Five minutes after we checked into the teenage ward, we were invited to the 'Bubble Show' next door in the younger children's area. Bubble Dan and Bubble Janet had a big donut-shaped trough of liquid, some de-stringed badminton racquets, a less-than-consistent ability to produce giant bubbles, and completely horrifying levels of enthusiasm. They were like Rod, Jane, and 'we don't like to talk about Freddy since that investigation'. My girl loved them. I had difficulty stifling my hysterics. Then they made me into a 'human bubble tube monster'. I still smell of Fairy Liquid.
We spent the rest of the afternoon getting our bearings; chatting to nurses (as they took blood and did 'obs'); playing board games; and completing a One Direction jigsaw dating from before the Harry and the boys' balls had dropped.
It was discovered that there was free wi-fi. "This is completely AWESOME!" was my girl's response, already firing up Topsy And Tim and Eastenders on the iPlayer.
It was only when I took her into the wet room to shower her tonight that her anxieties began to fizz a little. She was tired, excited, and a little bit overwhelmed. But she held it together. Struggling to get her to listen, stand still, and turn as required, I soon realised my clothes would soon get soaked, so I took the easy option, stripped off, and joined her. Which she found fecking hilarious, principally because of my 'wobbly' tummy. Thanks, darlin'.
She's nil by mouth from midnight. And first on the theatre list. She's announced she wants a late breakfast and lunch "as soon as possible after I wake up, because I am definitely not missing out, no way".
She's asleep next to me. I'm perched on a plasticky miniature sofa bed which I fully expect to lose a finger to later when I muck up the pull-out procedure. (The last time that sentence was uttered, I didn't lose a finger, but I did get pregnant).
It was just the consent form that made me wilt. The risk bits. The words the surgeon pointed to so they weren't said out loud in front of my girl.
Sod it. I'm gonna think of bubbles, boy bands' little bollocks, and catch-up dinners. And just carry on looking at my girl. Here, fast asleep in a dark, noisy ward, cuddled up with Toffee Bear (a veteran of the 2008/2009 original surgeries), in her new, bright blue nightie, a big day ahead of her.
Big days come around and we've got through them before. We'll get through this one, too.
Song is The Small Faces - Don't Burst My Bubble