What’s Up, Doc?

February 1, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Posted in Giggles, Lollipop | 7 Comments

There’s a place we go a lot. We go there in the morning. In the evening. Occasionally, on Saturday. When we leave, we are rarely happy. But we usually get some cool stickers out of the deal.

Yep, I’m talking about the doctor’s office.

These Are Your Kids, Ma’am?
Every time we go, we encounter several hurdles. The first of these is scheduling. Mainly, this involves me trying to remember Lollipop’s and Giggles’ birthdays so the person on the phone can pull up their files in the magic computer. I always choke.

And I always laugh, like, “Oh, ha ha, aren’t I funny? I can’t even remember my own child’s birthday! Guess I had too much coffee today. Or not enough. Or maybe the checkout lady at the store switched it for decaf as a joke. Or maybe … What’s that? Oh, you wanted that birth date. Well, it’s here … I’ve got it right …”

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane …
Yes, that’s Incompetent Mom, the anti-superhero version of me. It’s just, there are so many dates in my head. My due date, the date my labor started, the date I actually delivered each kid, the year I delivered each kid. (I mean, they’re really close in age. I get some leeway for all those consecutive days of sleep deprivation, right?)

And when pressed by the pleasant — but always rushed — voice on the phone, I just can’t retrieve the data. Synapse Fail.

Eventually, we get it straightened out. Then begins a critical step: Diaper Bag Prep.

A Spoonful of Sugar
You can’t just go to the pediatrician with your usual diaper bag. It’s got to be like the Mary Poppins carpetbag, where you could pull out a floor-length lamp with fringe on the shade. I mean, if you needed it.

For Lollipop, I add, uh, lollipops. As a bribe. (I am not proud. But I am practical.) “Just don’t let the doctor see,” I remind her. She’s generally a star patient, though, and requires little else than a few crayons and her clipboard to keep her busy.

Giggles and Grins
Giggles, now, he’s my doctor’s office challenge. I have to admit, I don’t make it easy on him. First, I confine him to the stroller. If he could talk, I feel sure he would point out the obvious: All the other children are roaming free. Unencumbered. Picking up germy bits of fuzz off the floor and having a lick. But, nooooo, not him. He’s trapped.

It gets worse. I don’t let him play with all the tantalizing toys in the waiting room. (See note above about germy bits.) Again, all the other kids are doing it. Yes, I have practically bathed him in Purell. But I just. Can’t. Do. It. I can see the germs waiting to hitch a ride on his little argyle socks. Straight up to his nasal passages.

I Heart Cows
Yes, there’s a bribe. For Giggles, it’s milk. The kid is a milk fiend. I stuff every cranny of aforementioned super-duper diaper bag with full sippy cups. And water bottles filled with milk. And even the occasional small jug of overpriced chocolate milk from the gas station. A mom needs options, right?

Problem is: Giggles will drink this milk in three seconds flat. All of it. No joke. He sucks it down like he’ll get kicked off the island if he doesn’t beat the clock. It’s a sight to behold. (And I hope he never joins a fraternity. I just might be raising a Beer Pong world champ.)

So, I parcel it out as best I can. While he demands more. And gets angry about not being able to snack on the germy floor fuzz. Finally, Nurse Monica comes to get us.

I’ll Buy Waterworks, Please
Enter the tears. All of a sudden Giggles knows where we are headed. And he is not fooled by the smiling fish on the wall. Bad, bad things happen in this room. Someone with cold hands looks up your nose with a scary black contraption, for heaven’s sake.

So Giggles cries. Big, fat crocodile tears. Manufactured as if for Hollywood. They are so perfect it makes me proud. Almost.

One of Us Is the Grown-Up Here …
Once he’s on the kid-sized exam table with the crinkly white paper on it, he turns into the Toddler Hulk. Super-human strength. He twists. He turns. He contorts. He practically writhes. No, as a matter of fact, he would not like to be weighed. Or measured. Or talked to. Or looked at. Or banged on the knee with the red triangle thing. And shots? Oh, no, no, no.

The hardest part is, I have to be the mom. I know this. I know it’s for the best. I know it’s not really going to hurt. Or, if it does, not for long. And, so, I hold him down. Willingly. I am Traitor Mom, aiding the evil forces.

The first few times, I cried as much as he did. OK, maybe more. And I didn’t even get a sticker.

The Heck Out of Dodge
But then it’s over. We wipe our tears. We regroup. We have a hug. We thank the doctor and the nurse. Well, I do anyway. Giggles still refuses eye contact. Is not amused by their chirpy voices. Will take their sticker, yes, but with a smile? No. Way.

He practically clamors down from the exam table and into the stroller, as if to say: “Buckle me in, as fast as you can, and wheel me the heck out of here. Go, go, go!”

Sucking chocolate milk fumes all the way.



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  1. Oh my goodness, this is too funny. First of all, you are an uber talented writer! I second the writing children’s books idea 🙂
    Second, I will try to keep this entry in mind when I’m seeing children in the hospital. This is mainly for my own sake – I know they are probably going to cry even if I don’t touch them, but I can’t help but be upset being the reason for their tears. I almost cried when I made a little kid cry over immunizations once! Maybe I’ll carry some lollipops in my pockets 🙂

  2. This whole post made me laugh. Especially the uber-diaper bag! You do never know when you are going to need a tall lamp with fringe, after all.

    Both my kids tend to be pretty good at the Drs. Unless any kind of throat culture is involved. Wonderboy has had to have a couple and the last time he knew what it was and let me tell you – uuuuuugly. And he totally got a new toy afterwards!

  3. LMAO, I always forget my kids bdays too!

  4. Very funny!! (But not much fun for you – sorry!)
    I always try my hardest to get the first appointment of the morning so I won’t have to find ways to keep Munchie away from the waiting room toys. I wonder how often (if ever?) those are washed. It totally grosses me out too.
    And yes, there are always lollipops in my pocket too!!

  5. I keep giving out my due date, which is confusingly just one day off from her birth date. 30/31, they’re like the same number! I am comforted to know I’m not the only one that pauses when asked this question.

  6. I can just see him…strapped in, unable to scoop up the germs and take them home to Lollipop. How sad.

  7. I feel the same way when I go to the doctor!! I don’t want to touch anything–the door knobs, the magazines, the arms of the chairs. If I wasn’t sick when I went in, I most surely will be when I leave. And… do you like being poked, pricked, and prodded? I do not get stickers or suckers even though I control myself and don’t cry. I am going to take a larger purse with me next time. I think M&Ms, my iPod, and chocolate milk for the ride home would help considerably!!

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