’ve got fireman, ‘trash guy’, chef, race car driver, boat builder, seat belt designer, baker, computer wiz, painter, singer, zoo keeper……….

2 thoughts on “When Curious Alex Goes to the Hospital

  1. Not having a computer==almost missed this blog==This imaginative play is so very advanced for his age. His ability to express himself also very advanced. These role-play times are soooo very precious to read about. Feel very blessed to have such a creative
    d-i-l who records these memories in such beautiful pics and wors. love to all gma/gpapa

  2. You are certainly thorough, Mama Nurse. It sounds like so much fun! You don't want to do the Mayor thing. Things crashed in a big mess when C. George rolls into the lunch cart right in front of the mayor. His little voice and enthusiasm and so many ideas make him a fun playmate for all ages. My favorite lately is the enthusiastic "Sure!" joyfully elongated like a "shyou're" with bright eyes and smile. Gotta record that. Treasure these times! Your books are making a delightful record. Aidan's going to have his own style for us to look forward to as well. He's so enjoying his toes and simple toys to grab and chew now. May God guide each age and stage for us big kids too.

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