Thursday, November 3, 2011

12 scenes at the pediatrician’s office.

Oh man, I wish I could take my kids to the doctor everyday. I mean, that is fun for all, something everyone can enjoy.  It’s better than a vacation. 

1. Check-in: Hey, fill out this form while you attempt to entertain your kids in this tiny closet of a room. 

2. The form: Hey, there free-spirit kind of parent, please put your pride and joy in a box and check off items on this list.  No pressure, but here’s what all the other “normal” kids are doing at his age. No, no, we’re not trying to say you are a bad parent if your kid can’t draw a circle, speak four languages, and recite all the digits of pi back to you, while standing on his head. And please, try to assess all these items, while all they want to do is push a truck around the floor and say, vroom vroom.

3. The wait:  It’s always a mystery how long you’ll sit there, while everyone who came in after you goes in first, not the good kind of mystery either.

4. The summon:  By the time, your kids are nice and antsy. Your name is called.  You will then proceed down a long hallway with lots of open doors that your child wants to run in and explore, but never the designated room.

5. The interrogation:  Have you housed any dangerous strangers since your last visit? Did everyone start smoking in the last three months? Is your native tongue the same since I met you in the waiting room? And did your kids ride in car seats on the way here today or did they roll around on the dashboard? I give the same answers to the same questions that I have been asked every month of their lives. Next time, I’ll ask the questions.

6. The check up: A friendly nurse tries to get your kids to stand on a scale and measure their height, which of course, said child doesn’t want to do.  So, you have to do the weigh you, then weigh the both of you trick.  Let it be known I was wearing boots and a thick sweater!

7. The check-up Part 2:  A new face walks in, a new doctor, because your other doctor is apparently booked until 2013, quite the celebrity that one.  Where they assess your pride and joy based on the shove’em in a box forms that you had to fill out earlier.  They proceed to try and stick things in their eyes and shine lights in their eyes, you know, things that are awkward, especially when they are sitting on strange table with hard, crinkly paper, in a freezing cold, foreign room, in a diaper no less. 

8. The Shots: Good gracious, saints alive, help. (And half the people, including my mother, gasp.)  Next, you will be forced to hold down your sweet baby on the previously mentioned, strange table, while someone pokes them with needles.  And every fiber of your nurturing, loving, parent-self is screaming inside along with them as you look into their pleading eyes, welling up in agony.  I wonder if I deserve part of the nurse’s pay for aiding and abetting this torture? I mean, at least enough to buy a latte afterwards.

9. Damage control:  Your victim baby doesn’t want you to set her down after that, but it’s only socially acceptable for children to wear clothes out of the doctor’s office, especially when it’s 35 degrees. Your toddler doesn’t seem to think today is a good one to gracefully part with the toys.  So he screams.  She cries.  A nurse wants to give them a sticker, which will naturally end up on your sock by the time you get home. And you think, please don’t reward my children for their bad behavior with prizes, you know, we sort of teach the opposite at our house.  I get it, a screaming baby leaving the doctor isn’t reassuring to the ones in the waiting room. So, sticker in hand, that doesn’t actually stop the crying and you try to navigate the maze to the lobby, where approximately 17 nurses will stop and want to gaze upon the radiance of your darlings.  And you really should stop and schedule your next appointment so that you can make the cut this century, but your car can’t be in front of you soon enough.  BUT WAIT. The one day you see a friend in the waiting room, a nice little chat might be nice.  No, not today. Bye friends.  There’s more.

10. The lab: Where in between the high frequencies of your high-pitched children, you check in and sit in a room, filled with elderly people. (Good thing they can’t hear so well, right?)  And toddler is still lamenting the the toy that was never his and sad, sleepy baby only wants a mama’s arms, but fit throwing, body flailing offspring #1 fills the three floors of the clinic with his protests.  You then must hold him tightly in your arms for the next 20 minutes until someone comes and says, hey, here’s a form!  And tears well up in your eyes, dripping, and how do you suggest I fill that out? And an angel lady comes and fills it out for you and tries to comfort you with something about all the other kids that have done this and how it’s okay, you’re doing fine.  And you think, well no other kids are doing it right now.  So, you take your turn in making everyone else’s kids look like cherubs for the day. Everywhere people are looking at you, then whispering to their neighbors, some cast reassuring smiles.  And then, sweet old ladies walk up to the stroller of insanity and say, “what precious darlings.”  Umm, really? Yes ma'am, hearing/vision check is up the stairs, to the right. 

When you’ve aged 30 years and the brick and mortar of the clinic is crumbling around you and your name is called, you get the technician who asks the other 10 questions, because they aren’t sure what this test is.  They give your offspring #1 a toy that will be taken back in 10 minutes (No, not again.)  And then force you to hold your little darling, sad, sleepy baby in your arms, as they poke her finger, stare in her face, and watch her beautiful blood drip into a miniscule tube that apparently, is bottomless.  Hey, did I mention, how much she loves strangers… in her face? 

11. The escape: Two and a half hours later, you walk faster than the speed of light to your vehicle, ignoring the murmurs of, “ooh, someone is not a happy camper,” and strap toddler the screaming one into his car seat, a little less nicely than normal and you take out a bit of aggression on the double stroller that doesn’t want to fit in the trunk and you collapse into your seat, muttering beautiful poetry .

12. Relief: Home.  Tuck sad, sleepy baby into her bed, although you just want to hold her.  And heat up coffee from earlier, which you never do, but it must be done. Sink into the couch, where your all of a sudden, kind, beautiful, tender, sweet little boy has returned and wants to pat your back and kiss your cheek. And you text your good friend a brief retelling of these events, because she understands and that helps.


Anyways, the above are just 12 scenes that may or may not happen at any given check up.  I wouldn’t know.  Nothing like this has ever happened to me. This not a true story.


Please note:  Doctors and nurses are great people and are not the truly horrible human beings that I may have depicted in my purely fictitious, frazzled-mama accounts. 


  1. This is a wonderful, completely fictitious story. I also love the part of the appointment when they ask about the your child's eating habits. Vitamins, what they eat, when, how much, like you're supposed to not only remember every single thing you've given them but also know exactly what they eat while at school when you aren't there. Wonderful. Yes, bring on the condescending, bad-parent, sideways glances between nurses. That makes a first time foster mom fill COMPLETELY secure.

  2. You describe the fictional scene so well. I think I may have seen that story many years ago, somewhere. However, I've never seen it written so well in a short fictional story.

  3. *hug* from one understanding mom to another. we've truly all been there.

  4. @Regina of Live Delightfully What, you didn't keep a food diary? Oh, me neither.

  5. @Stacey Thanks Stacey. Writing it made me feel better.

  6. @Jack of all trades - Master of none If by book, you mean my collection of silly motherhood tales, then yes. It's moved to the front of my brain. You are welcome.

  7. This was a great read for me. Been to the Dr. twice this week :(

  8. Ahaha! I thoroughly enjoyed this! I'm passing this on.


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