Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Awkward Mom vs.the Doctor Visit (part I)
Did you guys know that a child can score 0% on the Growth Chart? Yeah, neither did we....
So, Super Toddler is officially 3 years old. This means many things: we really ought to think about pre-school, potty training, developing healthy self-esteem, table manners, just plain old manners, that languishing college fund, maybe finally establishing a decent bedtime. Oh, the list goes on and on; I suppose we'll get to it one of these days...months...years. However, one thing that won't wait is the 3 year old well check visit. That is scheduled for today and I am not paying the $25 no show fee to get out of it, tempting as that may be...
So, we arrive at the doctor's office in our typical suave fashion; I may or may not have tripped in my attempt to open the door with my free hip. Super Baby was firmly planted on my other one when we left the car, but through a series of Super-Toddler-initiated delays, Super Baby has begun a southward journey that I am trying to remedy by shifting weight. The laden backpack I am carrying doesn't quite cooperate with that move and I do a sorta shuffle-step/lunge through the waiting room door; scaring several children and the receptionist. The parents are too engrossed in old issues of People and Sporting Life to bother with me. On second thought, there is no may not here, I fall into the doctor's office.
So, we check in and it turns out that I have to re-fill-in all the paperwork, as Super Toddler has never "officially" been seen here. The fact that he has been seen unofficially every time Super Baby has an appointment or the fact that he has been to the ER twice since our move do not seem to move the receptionist in the slightest, as she slides the clip-board to me. Nor does the fact that all the information is the same of Super Baby's and on file already. Nope, no getting out of it. So, I am gathering up shed coats, cooing over the fish tank for Super Toddler, preventing Super Baby's escape through the door that seemingly opens every 5 seconds, and trying to remember Awkward Dad's social security number and pick an emergency contact all at the same time. Goodness, I am just a font of grace today.
So, they call Super Toddler's name (his secret identity that is). Seems there are 3 in the room; it is like the Spiderman clones or something. There is much confusion until the nurse is forced to throw HIPPA to the winds and shout Super Toddler's full name across the waiting area. Super Toddler goes dashing into this woman's arms, while shouting at me to "come on Mommy." I do come on, with Super Baby, 3 coats, 4 gloves, 2 hats, 1 back-pack that loses it's sippy cup and 3 diapers halfway across the waiting room, keys, the aforementioned clipboard (half filled out), and my complete and utter exhaustion.
We stop short of any examination room, as Super Toddler is now old enough to be measured and weighed on the big scales in the hallway. I put down Super Baby, only to watch him escape into some poor unexpecting teenager's exam room. Oh well. Super Toddler is weighed at 30 pounds and is measured at 33.8 inches. This seems fine to me, but you best mark it because, yes, it comes back up.
We finally find Super Baby and an empty exam room. Super Toddler's arm is given a "hug" via the nurse's blood pressure cuff, while I try to keep Super Baby from eating a tongue depressor that he has found on the floor. Super Toddler is asked to put on a robe, which he is loathe to do, until I tell him that it is a dress. Then, he can't undress fast enough. The nurse leaves (most likely to order a psych consult) and I try to remember our previous doctor's phone and fax numbers.
By the time the doctor arrives, Super Baby has eaten all the snacks I packed for him and Super Toddler is rebelling against his "dress," as it "isn't very pretty." The doctor does his pediatrician stuff; making duck sounds come out of Super Toddler's ears, playing his tummy like a drum, and forging general good will that will be destroyed when the shots come out. While Super Toddler is enraptured by the doctor's light"wands" and Super Baby is eating yet another tongue depressor (just how many are down there anyway?), the doctor casually looks over Super Toddler's head and tells me that my first born is in the 31% for weight and 0% for height. I stare at him. He repeats it; 0%.
Just a little rant here (a tiny one, I promise): Have you ever been in a conversation with a parent where they tell you their child is in the 95th percentile for weight/height/head size? Have you? Ever been on the receiving end of that one? When the mom (because, let's be honest, it's always a mom) tells you this news like she just aced on a test, all glowing and fake modest. I have been the recipient of many such a conversation. I can only imagine that it is rather fun to gush about this feat to friends, family, and total strangers. It must be impossible to keep such massive news to yourself. It must burn inside you until you have to share it. Of course, there is some pretense of shyness about it, we have all been told not to brag, but yet, the desire to keep such a monumental achievement of your child's (and well, naturally, yourself) must just prove too much for a mere mortal to keep inside. It must because it seems to happen all the time. All. The. Time. (rant alert!)
I wouldn't know. I have never been the one to tell this news because the Super Boys always hover between 25%-50%. Yes, yes, I know they more than make up for it in personality, charm, and general sweetness, but the Awkward Family makes 'em small. I am just being honest here. Do you have any idea what it is like to tell someone who just got the equivalent of an "A" that you squeaked by with a "D"? (OK, screw it, this one is not gonna be short.) I can tell myself that it doesn't matter, that he is proportional, that 50% is average, that there are growth hormones floating around out there, that huge children skew the results, that my child is a lovely, beautiful, healthy human being who will one day change the world in untold ways. Yep, all that. Doesn't matter. Doesn't matter a fig when you are facing Perfect Mom at twenty paces and she is armed with 95% and you have 25%. And now you are telling me that what I really have is 0. 0. The absence of a number. Zero. 0% This doctor just handed me the equivalent of a mathematical black hole, an eaten pie, a void, the utter nightmare of failing motherhood. My child has an "F" in height, readers. I just failed motherhood. (Rant over, cue the tears.)
OK, clearly, Awkward Mom needs a moment, readers. Head on back here later this week for the conclusion of Awkward Mom vs. the Doctor Visit; there are eye tests, falling babies, and streaking for stickers. Please come back; no shots, plenty of suckers!