Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Annual Pediatric Check Up

I picked the IHPs up from camp the other day and had snacks and drinks in the car for them. Which, of course, made them immediately suspicious.  Mostly because I'm that mom that's all "seriously, we're seven minutes from the house and you can have a snack when you get home, you can't be that hungry, will you please be quiet for the love of Maude!!"

So Lefty, being the observant, inquiring, sometimes too nosy kid, noticed we were going in the opposite direction of the house. And when we turned down the next street, he knew there was only one place we go in that direction. How did I know? Because he's a clever sort.

"Mommy, I think maybe I'm not feeling so well and maybe have a heddick (it's a headache, but I love love love the way he says it) and I think I don't want my snack and want to go home and take a rest."

And me, being the kind, soft spoken, sympathetic sort, said something like, yeah yeah you'll be fine...and then told him to shut it because the other two hadn't figured it out yet. They were too busy singing along to the Cha Cha Shuffle.

Sadly for them, McDonalds AND Dunkin' Donuts are right next to our pediatrician's office. So McGee and Happy bound out of the car singing the praises of Donut Holes and Lefty is lurking back, glaring at me.

Let me quickly describe the mass of this kid. He's not the kind that you have to buy Husky clothes for, but if he sets his mind to not move, I'd be more successful hoisting up a 40-gallon mesh bag of mashed potatoes & gravy over my head than I would picking this kid up.

We walked past the "Happy Meal Store" as Happy calls it, and then the Dunkin Donuts. And then McGee stopped. She glared at me, and then looked over at Lefty like why didn't you tell me?

He was indignant. "You're eleven." That's all he said. Then stomped past her into the doctor's office.

Our pediatrician is awesome, but she must get so tired of seeing my lovely children skulk past her like they're Snoopy-as-a-Vulture. Of course, she stabs them with ain't like she's got a bowlful of donut holes in her office or anything.

Some of our finer moments:
  • Happy refused to do the eye exam. It consisted of three pictures - a house, an apple and an umbrella. He crossed his arms and frowned at all of us as we pleaded to just name one thing. The closest we got to any sort of response was when I pointed at an umbrella and asked "Is this a house?" and he stared at me and then asked "Is it an apple?" and he glared harder...and then "Is it an umbrella?" and he sorta paused and then pursed his lips and looked away. We're all assuming he can see just fine.
  • McGee, apparently, is going to be tall. Like Bianca, my sister tall. She got all victorious and looked at me like she was already towering over me and said "AHA!" Then I reminded her that she'll be too big to ever wear my shoes.
  • the doctor is measuring him. Height. Weight. They don't do head size anymore because that's only for babies, and, there's probably not a tape measure big one point, after I commented on the cranial magnificence that is his head, she said, "maybe one day he'll create his own gravitational pull" then circled tongue depressors around him like they were in orbit. She's. So. Awesome.
  • McGee insisted on separate rooms. One for the boys; one for her. Of course they were six thousand miles from each other and I'm zipping back and forth like some deranged dog tied up to the clothesline on a long leash. I swear to Maude they only hollered for me once I was completely across the office...
  • Happy threw his socks into the trash. It was out of protest or something. I have no idea. And they were good, clean, matching socks with the thick bottoms, not the crappy pairs that get passed down and lose their mate in the dryer and you eventually are just like whatever, kid, just put on something.
  • They needed blood samples from the boys. Yeah, that was fun. Because my Tuesdays aren't complete until I try to explain to my kids that "this nice man over here needs a little bit of your blood" and they look at him like he's a Cullen, and then we spend the next 20 minutes wrestling them onto an examination table. I made promises of toys and gifts that would make Santa look like some cheap bastard in a bad velvet suit. He doesn't need to come to my house this year. I just bought everything.
As if that weren't enough, there were shots. A LOT of shots. McGee was outraged. "What?! I have to get a shot just because I'm going into the sixth grade?" And lobbied for me to tell them she was going into the seventh, hence, didn't need the shot. I had to counter with the fact that, if she were going into seventh grade, she would have had the shot last year, and since she hadn't, they'd give it to her anyway.

And then she insisted on talking to Lefty so he could render a verdict. Again, how does he get the robe? Since when did I relinquish the Judge role?

Fortunately, he ruled in my favor. She tried to protest, but he said he was done and had to go to the bathroom. Which makes me wonder if a judge ever stops court because he has to it possible to ask for a bathroom break by objecting? Obviously, for all the mystery that surrounds my weird job, it's now assured that I'm no attorney.

[Editor's Note: Actually, I have a good friend who is one.  She's even in the prosecutor's office, which, when I first found out, I was like "I HAVE to become friends with her, so she can be my own personal Jack McCoy." Problem is, she hates Law & Order. Whuck?! She says it's not even close to the way a real courtroom works. I was all "Duh. That's why it's awesome...and it would be super helpful if you'd fake it for me." - Kate]

The boys were positively giddy that their big sister was getting shots. They would have laughed and pointed, but they were ten million miles away in another room. So, they busied themselves with playing with every. damn. thing. in the exam room. Tongue depressors, those ridiculously oversized Q-tips (what are those for, anyway?) the stethoscopes...the ear thing-y and the eye thing-y. They had a gun battle with those. Turns out, you're better armed with the eye one. It has a *laser* on it.

Then Nurse Ratched walked in with shots for them. I'm not sure what face Chuck Norris makes right before he roundhouse kicks someone, but it was probably like the one Lefty made. She actually paused. It took some thinking before he agreed to relinquish his weapon. The Roundhouse Face, he kept.

We did go to McDonalds, and to Dunkin Donuts AND to the toy store. They're all still vulture-y at me. Lefty says the only way to even things out is when they get to go with me when I have my appointment.

I'm pretty sure that. is. never. going. to. happen. Even though the speculum would make a cool gun. Even though it doesn't have a laser on it.  Oh, that's gross, isn't it?

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010


  1. Loved it! Especially the last bit about the speculum gun!!

  2. Did you guys realize you are in the top 10 on Just went on to vote for you guys again and was so happy to see that.

  3. OMG, too damn funny... I can't even take my son to the pediatrician, I can't hold him down while they take blood and give shots. Plus, I am soft and feel horribly guilty and wind up buying him all sorts of things to try to make up for it. So, I let my husband take him and then when he gets home, he's sooooo mad at Daddy that all he wants to do is whimper and snuggle with Mommy. Total score!!

  4. The blood draw paragraph has me laughing so hard my cube mates are looking at me like I am crazy. Gawd I needed a good laugh this morning!

    Oh and thanks for the Peter Fascinelli pic, that truly improved my mood this morning.

  5. Ooo Kate, my husband is a prosecutor and I can't watch Law and Order with him or I get a running dialogue on how fake it all is . . . kind of the point! *eye roll*. All this story does is make me super excited for my son's 4 year old appointment in a week . . . I hear they get like 7 shots. Fun times.

  6. Thank you for this post! My son has to get 3 shots TODAY and this is just what I needed to read to lighten my mood. My bribe - we are going to see the big mouse at his pizza place later. Uugh. My so not favorite place ... but at least my 4 year old is willing to get in the car!

  7. ha! With all of our fertility treatments my kids saw me give myself lots of shots. I made sure they saw me so they could see that adults DON'T throw fits before injections. (well, most of the time. there were a few were I broke down. but, they didn't see those!)

  8. My daughter's check up is this afternoon. She's already making me promise that there will be NO SHOTS. I don't think there will be any, so I felt safe in teling her that. I didn't, however, mention that they will probably need some blood. Around 2:00 this afternoon, if you hear something that make the hair on your neck stand on end, it's my 7 year old screaming.

  9. I consider myself truly fortunate that my daughter is fascinated by shots and sits there quietly watching the doctor when she gets hers. That being said, my younger daughter doesn't seem like she is going to be that way, bummer.

    BTW The really big q-tips (at least the one in my doctors office) are for sticking down your throat or up your nose. Fun stuff. yuck.

  10. The last time my daughter had her blood taken...which she calls a blood took FOUR grown a** adults to hold her down and she still managed to sucker punch the "blood shot lady" square in the child was four years old and in the 30th percentile for height and she is a petite flower, but, freakin STRONG. I look forward to the day I don't have to make the walk of shame out of the pediatricians office.

  11. About a year ago I had to take my now 6 year old, who is a lot like lefty, to get blood drawn. He did really well with it...of course there was the if you make this easy there's a toy in it for you. He did get very upset that "she hurt me!" and then gave the nurse a look like she had broken his heart, but as soon as he saw the vial filling up he was very intrigued. As we were walking to the car I was telling him how proud of him I was. He quietly says to me "Does this mean I'm a vampire now?" No sweetie you are fine and I assure you, you will be fine walking to the car in the sun.

  12. Thanks y'all. I needed the laugh, I have to take the cat (she's 16) in later to have her put down. Coincidentally, I won't be taking the boys with me, since I'm pretty sure what the 3 yr old would get from it is, "this is what happens when we go to the doctor????"

  13. I'm so glad to read this and see that I'm not the only mom who has to physically hold down/restrain her children when they get shots or blood drawn. As if it's not hard enough taking 3 screaming kiddos by myself, my oldest is a fainter. Awwww....Fun times.

  14. ..."they look at him like he's a Cullen" now this has a totally different meaning for Mommy, you know.

    I love this blog, and yesterday read it for about 2 hours laughing so hard I was wiping the tears from my eyes. Thank you for that.

  15. My husband suggested I take our daughter to my doctor appointments, so she could see that going to the doctor didn't always mean 'torture chamber for baby.' It worked! But I don't have 3 kids. She likes my 'Pooter Dah-kuh' the best (we call her diaper area a pooter. Don't ask.) Anyway, she watched me get a pelvic, and my Gyn became 'Pooter Doctor.' (She came around to the side of the table and said "I holdjur hant mommy. Don' be scared. I right here." Best. Toddler. Ever.) I had some 'female problems' so we got to see her several times in a few-month period, plus several surgery attempts. She loved that they were willing to check her blood pressure and whatever the white finger-clippy-thing does (O2?) even though the cuff was way too big. I had to insist on a BP check for her next appointment and make them find the little kid cuff, even though they don't normally do it for kids her age. Still not a fan of getting shots though...

  16. I'm an RN working in a primary care lots of shots! You get used to the cries and screams (usually from the dads!) Your description of the blood drawing made me laugh out loud! Thanks!

  17. Actually, the new disposable, plastic speculi (!) have a light that attaches for optimal viewing! Could be used as a laser.

  18. Very timely. I've finally scheduled my "annual" (rather overdue, though) exam for next week (and babysitting for my 3 kids!) and then the girls all have their (not quite as delayed) exams two days later.

    I'm finally at the point where I need to talk with her about my concerns. My kids all have issues. I have tried to figure out talking points through the years, but unfortunately, I also have issues that get in the way of doing that in an organized manner. But after fighting our way through kindergarten, I realize that my middle daughter needs help I can't give her if she's going to succeed (and I mean "have a satisfying life", not "get money or power"). And reading to try to find words to describe some of the more obscure oddities, I found all three of my kids (and myself) described by Sensory Processing Disorder, though their behaviors/personalities are very different.

    Please send good thoughts my way. I'm terrified.

  19. Ranch101 -- My daughter has Sensory Processing Disorder. All kids exhibit different symptoms and have different sensitivities and "problem areas" but once you understand they stem from an actual physical disorder and are not just your kids acting up, it makes things much easier to deal with. My two recommendations: read a book or two to give yourself an overview ( I like Raising a Sensory Smart Child by Lindsay Biel, Sensational Kids by Lucy Jane Miller and The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz), and try to find a pediatric occupational therapist who specializes in sensory processing disorder. Once you identify the particular issues you can incorporate little changes into your life that make things much easier! Good luck to you.

  20. OMG.. thank you so much, with the day I had, i needed this!! It was so funny.. This is what happens to me when i take my 7 yr old and 2 yr old

  21. Ranch101- My son also has some sensory processing issues and Kindergarten was brutal. We took him to a neuropsycholgist, but SPD is not at this point a "diagnosis". He also has ADHD and we are in the midst of finding an occupational therapist to help with both. With some changes we have made and great support from the school to help him he is doing well academically and so far the frst few days of school this year are a vast improvement. As weeblemom said understanding what their sensitvities they can succeed and be happy. And you will feel better too! Out of Sync child was a wonderful book. Mine is a sensory seeker and reading that gave me ways to help him and cut the frustration that can accomany not knowing why they are doing what they are.

  22. My 8 month old has already been to the doctor's office so often for ear infections and other fun stuff that I think she's ALREADY starting to figure out that Dr. Office = Badness... She starts screaming when she sees the ear thing-y....

  23. Thank you WeebleMom and Katie. I have just started "Out of Sync Child" and also have "Sensational Kids" from the library. I'm trying to read as much as possible before talking with the doctor. I expected to see my two sensory seekers when I first started reading about SPD, but was surprised to find my other daughter fits the profile of being overwhelmed by senses (quiet, doesn't like to be touched, sleep problems, picky eater which is becoming a health problem...). One (middle child) probably needs professional intervention as it's become a very disruptive problem in her life, but I can probably learn enough to guide the other two just from reading and paying attention to what an OT does with their sister.

  24. Ranch101 -- Mine is overwhelmed as well, by touch, loud noises, even physical exertion. She is an EXTREMELY picky eater -- that doesn't even really describe it anymore. She is eight years old and I am still carrying a tupperware full of Cheerios in my purse when we go to restaurants because she doesn't eat anything on anyone's menu. But OT is helping -- and she is very successful in school with just a few words of explanation to the teacher at the beginning of each year.

  25. When my dtr was very little, she had a blood disorder and had to get her blood taken like every week or so...with a butterfly needle. She hated them at first but got super used to them and never flinched after the 3rd time or so...well, about 2 yrs later (and no blood drawn in that time) she had to have her tonsils out and they needed to do bloodwork 1st. I figured - hey, peice of cake...well, the lady used a finger stick (like diabetics check thier sugar with - and I can attest, they hurt like a bitch). The lady did it, and she cried for like 2 seconds and looked at the lady and said - Ow, you really hurted me....with the Lefty kind of scowl that was there for a few days post stick.

    And even with all the blood draws (which to me are worse that needles any day), she still carries on when she gets a shot. She goes for her 6yr appt in a month (a month and a half late) and I hope there are no shots...although she does need to the flu shot - but maybe we'll put that one off....

  26. I never get tired of this post. In fact, I just spent half an hour looking for it, because I wanted to read Lefty's "You're ELEVEN." in context. That's creepy, isn't it. Oh well. I can live with that, for the laughter that just spotted my glasses with little tear spots.

  27. Just read this one today. My 9 year old still says "heddick" and I say it that way too when I'm with her so she won't start saying it correctly. It's the last funny word she has!

  28. Oh yes, I am still reading back through the blog. Because it is Made Of Awesome. And Win.

    Thankfully in the UK we don't go in for annual GP appointments. Sadly for me, I kicked off being-ill-ALL-The-Time with pneumonia at 3 weeks old & just kept going. We do, though, have a rough vaccination schedule & when I was a wee small creature they used to give "boosters" of vaccinations just before you started school. As a December baby, I started school the September I was four. We got a car the summer I was four & while my sister had a full-on carseat because she was An Actual Proper Baby (of almost 2) And I Was A Big Girl I had a booster seat. (Can you see where this is heading yet?)

    One of my very earliest memories is of squirming-thrashing-stiffening in the way only an 18 month old can in a bid to get away from the phlebotomist planning to STEAL MY BLOOD while my Daddy was holding me on his lap as I shrieked-howled-screamed & begged him to not make me do this. Oh course I now know that I have crazy fragile blood vessels so epic bruising is inevitable & it will hurt regardless (am now, however, really good at stoicism & Only Blinching On The Inside) & that needles have to go through scar tissue because I scar in a special special way. As a tiny I didn't ever get used to needles, however many of the the things I was on the pointy end of - in fact, I had a patch of being superdistressed by Mummy having to inject herself four times a day because NEEDLES ARE HURTY & I hated the idea of her being hurt.

    I think my parents were a bit surprised by the incredible calm with which I took the news Daddy would be taking me to the GP for my pre-school booster. You'd think my asking what colour the booster would be might have made them question the [in]completeness of my comprehension. I'm not entirely sure why I thought this magical seat for school would appear in my life via the GP surgery - I suppose I was used to Things That Come From Doctors (including high-volume needleless syringes from Mummy's endocronologist that we used as water pistols) so why NOT?

    The realisation that actually there was no chair but YET MORE NEEDLES I DID NOT WANT made me a very unhappy small girl. Even being allowed a sweetie from the jar on Dr C's desk didn't help.

    One of my friends is still so bad with needles that when she came to visit me in hospital this year my Daddy had to take her outside and hold her hand when people came to do bloods & re-site my IV line - the minute someone appeared with The Bloods Kit she went a funny greyish colour. Like the time I told my friend not to look at the arterial blood gas needle that the nice A&E doctor was about to put in my wrist. "Oh no, I'm fine with - OH MY GOD IT'S AS BIG AS YOUR ARM!" Hospital with friends is So. Much. Fun. Like the time my friend did a pas de chat & landed on a nurse as they came into the cubicle. On the same trip another friend decided a cardboard sick bowl was her new friend & started having a conversation with "Veronica" about the standard of care I was receiving...




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