“The doctor is running late. He’ll be in....well, when he can,” the nurse told me sweetly before leaving.
I hate when the doctor is running late. If I can show up for my appointment on time, he should too.
Granted, I know it’s not entirely his fault. Sometimes he’s held back by those mothers who ask a billion questions: “what’s that on my kid’s eye, my kid made a weird sound just now, can you hear it? No? I can clearly hear it. It sounded like a wheeze. Here, bend down and you can hear it. That’s funny, he was JUST making that noise. Wait, what’s on his toe? Oh, his nail? Oh, I guess you are right. While I have you, doctor, my daughter has a cough should I give her Tylenol? Could you look at her now?”
Look, I admit I can be somewhat paranoid. I still check to make sure my kids are breathing before I go to bed at night. But I’m not that paranoid.
“This bothers me that we have to wait,” Tommy spoke up, plopping down in a miniature blue chair in the room.
We were at Natalie’s three year checkup. I had to take him because he’s on Spring Break this week. Tommy’s latest thing is using the word “bother” whenever he’s miffed. He’ll latch onto a word or phrase and use it for a week before he drops it and moves onto another one. The past four days he’s been dropping the bother bomb as in “it bothers me when you burn dinner, it makes my food taste weird,” and “it bothers me that Natalie screams and it bothers me even more when I cover her mouth and then she tries to bite my hand off” and “it bothers me when you say I can’t have a cookie. I don’t want an apple instead. It bothers me that you’d even say that.”
Bother, bother, bother.
“It bothers me too, Tommy,” I said dryly as I settled down in the adult sized chair.
Natalie had failed miserably when the nurse had her try to read an eye chart. All Natalie had to do was name shapes but instead she clamped her mouth shut and shook her head roughly.
“What’s this?” the nurse had said, pointing to a circle.
Natalie shook her head.
“What’s this?” the nurse tried again, pointing to a square.
Natalie shook her head.
“Natalie, come on, you know those shapes,” I said.
“What’s this?” the nurse continued.
“A heart!” Tommy called out.
I frowned at him. “Tommy, shhh.”
Tommy scowled. “It bothers me that Natalie won’t say anything!”
Well, you and me both, kid.
In the end the nurse just gave up.
“I bet her eyesight is just fine,” the nurse said, scribbling something into Natalie’s chart. She probably wrote “STUBBORN CHILD!” and underlined it three times.
We waited for the doctor.
And we waited.
Natalie had gone through all the books in the room and was bored. She started to climb on the exam table and tried to leap off of it.
I caught her just in time.
“Do you want to crack your head open?” I hissed, putting her on the ground.
“Cool, then we’d see Natalie’s brains!” Tommy spoke up.
I checked the clock. We had been waiting for nearly a half hour.
Then the kids started scooting around in the tiny chairs. They made horrible scraping sounds to the point where a nurse popped her head in and asked if everything was okay. This was her polite way of saying, “Tell your kids to can it.”
“Guys, stop,” I instructed. “The noise bothers me.”
Tommy glared at me. It was as if he was saying, “Hey, that’s MY word, woman!”
Finally, the doctor came in.
“You took a long time,” Tommy said bluntly.
The doctor blanched. “Sorry about that. I’m just running behind.” He went over to wash his hands. “How are you doing, sweetie?” he asked Natalie, who was now hiding behind my knee.
I tried to sit her down on the exam table but she held onto my arms in a death grip.
“Can I listen to your heart?” the doctor asked.
“No thanks,” Natalie answered.
“If you don’t listen to the doctor, Natalie, you’re going to jail!” Tommy sing-songed.
“No brother, you stop that!” Natalie yelled. If he had been next to her, she’d have surely bonked him on the head. That’s HER latest thing: if you say something she doesn’t like, she bonks you on the head.
I had to sit her on my lap so the doctor could look her over.
“I’m just going to feel your belly,” the doctor said, lifting up her shirt.
Natalie lifted her hand. I knew what was coming.
“You stop it,” I warned her because she was all set to bonk the doctor.
Thankfully she listened.
And it turns out she’s perfectly healthy. She weighs 25 pounds, about the same as Giselle Bundchen. (Who, I must point out, has already lost all her baby weight. She quipped in an interview that some people while pregnant act like garbage disposables and eat whatever they want while she was mindful of what she ate. Well lah-di-dah, Giselle. Lah-di-dah.) (By the way. I was a garbage disposable while pregnant. Oops.) (And still sort of am now. Oops again.)
Natalie is also 36 inches. Yes, she’s petite but the doctor isn’t concerned because she’s always been petite.
Some people have said, “I never knew such a noise could come out of someone so tiny,” when they’ve witnessed one of Natalie’s tantrums.
And Natalie is where she should be developmentally for a three year old. It’s always startling to me to hear that a child is on track seeing as what I went through with Tommy (“he’s speech delayed, he should know how to do all of this already, flapping his arms could mean he has something called Autism. Do you know what Autism is?”)
We left after that. I got the kids in the car and the second I started driving off, the fighting began.
“Natalie, that’s MY toy. HEY! Mommy, she just BONKED me. That BOTHERS me!” Tommy yelled.
“SHE BONKED ME AGAIN!”
Is Spring Break over yet?