Ooh, it feels good to be back! Yesterday I finally started clowning again. Mamooo and Gladys did the rounds at Philomena's, there were lots of little girls and boys ranging from 4 to 9 years old or so - Dolly, Pavan, Rita, Prashant, Giri, Akash and one little boy whose name Gladys forgot to ask, mainly because he had a bar of Cadbury's in his shirt pocket so she kept calling him Chocolate Boy and pretending to steal his candy - and we succeeded in getting loads of giggles from them all. Mamu's fart-balloon was a huge success.
My crotchety old cleaning lady was very happy to see us again, although she chased us out of one room where she had just mopped the floor. She talks to Gladys a lot. As Gladys does not speak any Tamil, these conversations are always quite intriguing. Most of the time Gladys assumes that she is asking for a dance, so usually replies by trying to sweep her into a waltz. She was saying something about tomatoes at one point, and indicating Gladys' nose. It must have been some traditional Tamil vegetarian compliment.
We also succeeded in drying some tears, which felt good. The first was Sakshi, a little boy in the ICU, having a drip put in. Screaming his head off. We didn't do much good at first, but then Mamu started singing softly and he actually calmed down. Meanwhile his mummy was getting equally worked up and she dissolved into tears too so Gladys took her off to one side and had a little chat to dry them off.
For me, the best part of the morning - the biggest compliment - was when we were heading back at the end of our rounds, and one of the senior nurses stopped to tell us that Akash, one of the kids we'd seen earlier was crying and would we go back and cheer him up? It really felt good, and meant a lot that she recognised our contribution. He wasn't in pain, just cranky and unhappy with having to use a nebuliser for his wheezing. But it was wonderful to be there and see him soon go from screaming back to his delightfully mischievous giggling.
So - a lovely morning. Exhausting, of course. Two hours of clown energy can be quite draining. So you can imagine how exhausted I am NOW - as I've just got back from a whole day of being Gladys at a Christmas bazaar. And so I'm off to bed and will write about today's adventures tomorrow!