Tadpole makes a bee-line for the scales, and has to be hoisted forcibly into a chair by my side. She fiddles with a huge tome on the table in front of her. The doctor, visibly stressed, barks “don’t touch that!” with uncharacteristic sharpness.
I sigh, and begin explaining Tadpole’s little problem. I have barely finished my second sentence when Dr Freud interrupts me.
“… faudrait plutôt consulter un pédopsychiatre pour ça!”
I freeze, hackles rising. A child psychiatrist? She can’t be serious, surely?
The doctor notes my disbelief, but continues, regardless. “Well, you have been having problems of your own lately, and she could be picking up on them…”
Because what I really needed right now, apart from an anally retentive two year old who manages to hold everything in for ten whole days before I am obliged to resort to desperate measures involving suppositories, is a doctor who says that this is clearly my fault.
“I was thinking more along the lines of using a mild laxative medecine, and trying to talk to her about it myself,” I say firmly. “It’s really quite common at this age, isn’t it?”
This problem pre-dates any of mine, we simply didn’t realise how bad it had got. The point being that the nanny assumed she was going at home. Mr Frog and I assumed she was going at the nanny’s. Only when Tadpole stayed with mamie and papy for two whole weeks did the extent of Tadpole’s determination to withhold become apparent.
The doctor examines Tadpole’s tummy, seeming satisfied that she is not in any pain. She hands me a prescription for medecine, as requested, and then a second piece of paper, upon which she has scribbled the address of the child psychiatrist.
As we leave the building, I scrunch up the paper with my free hand, and drop it into the nearest dustbin.
“Right,” I say to Tadpole. “Mummy is going to buy some Smarties. And you can have three, next time you do a poo in the potty.”
Desperate times call for desperate measures.