Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 1453 - Doctor's Visit

Just like me and showers, the kids had their yearly visit with our pediatrician.  The kids seems to be growing and developing pretty well.  Emma is around the 80th percentile for height and 60th for weight.  The only thing we have to follow-up on with Emma is this little mole on the bottom of her foot.  The pediatrician recommended that we have her see a dermatologist within the year to just get it checked out.  I recommended a dab of yellow Liquid Paper, but the doctor did not see the humor in that.

As for Andrew, he is in the 30th percentile for height and 25th percentile for weight.  He has always been a little shorter than Emma, but hopefully when puberty kicks in he will be able to defend himself from a 7'2" Emma.  I also mentioned to our pediatrician that upon the suggestion of our preschool, Andrew was going to receive a speech assessment.  The doctor asked Andrew several questions from a picture book and agreed that he has a slight articulation problem with certain sounds.  She inquired if anyone in our family received speech therapy, and that was my cue to stuff my face with saltine crackers and spew out "Naaaaaht toooooo mah knahwedge!!!"  The doctor did not see the humor in that either.

After getting a clean bill of health, it was time for a couple of shots.  The doctor used her big doctor words explaining the different types of shots the kids needed.  Big words like "ouchy", "pointy needle", and "stabbing pain".  The doctor then turned back into the friendly pediatrician, told the kids what a great job they did, how they would get toys on the way out, but first, a nurse needs to see them.  And out she went.

The kids were slightly confused why the nurse needed to come back in; this made me uncomfortable.  The old switcharoo, good cop/bad cop, Charlie Sheen/Ashton Kutcher ploy was in play.  I diverted their attention by reading them some books and pamphlets on vaccinations, but it only increased their uneasiness.

Eventually the nurse came in.  The first thing she said was, "Who's fussier?"

It was like a pediatric Sophie's Choice.  I pointed to Andrew, and she said, "He's first."

As soon as I lifted Andrew on top of the examination table, he saw the needles and crapped his pants.  Literally.  I had to change his pants.

"I don't want that!  I want to go home!" screamed Andrew without even getting a shot.

The nurse was having a difficult time giving him the shot, so she asked me to hold him on my lap.  I had to cross my legs over his legs, and then cross my arms over his arms.  We looked like a Disney Channel version of the Human Centipede.  Emma crept in to see what was going on.  I told Emma to go read a book, but she was too fascinated with this human train wreck.  As the nurse gave Andrew his two shots, each time the needle was put into his arms, Andrew screamed, and Emma's eyes widened -- she almost looked Caucasian. 

Obviously after seeing Andrew's meltdown, Emma was none to happy to be next.  Once again, I had to lock Emma into my lap.  After much screaming and kicking, Emma's two shots were over.  And I swear...after having both kids on my lap, it felt like my balls got shots too.

The nurse left, and I let the kids calm down in the room.  After several long minutes, Andrew stepped back and looked at me with his angry eyes.  He yelled, "I don't like this place.  This is no good.  I don't ever want to come back!"  And like a little Victor Borge, he made a little sound and stomped his foot on the ground.

As we walked out of the doctor's office, there was a little cafe nearby so I bought the kids a juice box for the ride home.  All I could think about on the walk to the car was how much things have changed over the past four years.  For the first year or so, every time your kid received a shot, you felt pangs of guilt and remorse.  You just wanted to hold them close to you and make them stop crying.

But a few more years pass, and my how things have changed.  Guilt and remorse are replaced with exhaustion and frustration.  And you don't want to hold them too close to you because you're afraid you'll end up doing what the Indian did to Jack Nicholson in Cuckoo's Nest.

My feeling is that this is the first year that planted the seeds in the kids that going to the doctor's office is not a fun experience.  Coincidentally, those exact same seeds were planted in me too.  But the bottom line is that the kids are healthy, and if you have to deal with a few tears and bruised testicles to keep the kids healthy, so be it.  Next time, I'll just wear a cup.

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