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My four-year-old daughter's a health secretary in the making

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I’ve been lucky enough to have two weeks of paid paternity leave, which is one of the perks of being salaried.

For the past two weeks, and with a new baby on the scene, my job has been to diagnose his various harmless skin rashes, toxic erythema neonatorum, milia and neonatal pustulosis. Dermatologists have a knack of turning the mundane into something terrifying; they clearly need to get out more.

But if that were not enough I’ve had another job in life, to keep my four-year-old daughter entertained and to stop her from getting jealous of her younger brother.

Sensing my weakness and willingness to please, she’s forced me to be Shining Armour for the past two weeks.

‘Be Shining Armour. Be him. BE HIM!’

For those of you lucky enough not to know, Shining Armour is a fictional pony from the long-running television series My Little Pony. He’s a male unicorn pony, and he’s Twilight Sparkle’s older brother.

He is the captain of the Canterlot Royal Guard, serving under Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, and bears the title of prince as a result of his marriage to Princess Cadance. (Facts I never wanted to know).

At 4am, traditionally a time when the world and its tepid contents turn into grey slime and suction through your sinuses, I wake up with the My Little Pony theme tune running repeatedly through my head, its upbeat melody is like dripping hot screaming lime juice on to your frontal lobes.

‘Be Shining Armour. Be him. BE HIM!’

I have been Shining Armour for eight hours at a stretch, I have made up stories about Shining Armour, I can move and talk just like Shining Armour, I have penned glorious poems about Shining Armour extolling his virtues.

I now hate Shining Armour. I want to take him out into the garden, douse him with petrol and set fire to him, before stamping his useless plastic corpse into the ground.

All because I have been forced to be something I’m not. To repeatedly do something against my will over and over and over again. To do something which doesn’t make any sense, simply because I have to. Because it’s expected of me, without complaint, without argument, without comeback.

Which is why going back to work as an NHS salaried GP fills me with dread.

Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Aberdeen.

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