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 stuff..here'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 infection..how 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 pressures..you are off to the exam room. Which has books! Yay..books! That have been held, sneezed on, vomited on...you 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 no..it 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....