Friends–please welcome our new guest columnist–Jacey Carpenter! Jacey is the sharp-witted, unbearably funny person that I secretly want to be.
A while back, I took my then four year old in for his well child checkup. Since we moved to our new home a few years ago, I’ve almost come to dread my kids’ doctor’s appointments. This new doctor of ours is really, really, REALLY thorough. A few of you caring moms may be wondering to yourselves, “Now why is that a problem?”
I’ll tell you why.
Overly zealous doctor=more work for overly tired, working mommy of four. That’s why.
The first thing he does is hand me a stack of papers containing a slew of questions about my child’s development. At first I assumed they had misunderstood and perhaps they thought I had brought him in to apply to medical school. The volume of paperwork was about the same.
Can he draw people? Yes. People who look like sperms with stick legs.
Can he count to twenty? Yes. Oh, you mean all at once? No.
Can he hop on one foot? Yes. Right before he falls on his face.
Can he do that taco thing with his tongue? No, but I can. While hopping on one foot. Wanna see?
Has he read War and Peace? Does the Cliff’s Notes version count?
Next, as he was examining my little guy, he started paying close attention to the way he was breathing. He informed me that he was concerned about his mouth breathing. Really? Don’t ALL kids breathe through their mouths, or is that just all of MY kids? I guess this would explain why the windows in my house are constantly fogged up pretty much November through February.
So the doctor tells me that I need to start watching him while he sleeps to see if he’s choking or gasping in his sleep. He THEN informs me that the best time to catch this behavior is between 2 and 3 a.m. Cluelessguyinthewhitecoat say WHAT???? It’s about this time that *I* start choking and gasping:
Sure, doc, I’ll get right on that. I mean, I almost feel guilty about the 4-5 hours of sleep I’m ALREADY getting on a regular basis. But I was just wondering, will you be writing me a prescription for methamphetamines NOW, or AFTER I drive myself and my kids over a bridge due to exhaustion-induced psychosis? Yes doctor, now will be fine. Thank you.
He tells me that a small number of kids who mouth breathe end up having a severe under bite. Hmm. Between 2 and 3 a.m., you say? I can live with the under bite thing. It seems to be working for Jay Leno, right?
I should probably take his opinions about my child’s development a little more seriously than I do. He even suggested I should contact the state about their programs for developmentally delayed kids. OK, doc, knock that off. I fell for that with my now twelve-year-old when she was a baby and wasn’t crawling at 12 months. She was my first and I went into breathe-into-a-paper-bag panic mode when they suggested she may be “delayed.” NOT MY CHILD! Turns out she wasn’t. She was fine. Still is. Spelling bee champ, straight A’s, and fully toilet trained.
I don’t need an annual doctor’s appointment to make me feel inadequate as a mother. I have church for that.
Now that I’m on child number four, I’m a little more relaxed about these things. My child can run in the house screaming with an arrow going diagonally through his head and I’ll calmly tell him to go get a cold cloth to put on it while I casually walk to the medicine cabinet to find some arrow wound ointment. (Have you SEEN what they charge for five minutes in the ER these days? I’ll take my chances, thank you very much). So you’ll have to forgive me if I’m not terribly concerned about the development of a kid who doesn’t know the difference between a sad and a worried face on a flip chart in a doctor’s office, BUT who can also take apart my hard drive and put it back together…while hopping on one foot. Of course, he’s the same kid who runs around in a shimmery Supergirl costume while singing the Star Wars theme off-key. No, I was NOT stupid enough to include that last part anywhere on his assessment paperwork. We’ll just keep that little tidbit to ourselves.
Guess how many times I set my alarm for 2 a.m. and camped out near my last-born’s bed after that highly encouraging doctor’s appointment. I’ll give you a hint: about as many times as I’ve read War and Peace.
Jacey Carpenter spends her time being a snarky little genius while raising 4 terrifyingly clever children and enjoying her life as an overworked newlywed. You can find more Jacey by clicking here.