Thursday, May 3, 2012

Adventures in Pediatrics

Having three preschoolers means you get to see your pediatrician, a lot. When two of them were preemies and seem to have a nitch for catching every virus which is within a 50 foot radius, and are asthmatic, you get to visit even more. And when you have no family within 500 miles and your husband works 45 minutes away you get to take all three to the doctor, even if only one is sick.

It's fun's how it goes.
First, you pull into your own reserved parking spot in front of the office. Anger sets in if anyone dares to be parked in your spot. Did you not see the reserved sign, with the picture of my kids and me, that clearly states "Most Valuable Patients". Get the hell out of my parking spot. I swear I could practically claim squatter's rights at this doctor's office so don't mess with me.

Then you unbuckle all three kids and line them up, saying "this is a parking lot..please do not run off like that" at least 4 times. At least they don't have far to run because your reserved parking spot is the closest one to the door. Then you all four breeze in together like you own the place, because I mean it is your 2nd home (the grocery store being a close 3rd). Greet all the medical assistants and nurses by name..who in turn greet you back by name and comment on how much your children have grown since they saw you last...three days ago.

Oh the fun of the waiting room. It's like a bad shopping experience. What can you come in with, exchange, and then leave with? Hmmm. We have Strep...let's see if we can find a good Rotovirus germ around here..and eat it.
Or, well, we have an ear about we bring home something that makes us vomit in two days.

And the toys..oh the waiting room toys! We must touch them all! They are, in fact, veritable petri dishes of delight. Oh, you can bring the Leapster and break out Angry Birds on your phone, but it will not fascinate your children as much as the blocks that were just played with by the kid with Swine Flu. No no, the infected toys sing to kids, like Sirens in the Odyssey. Play with me, lick me, share me with your brother and sister. Gag

Off to the triage room..where the kids fight about who is first.
"I have a fever."
"No, I have a fever."
"I had a fever first."
"But I have a cough."
"Well I throwed up."

While the kind and patient nurse checks one "fever" there is undoubtedly one child jumping up and down on the scale, and one opening drawers and cabinet doors. As you turn your attention to the sick child for a minute, one of the others starts playing with the garbage can. Seriously, is there anything grosser than a garbage can at the pediatrician's office. I don't even want to get into this....ugh, just ugh.

After you have weights, temps and blood are off to the exam room. Which has books! Yay..books! That have been held, sneezed on, vomited get the picture. So you play "I spy" with three kids..which lasts about 2 minutes. Then they are bored, and one finds yet another garbage can to play the drums on and the other 2 begin climbing up and down the stool leading to the exam table. Fighting ensues...
You get to say fun things like "Let's use our inside voices" and " We don't push, because it's not nice". When you want to say "Oh My God, Shut UP!" and "Get your hands off your sister before I smack you". But you don't say these things because you are a good mom, and because you just know that the doctor is in the hallway and she will hear you. And she is judging you. She is. She is judging your parenting style and making notes about it. She is standing outside the door and listening to your children call each other barf bags. She has heard you have to tell them four times that they cannot climb on the table, and to get out of the drawer and stop touching that damn garbage can, and she KNOWS. She knows you have no control of your children and that they manipulate you and you are hanging by a thread. But she also knows that you love them more than life itself, and that you are doing your best.

The doctor comes in the room, and is greeted by two excited voices, and one child pretending to be shy. If your kids are like mine, they immediately bombard the doctor with stories of how sick they are and how they have new shoes.

During the exam(s) one will fall off the table. (seriously, this happens to me). The others will continue to play the drums on the damn garbage can, and tell you how thirsty they are repeatedly. This is when you start threatening that they will not get their lollipops on the way out. This will backfire because then they cry and wail "but I want a lollipop" and you say, "well then you need to be nice and quiet while your brother is with the Doctor", but you want to say " then shut the hell up for two minutes." But you don't say that because you are a good mom, and there is that whole judging thing you are trying to avoid.

The exam itself goes pretty smoothly because your kids are so comfortable at the Doctor that there isn't much fear or protesting.

You get your diagnosis, your prescriptions, and the doctor then tells you that it is ok to lock yourself in the bathroom with a glass of wine when you feel like you are about to lose it. Because she is a mom, and she gets it. Even though she is judging you, she gets it. And you love her for it.

You think you are done, but is now time for stickers and lollipops. This is much more complicated than it sounds because it has to be just the right sticker..and there is only one purple lollipop and they all three want the purple lollipop..even though everyone knows red is better. The very kind receptionist/M.A. digs out more purple lollipops from a drawer. Perhaps it is just to get you and your crying brood out the door already. You yell over your shoulder that you will call to schedule a follow up, because you just cannot think enough right now to commit to an appointment time. Then you load everyone up, and head to the pharmacy (where they also know you and your children by name). But that is a whole new blog....


  1. Oh my goodness...I FEEL you on this one. Holy crap. Took the words right out of my mouth. I just KNOW they judge me! I swear our old office probably laid money on how many red bulls I allowed Ben that morning. Great post...still laughing my butt off!

  2. true, and so timely as I am slowly gearing up for taking all 4 of mine to the pediatrician after work tonight. Only thing better than daytime at the peds office is nighttime, right around bedtime, because your doctor works at a teaching hospital all day and only has office hours from 5:30 (so we're all hungry and want dinner) - 8:30 (where it's way past ALL of our bedtimes).

  3. Funniest - truest - blog ever. Kudos!! xo

  4. Brilliant blog! Love love love!

  5. Friggin Fabulous! We also add in the light switch to our brewhaha at the office, our pediatrician never skips a beat. Mid conversation one of my hooligans hits the lights, and she just keeps going, guided by the light from the screen of her laptop. :-)

  6. Hilarious!! I can picture each moment of the doctor's visit. Well written.

  7. You may be my new favorite! Love the bit about locking yourself in the bathroom :-)

  8. Jeeze, I have 4! Just reading this made me climb to the hidden shot glasses for a "damn, I hv to do that tomorrow " , bottoms up!

  9. I don't know how you do it. I have one and I feel like this most of the time. Whenever I am around you girls that have multiple children I am both in awe and firm in my conviction that I cannot handle more than one. I hope everyone feels better soon. I know how it is to have no family close, mine all live about 300 miles away. So remember, Curly Q and I don't do much so if you ever need help. We are here.

  10. Oh my sweetie, I feel YOU. I have been there sooooooo many times. When we got custody of the younger four they had no pediatric I LIVED at the DRs. and it was for SHOTS. Imagine having to take 4 kids all at the same time for that???? Shoot, you should just chug a glass of wine before the appointment, you are there long enough for it to wear off ;-) I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

  11. I have five kids, the younger three are 27 months apart. (13 months betwen G&B, 14 months between B&B.) I HATE THE DOCTOR, we only go when we absolutely HAVE to.

  12. So incredibly funny! So true! I love your writing style and sense of humor.

  13. How do I subscribe, other than twitter. I'm not on the twitter like Betty white is?

  14. You are so right about the drama over the stickers! And also...that Rotovirus germ. Kids must think it's pretty tasty. I remember the few days that three people in my house had it. YUCK!

    (Thanks for linking this up with us over at #findingthefunny last week!)

  15. Just the memory of taking all three of my kids to the doctor when they were toddler and preschoolers is enough to make me break out in a sweat! I really think it should be made an Olympic Sport!! Thank you for letting us share this, via link, with our Bonbon Break readers! Great post!

  16. Laughing out loud! This is all so familiar! You reminded me of all the reasons I try my best to only bring one child to the doctor at a time, but of course it isn't always possible.

  17. Oh, I love your doctor’s advice. Haha! I feel you, dear. I think every mother has experienced at least half of what you did, but at least the kids love your doctor. Just imagine if they all start crying because they don’t like hospitals and such. Oh my, I’m still laughing while reminiscing. Thank you for making my day!

    Chalice Lindgren