I have a really funny joke for you. A mother with two small children walks into a doctors office. Get it? A mother with two small children? Oh, no punch line you say? Well let me explain.
I took Maddie to her four-year old checkup earlier this week. I always get a little anxious when I have take the kids to the doctor because we have to be in enclosed room for a considerable amount of time. I also get a little nervous because taking the kids to the doctor is like being put on the proverbial parenting hot seat. I guess you could say I have White coat Syndrome by proxy. I don't only fear the shots, but the questioning, especially when it comes to how they are eating and sleeping. As you may have learned from my previous posts on these subjects, you know that my kids have issues in these areas and I don't always follow the rules. I get worried that I will get a slap on the hand for my lack of parenting skills.
First step is for the nurse to come in and weight and measure Maddie. For all my worrying about her eating habits, she has gained four pounds and grown four inches. Then the nurse instructs her to strip down to her underwear and put on an ill-fitting paper hospital gown. This does not sit well with Maddie because she has never had to do this and because she has an ounce of fashion sense. The gown also immediately reminds her that she could be getting shots. She asks for the first of several times if she can go home. While I am waiting for the doctor to come in, I have to fill out a questionnaire asking some basic questions about Maddie since her last visit. Any questions and concerns? Just her sleeping habits and some bouts of constipation. How many hours a day does she watch television, under two hours, 2-3 hours or 3 or more hours. It says under two is recommended, so of course that is what I circle. Then asks how many servings of fruits and vegetable, and recommends 5 combined. Yeah, sure on a good day that is true. I circle 5. I finish up the paperwork answering as honestly as possible.
In the meantime, Colin is spinning the doctor's school around, crawling under the desk, climbing up and down the examining room table, playing with the scale, opening cabinets and pulling out supplies. I had brought in a toy from the waiting room, but he had already grown bored of the garage sale bus that probably would have been more entertaining if it actually had batteries in it. He is ready to escape out of the examining room and he opens the door to the pediatrician walking in.
I purposely have started seeing the doctor in the group that has three boys of his own because I figure he has the highest tolerance for psycho children. He starts in with the usual round of questions, some to me and some to Maddie. I get even more nervous when Maddie is asked to sing her ABC's. She gets a little stage fright and while she is saying them perfectly, you can barely hear her. I assure him she know them and we move on. He asks about eating and I mention she is "improving" on her variety of food choices. He brings up sleeping habits and I mention she is starting to drop her nap and it has caused some other sleeping issues like showing up in our room in the middle of the night. I don't divulge any information on how I've been handling it, but he tells me I just need to get up and walk her directly back to her bed and do not let her in bed with us. "Yes, sir," I reply.
I am trying to have a very serious conversation with the doctor about Maddie's constipation and at this point, the kids are literally climbing the walls. Colin is trying to crawl on his lap and type on his laptop and as I promptly remove him, the doctor just says, "That's OK." Then, Colin starts turning the lights on and off and Maddie begins charging after him to turn the lights back on. With the strobe light effect that they are creating, I am concerned someone is going to have a seizure. I finally locate a Lightning McQueen car in my purse and hope to occupy him long enough finish the poop conversation. Maddie tries stealing the car from Colin and he promptly bites her. Luckily I had already discussed Colin's biting issue with the doctor at Colin's two year old checkup a few weeks prior. This was my chance to show I could handle the situation as I was instructed. I took the car away from Colin (as to not reward him for biting) and then remove him from the situation. Since I couldn't make him leave the room, I could only put him in another part of the examining room. He began to scream and cry and promptly walked over to my purse and get his car back. I let him have the car, but made sure I noted out loud that what I was doing was not the appropriate way of handling the situation, but in the interest of moving on, I was breaking the rules.
The doctor always remains stoic as the chaos swirls around him and I have to wonder what is going through his mind. Is he thinking, "Holy, shit the inmates are really running the asylum at the Stien
The doctor continues the exam and then went through the shots she needed. I could feel Maddie's anxiety reaching a fever pitch and soon the nurse was on her way in to give her three shots and take some blood. Before this could happen, the doctor said I needed to have her provide a urine sample. Maddie was able to do this last year without any issues, but I think she was just clueless enough and I was lucky she had to go at that time and I could just slip the cup in there before she knew what was going on.
This time was a little different. She was already stressed about getting shots and had stage fright when I ordered her to pee on command. I also had knuckle head running in and out of the bathroom. Every time I would run out to catch him, Maddie would follow me with her drawers dropped to the ground. I finally bribed her with chocolate and she was able to provide me with a sample. Just when she thought she was in the clear, she had to endure her shots. I told the nurse to hold on a second while I slipped Maddie a Hershey Kiss. I got her up on the table and she was ready to jump off in a single bound, but between the nurse and I, we were able to pin her down and she got her shots. Needles don't usually make me queasy as long as I don't look at them, but when all was said and done I was ready to throw up. I showered her with stickers and we were on our way.
I decided that this doctor's visit warranted going out to lunch. I asked Maddie where she wanted to go and she immediately said, "Red Robin." This is normally not where we would go for lunch unless it was a special occasion or I need to seriously bribe her, but I figured the fact that we all survived this doctor's visit, was special occasion enough for me.