“Your babies are going to be born soon,” declares Porthos.
Whoa, I think. Is my son uttering a prophecy?
Not quite. The dear fellow runs off and fetches his doctor kit and stuffed toys. In the next few minutes, I have given birth to a bear, a daschund and a pug. Athos joins in the game. My two young doctors check the newborns with their medical equipment, wrap them gently in muslin and pass them to me. I cradle them, thank the doctors, and praise them for their kindness.
These boys will make wonderful fathers some day, I think. It warms my heart to see how tender they are.
As usual, I have forgotten that we are playing doctor.
“Oh no!” cries Athos, listening through his stethoscope. “Your baby’s heart is making funny sounds – boom, boom, boom”
“And Pug has swallowed a cuckoo clock!” chimes Porthos.
And before I know it, my new babies are whisked off to brutal surgery, multiple injections and what looks like near-lethal doses of medicine.
End of tender interlude.