I hurried around the house, looking for items to bring to the doctor’s office. I had the usual items in the diaper bag, but searched for items to distract and occupy Jake at his appointment. As I quickly tried to get at least one cup of coffee in my system, I said a silent prayer that we get a different nurse today than who we had yesterday. Cecilia had to be seen the day prior because she has never had the chicken pox vaccine, and my husband has an outbreak of shingles. After talking with the doctor by phone, he suggested she get the vaccine which could prevent or lessen the severity of the illness should she succumb to the virus herself. I wondered perhaps if I made the right choice as we stood in the office, and the receptionist coughed repeatedly while getting us checked in. I remember the days of being exposed to the chicken pox virus on purpose, and wondered if an outbreak of chicken pox would be worse than contracting the whooping cough I just diagnosed the woman behind the counter with…at least we were to be in and out quickly, and were there to simply see a nurse who would just be giving her the vaccine. When we were called back the nurse commented on how cute Cecilia was, and how funny that she was leaving her sunglasses on her face. I noted that she thinks she is hiding and most likely invisible, so perhaps that is why it came as an even greater surprise to Cecilia when she was stuck in the leg by a needle. At first she didn’t even cry, but rather slipped free from my grip on one side, pulled her arm back, and smacked the nurse right in the face just as she was placing the bandage on Cecilia’s leg. The nurse looked even more shocked than I did, and for a minute all three of us were silent. Then Cecilia began to scream and cry, and I, in my usual fashion, quickly apologized as I made my way as fast as possible out the door.
“Please, Dear God, give me a different nurse!” I prayed. Just then Jake appeared, already crying and not wanting to go and see the doctor. He continued crying as we drove to the office, and began to wail as I unbuckled his seat belt. Knowing this was only the beginning of the worst, I rummaged through his diaper bag and finally struck gold. A binkie. We had taken the pacifiers off him seven days before when he turned three years old. Jake instantly stopped crying as I dangled the pacifier in front of his tear stained face. “I will give this to you as long as you stop crying, little man. The minute you start up again, I’m taking this away. Oh, and don’t tell Daddy.” I bargained. Jake thought for a moment, wiped his face, and agreed.
As we made our way into the waiting room, I could already hear the receptionist coughing and thought if Cecilia, Jake or I make it through without getting sick ourselves, it would be a damn miracle. After signing in and slathering my hands in Purell, I offered Jake some of the toys I packed earlier. He was uninterested in doing much of anything other than burying his face in my shoulder. As long as he wasn’t screaming, I was happy. A little girl, probably about 4 years old, came over and said “Pwease don’t be sad. It’s okay. Wanna read a book wiff me?” Jacob looked up at her, removed his binkie, and said, “Don’t talk to me.” Nice. The little girl instantly began to cry, and I almost didn’t hear the nurse call our name as I was apologizing to the girl and her mother. Jake too began to cry and tighten his grip around my neck.
He cried ridiculously loud as they weighed, measured and took his blood pressure. I tried to reassure him as I restrained from my more predominant desire which was to “give him something to cry about.” At least we had a different nurse…as she took us into our exam room, Jake’s cries became more like whimpers as she went through his chart and asked me questions about his sleeping, eating and development. At one point, Jake appeared to almost stop crying and his sniffed loudly. The nurse, trying to help, said “Awe, buddy. I’m not going to hurt you.” Jake, once again removed his binkie, and replied, “My Mom smacks my ass when I lie. You better not lie.” My cheeks felt ablaze and my stomach sank as I swiftly apologized to the second nurse in two days. I also scolded Jake who argued “she is gonna hurt me.” The nurse was clearly speechless and just jotted something I’d rather not think about into Jacob’s chart.
As we waited in the exam room I could hear muffled voices in the hallway, followed by laughter. I hoped if they were talking about us they at least had a sense of humor. Once the doctor came in Jake relaxed a bit and did pretty well for his exam. We had almost made it through a portion of our visit without incident when the doctor told Jake “Now I’m going to do one last thing and check your privates to make sure they are okay…Mommy is still right here.” Jake looked a bit puzzled and said, “Uh, those aren’t my privates. Thems are my balls.” Again, my face flushed and I tried my best this time not to laugh.
Upon completing the exam, the doctor sent the nurse in to administer two shots to Jake, and Jake promptly reminded her of how she was a liar. She apologized and explained this was medicine to help keep him from becoming very sick. Jake just scowled and was obviously not phased by her attempt at a rebuttal. As we left the office I marveled over how Jake screamed the whole way there and through most of the appointment only to not cry for his shots. Ironic and a bit irritating.
We stopped at Wendy’s on the way home, which was one of my failed bribes in the office, and as I ate my own comfort food, fries and a large coke, I was thrown under the bus by Jake. “Hey, Daddy…guess what? Mommy gave me my binkie back and she said I could keep it (Lies!).” My husband shot me the same disapproving looks I would have given him if the situation was reversed as I tried to explain just how “bad” this seemingly routine appointment was…I just hope the staff, whom we both physically and verbally abused on Thursday and Friday, forgets who I am before Joey’s 5 year old appointment next Tuesday.