Usually Sean and I take Max to the Doctor together. Today, for a very brief follow-up appointment, I figured that I could just run Max over to the office myself.
The lovely and sweet Dr. L was off today, as was our 2nd favorite Dr. S. I had reluctantly scheduled the appointment with Dr. C, who I vaguely remembered as the pediatrician who had visited us on our last day of the “C-Section Vacation”, and officially discharged Max from the hospital. He wasn’t exactly a friendly guy. But whatever….it was just a follow-up appointment.
Anyone who has met our Max knows that he is a VERY happy kid. And very friendly. It takes alot for him to put you on his shit list. He even smiles and babbles at the nurse that gives the shots. He’s that happy.
Usually Dr. L comes in, approaches him gently and slowly, pets him a bit, talks to him softly, lets him play with her necklace or stethoscope or the buttons on her sweater, and goes through her examination while he is distracted by other things. He lets her look in his mouth, his ears, listen to his chest and his belly…..hell, she even checks his private parts and he stays pretty chill. Even when they take his temperature in his BOTTOM he doesn’t scream.
This time though, we had Dr. C. Now granted, I may not have started us off on the right foot. We had been waiting for 30 minutes by the time Dr. C came in the room. 30 minutes with a very active, still somewhat sick 4 month old can feel like 30 years. I had been doing my best to keep Max entertained, but there are only so many times you can bounce a child on the exam table or sing him a silly song, or tell the story of the night he was born (it went something like “See that hospital right there? That’s where you were born………..Mommy, Daddy, and Baubee…..it was really dark…..then they said ‘No, no. Max isn’t ready. Time to go back home’….and then we came back AGAIN…..and then mean Dr. N. came in the room and said ‘knock, knock Max!’ and you said ‘who isssss it?’ and he said ‘it’s time to come out now!’ and you said ‘mmmmmm…..ok’ and then he lifted you out and held you up in the air like THIS…..and you went waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh and Daddy held you up to Mommy…..I kissed you like THIS….”. You get the picture, right??? For 30 whole minutes. Until Max got hungry, and I had to give in and feed him right there next to the tongue depressors.
So when Dr. C came in, the first thing out of my mouth may have been “Sorry. But he just couldn’t wait any longer”.
Dr. C walked directly to the sink, faced the wall, washed his hands, and said (to the soap dispenser) “Date of birth?”.
And after I answered, he said (to the paper towel holder) “How old is he?”
Seriously?? You have a fucking doctorate. Do the math.
After a few more minutes of very curt dialogue, he came over to examine Max. Whose name he did not say once. Whose eyes he didn’t look into once. Who he did not talk directly to once.
And then he said “Mom, you need to hold him down while I do this. Hold his arms. No not like that! You need to hold his head back too”. Now anyone who knows children knows that any time you approach a child with a strange looking instrument while someone is simultaneously trying to pin their arms down and tilt their head back, it isn’t going to be pretty. And there was no reason for it. Dr. L never needs to hold Max down. She just lets him play on the table, or in our arms, and examines him while he’s playing.
Dr. C couldn’t figure out why Max was getting so upset. So he started making this “cluck” noise. Like that was all he had in his repertoire. “You need to hold him TIGHTER…..cluck!”
Looking back, Mommy lesson #3457 says that I should have told Dr. C to go fuck himself. Holding children down needs to be saved for things like spinal taps. If you’re not a good enough pediatrician to do a basic examination without a parent having to wrestle their child, then you should go into accounting.
As we left the office, I held Max close and whispered over and over that we would never have to see that mean doctor again. When we got home and told Sean about Dr. Evil he noted that we should ask for our $30 back. Yeah, and our 60 minutes. As Max played happily on Daddy’s lap that night, he looked over at me, grinned his toothless baby grin, and gave me a very loud “cluck”!---here---