Curtis and I took both boys to the doctor yesterday. Why is it that every time I leave the pediatrician's office I feel like a failure as a parent?
Doctor: So King, who comes when you dial 9-1-1?
Doctor: Where do you live?
Doctor: What's your phone number?
King: Uhhhhh. I don't know.
For each of these questions we know King doesn't know the answers, but we're hoping he will pull out a lucky guess and save us. It doesn't happen. And when we can no longer stand his obvious growing concern that he doesn't know the "right" answer, we speak up, admitting that "we haven't really gone over that, yet."
The doctor gives us a mini-lecture about all the things we should be teaching him that we obviously aren't. And then the torture continues:
Doctor: King, have you been to the dentist?
The doctor gives us a dirty look. If we could have gotten away with crawling under the exam table to hide, we would have.
Curtis: (chuckling) That's the next thing on our list. (I am so glad he came along for this humiliation.)
King's physical exam goes well. He's a normal healthy boy. But our pride is short lived as she moves on to Mike.
Doctor: How many wet diapers does Michael have each day?
Mama: (incredulously) Eight!?
Blank stare from the doctor.
Mama: Well... maybe if I changed his diaper every time it got a little wet...
Im thinking: you mean you aren't supposed to wait until that super-absorbant diaper gel starts bursting out the seams?
She is not amused. More staring.
Mama: O.k., yes, eight. He pees all the time.
Doctor: Is he saying at least ten words?
I'm thinking: Ten? Oh crap, he doesn't even say one... this isn't good.
I give her the "zero" sign with my hand.
Doctor: Does he at least say Mama and Dada?
We shake our heads "no".
Then she starts talking about auditory problems and whether he has a history of ear infections.
Doctor: Can Michael point to his nose and ears and belly button?
Mama: Not really... but we don't ask him to very often. (Why doesn't she ask whether he can identify which cookie has the chocolate chunks in it? He can do that!)
Doctor: Can he take off his own shirt?
Alright, this is getting ridiculous. She obviously thinks our son is deaf, mute and retarded. AND IT'S ALL OUR FAULT. I must come to our, I mean his, defense.
Mama: He can put on a hat all by himself -- he loves accessories. Also, if I tell him that his sippy-cup is over on the floor next to the t.v. he knows what I'm talking about. I give him a running commentary of his life all day, I just don't play patty-cake and quiz him on his body parts very often. And he has said some words like Dada, Mama, Bye-Bye, but as soon as he sees that we are excited about it he stops saying them. (I don't mention that he can say "bee-atch" and "hey boy" and that he can wave his hands in the air and sing Hip Hop Hooray, for fear we might get the "Too Much BET" lecture.)
The doctor obviously doesn't buy my argument that Mike's lack of vocabulary is born of spite and a desire to make my life difficult.
Doctor: So he's "losing words".
She thinks he's defective. She really does. I mean: "losing time" is what you call it when you have some sort of psychotic black-out, isn't it? And to think when I walked into the doctor's office I actually thought I had two relatively bright and well adjusted children. HA, think again, sister! Now I feel more like I have two "sling blades".
Doctor: Does Michael let you brush his teeth?
Mama: Yes, he likes it.
I think Curtis actually snorts at this point.
I'm not exactly lying here. She didn't ask how often I brush his teeth. I'm simply withholding the fact that I only brush them when he's got something so big stuck between his teeth that it's hanging out over his lip.
As a parting gift, the doctor gives us a list of about 100 words that Michael has to learn within two months or they are going to make him wear the "dunce" cap. Actually, we have three months, and he only has to say 10 words, and if he doesn't, they'll have to do some "tests". But still. Also, she says no pacifiers until he starts talking and we can't give him what he wants unless he asks for it-- in English. So let me get this straight: I must endure endless whining and complaining because Mike is not getting what he wants, BUT I can't plug his pie hole with a pacifier to stop the madness? HAS THIS WOMAN LOST HER MIND?
Just to add injury to insult, before leaving, we take our little soldier and sell him out by letting the evil technicians give him FIVE SHOTS: two in one thigh, one in the other thigh, and one in each arm.