In an effort to reduce anxiety or crying at the pediatrician’s office, I have developed a plan for well visits (sick ones are another animal all together) that has been a work in progress for the last five years or so. Basically, in addition to talking with the kids about exactly what will happen while they are at the doctors so hopefully they can be relaxed for the exam, I also bribe the shit out of them and practically beg for good behavior. Both of my boys used to cry and throw a fit at every visit until age four. The kicker here is that they would be freaking out through the exam and be done crying by the time they got the shots. My daughter, however, has been much better and she hasn’t shed a tear since her 15 month visit.
Monday morning Jake had his 4 year check up and I was hoping this would be his first tear free visit. As we drove the ten minutes to the office, we briefly discussed (again) how he would be weighed, measured, have his eyes, throat and and ears examined. We talked about the eye test, how he’d probably have to bend down and touch the floor so they could check his spine, and lastly how they’d check in his underwear. This last piece of information I saved because I knew he’d enjoy asking me why they’d be checking his “balls” six hundred times, most likely when in public. So with less than three minutes until we arrived, I just gave a quick response of “they just want to make sure all that you have the right number of parts” to his question of “why?” This off the cuff answer was enough to quiet him- for the moment…
Not long after arriving, it was apparent Jake was much more at ease which proved to be less of a blessing and more of a curse. Jake, as some of you know, has a way with words. Whether it be at home, at school, at the store with an androgynous cashier, or at the pediatrician’s office, Jake, given the right mood and the right amount of time, can really make me wish that the Earth would just open and swallow me whole. This was one of those times.
Here’s the highlights:
1. The receptionist asked Jake if he wanted to draw on some paper (instead of the receipt I had given him), and he replied, “No thank you. My Mom says your stuff is covered in germs.”
2. Across the hall, on the sick side, a father let his 12-14 month old baby crawl around on the floor. Jake, even though in a separate waiting room, announces “I don’t think that baby should just be crawling around in there. Now that Dad has a dirty baby.” I’m sure the Dad wanted to thank Jake for his 4yr old wisdom and parenting advice.
3. Son of a bitch. I forgot to talk about the hearing test. This was the first time he was tested since birth and was told to raise a hand when he heard a “beep.” Jake, clearly annoyed with this surprise test, sits with his hands folded in his lap. When the nurse asks if he hears “beeps” Jake says “no.” She wheels the machine away, which apparently is a loaner while the regular machine is being fixed, and has another nurse make sure it’s working properly. I just eye ball Jake and tell him to raise his damn hand becuase I know he hears it. The machine comes back, Jake’s hands remain lowered. I see his eyes move around and notice a smirk corresponding with the nurse pressing the button. She notices too and asks him to say “beep.” This stimuli and response is more pleasing so he says “beep” three, maybe four times, but insists he can’t hear the softer beeps. The persistent nurse, who probably should be paid more than whatever she makes for her patience and endurance, tries for another ten minutes removing the headphones, listening to the beeps herself and watching Jake play deaf.
4. The eye test immediately follows the hearing test. Jake remembers talking about the eye exam, but is still annoyed about the previous hearing test. He half cooperates and now I have a prescription to take him to an eye doctor. I have a flash back to Joey, who performed equally as poorly at his four year visit, only to have his vision miraculously return by age five. The Vatican has not yet deemed this an official miracle, but surely they will soon.
5. The doctor asks Jake to draw and “X” to which he complies and then he proceeds to draw a stegosaurus. This is impressive not just because he’s only four, but also because he’s apparently blind.
6. The doctor asked me how Jake’s diet was, and if he eats fruits, veggies, meats, etc. Jake, is by far, my best eater and loves just about every fruit and veggie. He proudly tells her he grows lots of veggies in a garden and love tomatoes. He also adds that he really likes when I make chicken, spinach and mushrooms, but that our fresh spinach is done growing and I don’t buy any more mushrooms because the last time I did “Mommy got bad diarrhea.”
7. When the doctor goes to check his privates, Jake tells her, “Okay, but you don’t have to…I have the right number of balls.”
The Earth failed to swallow me, but at least Jake didn’t cry this time…although when he was crying before there was a lot less yapping.
Best part of all? I get to take Joey back next week for his visit. I’m thinking of wearing a disguise.
How do your doctor’s visits go? Leave me a comment! And while you’re here, take a quick second and click on the banner below to vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs! Just one click is all it takes to cast an automatic vote for me! Thank you!!