‘I have a scratchy bottom,’ my four year old told the bemused girl behind the counter.
She leaned forward to emphasis her point. ‘Every time I do a poo,’ she said.
The poor girl was silent, flicking glances at me every now and then.
‘From here!’ she exclaimed turning slightly and pointing at her butt.
‘It’s scratchy,’ she said again, giving her butt a good rub as if to prove a point.
The bewildered girl looked embarrassed. She’ll have to get over that if she wants to work in a chemist, I thought to myself.
‘Is it her cheeks or where… where the poo comes from?’ she asked quietly.
‘Where the poo comes from,’ my daughter replied loudly. ‘Poo!’ she repeated for the benefit of the old lady who had walked up behind us. ‘My bottom is scratchy,’ she told the old lady conspiratorially.
The old lady nodded knowingly.
We all looked at the girl waiting for a solution.
‘I’m going to have to get the pharmacist,’ she said and scuttled off.
Even the old lady rolled her eyes.
The pharmacist was much better prepared, stooping down to the level of her newest patient and not looking the slightest bit embarrassed at the discussion about poos and holes and whether it was appropriate to stick your fingers in your bottom if it was scratchy (hint: it’s not, especially at Kindy or at dinner-time).
After a lengthy chat with my daughter, the pharmacist stood up and gave me a smile.
‘I think the best option is to treat her for worms. If nothing changes after that, then we consider treating her for a dermatitis.’
Awesome, I thought. Worms.
‘And I’m sure you know you will need to treat the whole family,’ she said.
Even better, I thought.
Clutching her chocolate-lookalike medicine as we walked back through the shops (someone deserves a medal for making worm medicine look and taste like chocolate) my daughter was very excited. It could have been the prospect of no longer having an itchy butt, but more likely was the fact that she got chocolate medicine.
At home, the rest of the family eyeballed the chocolate squares I put in front of them.
‘And why are we taking this exactly?’ asked my eldest daughter, sniffing it suspiciously.
‘Just take it,’ said the middle daughter, her mouth already full. ‘It’s yummy.’
My husband knew exactly what it was. ‘Awesome,’ he said drily. I just shrugged.
Two days later and my four year woke up complaining.
‘I have a scratchy arm,’ she pouted. ‘I think the ants went on my bom bom and now they went on my arm and that’s why I’m itchy.’
‘Ummm… I don’t think it’s ants,’ I started.
‘It is,’ she replied with the determination that only a four year old can muster. ‘I think the ants bite me because they think I’m a sandwich.’
She shook her head sadly.
‘I don’t like being a sandwich.’