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That steel thing

steel thing

Last night I slept in a steel cot. And I will again tonight.

So crutches have been around since the early 1900’s and recently, finally, they’ve been redesigned. A company called M&D introduced a shift to elbow support and moveable handles. This allows users to use their hands without dropping the crutches. It even has shock absorbers on its interchangeable feet, and straps to keep your elbows in place. Genius yes. Simple yes. People all over the world who use, or have ever used crutches, give a collective sigh. I wish someone would do the same for the good old hospital cot.

You see I’m folding myself up (and I’m not extra large) to sleep in that cot not because I’m an amazing parent. But because of a simple design flaw. Every time you gently put baby down in this thing, (after rocking said baby to sleep while being covered in vomit), you have to lift a side the weight of a small boy and it screeches and cranks the way I imagine old chains in a castle would. Baby wakes. You repeat the whole thing, still covered in vomit. After about the third try I decided to be the soft and silent barrier my child needs.

Now I know very little about hospital interior and design but I don’t think it takes a genius to see that this is a shitty design. Use a hardy but lightweight plastic already, with a side that can be lifted with one hand. Noiselessly.

There was also this incident that painfully pointed towards another hideous lack of design and common sense. It involves poop so if you’re not a parent yet please stop reading now. If however, you are a hospital administrator, please do keep reading, regardless of whether or not you have kids. To make a long and rather traumatic story short, I experienced one of those where you think the baby is done but actually he is not and you’re left hanging with one hand full of bum cream and the other hand catching yellow baby poop. Sick poop. (I warned you to stop reading dear not-a-parent-yet). Anyway I couldn’t hook the nappy bag with my foot because it was too far away and I could not move closer because baby would roll out of the stupid steel cot or through his own yellow poop. And I couldn’t move the baby or the cot to reach, because the baby is attached to a very short IV line that is attached to a complicated looking machine, that is not portable. Not mobile. Can’t move. I had to call for help, softly at first and then louder so that the nurse could hear me over (my) magazine that she was busy reading. Which brings me to the next point….

The call button. Located at the other side of the cot where the IV line can’t reach because it’s attached to the baby. It almost feels like that song about the hole in the ground and the tree in the hole and the nest in the tree and the bird in the nest. Except the not so funny after a week of little sleep version. I have to literally balance the (sometimes sleeping) child on one arm and half crawl-reach through the steel cot thing to reach the call button.

Please don’t read this post as complaining or ungrateful. Rather see it as suggestions from a paying client. Suggestions born from being tethered to a short line in a small room with a screaming baby and only one channel to watch: Nickelodeon. After the 7th time I’m actually starting to like that one Barbie episode where Rachel is being such a bitch. It’s like being brainwashed, and I’ve only been here for two days. If I may boldly make a few more suggestions:
⁃ Please don’t clean my room at 5am, I’m not that anal about bin cleanliness. Nobody is.
⁃ Give tired parents a small piece of paper and a pen so they can write down how much their babies drank and pooped and when they slept. Our sleep deprived brains can hardly remember last Wednesday.
⁃ For the love of coffee, please, please invest in man sized cups. Not dwarf sized cups. Not even the dwarf in GOT would drink from these, especially not him actually.
⁃ Your shoes, they squeak. It took me 40 minutes to get this child down. Want to see me fling a squeaky shoe against a stupid steel cot? The shoes need a redesign.

At 14th avenue in Randburg there is a beautiful Eco friendly building that absorbs noise, it was build for MTN. Go learn there.

If any of you parents out there have clever, yet simple suggestions, please add them here. We can start a petition. Parents unite for parent friendly hospitals.

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