I found myself an empty uncomfortable chair and sat with my new library book and started reading. There was only one other woman in the waiting room who appeared to be nursing a very small human, and I was thinking that the quiet was actually kind of nice as was the view from the 9th floor, and I settled in.
The the one other lady in the room started talking. To her infant. At full volume. Normally, I think this is fine. I mean, you talk to your baby, duh. But this lady (when I say "lady" I mean mother of ambiguous age, because I think she was younger than I) did not seem to be doing it for her baby's benefit, rather for mine. She was giving a play-by-play of everything happening in that corner of the room as her infant was busily sucking away at her booby.
It started with "oh, you're such a good eater" type cooing. I could handle that. But then, more people started filtering in the room, more of Dr's patients who were asked to come back later. Then this lady's soliloquies got progressively louder. "Oh, hey Mister! What are you doing?" and at one point, she took the baby off her booby with a suction-type noise and he was pretty upset about it. She proceeded to apologize profusely and try to coax him to latch back on "Here you go - no, Mister, over here. Here it is." No one who came in wanted to sit in her corner of the room.
I found myself staring at the words in my book without reading them and just thinking "Gosh, this lady doesn't get any attention at home obviously" and proceeded to feel a little bit sorry for her including giving her a little "I feel sorry for you" smile. But then I decided that she was just a little bit off.
Her baby fell asleep and she put him in his car seat. She got up and started swinging the car seat hither and thither quite unnecessarily - her baby was contentedly asleep. She let him sleep there for all of ten minutes before she took him out again and bounced him on her knee. He then woke up and started fussing. Duh. The mother could then resume her discourse: "Oh, what IS it, Mister? Oh, you're still on a one hour feeding schedule?" And then the tell-tale sounds of a dirty diaper made its way to the ears of those of us subjected to this little scene punctuated by "OH MY! I hope you feel better after that! WOWEE." Etc.
Just for the record, we waited for an HOUR AND A HALF. One entire hour and a half of my life was spent not reading and thinking about this over-actor and her progeny.
I think it was toward the 40-minute mark that I started to feel a lot less sorry for the mom and a whole lot more sorry for the kid. This child who was a prop for this lady. I mean, she was obviously (obviously) taking care of the baby, it just seemed more like she was doing it for the attention it would get her rather than for the baby itself. What must their lives look like every day? Was it always like this? I wonder if the lady knew we were all going to remember her as the kooky lady we had to put up with in a confined space.
And then the nurse came out and called her name and she declared from across the room "Oh, great! Just in time! He just ate and pooped and fell back asleep!" and slung the car seat like an accessory across her arm and strode out of the waiting room and into the office.
And everyone in the room exchanged polite, silent little waiting-room glances that conveyed the loud cheers of celebration we all felt in our souls.