two clowns playing with a bubble in front of hospitalized boy

Dad and the Lion

30.November 2018

Dad and the Lion

Some hospital rooms have the names of the patients written on a sign outside the door. In the case of babies or toddlers, the sign usually reads something like: FRANK + M (i.e. mum), THERESA + G (i.e. grandma) or ANTHONY + D (i.e. dad).

We come to a door and peer through the round glass window. Before we can check the name tag, the patient’s dad catches sight of us and vigorously gestures that we should come in. Heeding his spontaneous and immediate welcome, we enter a room in which a two-year-old patient is lying in bed, playing with a nappy. His dad decides that the boy should meet the clowns and takes him out of his bed. However, the boy doesn’t seem to like it – he looks like he’s on the verge of crying. Then he notices our white coats and starts roaring like an angry lion.

His courageous dad doesn’t give up: »Don’t worry! Look who’s come to see you! The clowns!« My colleague and I retreat to the corridor, and leave only a small gap in the doorway to let in bubbles and gentle flute music. The boy’s cries still remind us of a lion’s roar. He’s persistent, but so is his dad. “Look at all those beautiful bubbles! Shall we catch some?”
The boy’s roar subsides a little, as he watches the bubbles float in the air. All of a sudden, a panda puppet appears at the edge of the door and slowly, with great relish, begins to swallow one bubble after another. The boy becomes silent, and watches the panda eating and waving with his black paw. He’s absolutely calm now and even responds to the puppet’s greeting. 
The soft tones of the flute fit well with the silence. The panda frolics along the door’s edge, surrounded by bubbles. 

All’s well that ends well. We leave feeling satisfied and take the opportunity to check the name of the patient we just saw. The sign says in bold letters: LEON + D. Once again we peek into the room through the round window. Leon, the »lion,« smiles at us, a few baby teeth shining in his mouth. His dad looks happy too. He has just managed to tame his little lion king.