Thursday, October 29, 2009

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Doctor?

I hardly slept last night. Why? Well, one, because Tori's teething (still). But even if she had slept like an angel, I would have tossed and turned. That's what a looming visit to the pediatrician does to me.

I'm not sure why, but in my mind, the petite, mild-mannered fiftyish woman who actually cares for my daughter becomes a giant-sized, fire-breathing, ultra-judgmental Doctor from Hell in the days leading up to her appointment.

Too many comments of, "boy, your baby's a chunk," had me worried she'd tell me my baby was obese and that she'd have to advise my health insurance to cancel her policy.

The freshly scabbed over scratch on Tori's nose? Would become a sure sign of child abuse in my doctor's mind, and not merely a hint that I'm still afraid to trim her nails.

The mild diaper rash would also seem to be a symbol of neglect—and not just the result of vegetable-fueled bowel movements.

Heck, I even had myself half convinced that somehow, she would know I'd fallen with Tori in my arms, and would accuse me of trying to kill my baby.

Okay, maybe that last one's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point. My brain took a trip to Crazy Town last night, and didn't want to leave at closing time.

Needless to say, I was a wreck when morning finally arrived. Which meant that things didn't go too smoothly around here. There was no spoon throwing, but only because Tori wouldn't eat. At all. And no sooner did I get her dressed in her cute, man am I a good mommy doctor appropriate outfit  she, ahem, ejected the carrots from the night before...aaaaall the way up her back.

Emergency bath, anyone?

By the time all was said and done, I had about, oh, three minutes to get myself ready? Yeah. Not the best way to make a good impression when already you're nervous. (SIDE NOTE: I am so glad I don't have short hair. Short hair requires actual fixing in the morning—beyond a pony tail holder. How do you guys do it?).

We were late before we walked out the door (standard operating procedure around here). That, of course, made me worried that for the first time, the doctor would be running early, and we'd be turned away with some disdainful comment.

Which was ridiculous. We waited a good thirty minutes...sitting across from a Stepford Wife. The woman, although seeming to be a SAHM, was perfectly turned out (at 9 a.m.). Her shirt was ironed, her shoes were stilettos (okay, not really, but they were heels. And way more fashionable than my holey gym shoes)...she even had lipstick on. Her children, of course, also behaved angelically.

I spent the agonizingly slow minutes staring at her, wondering how one gets to that hyper-organized place, and did I have a chance in hell of ever getting there (the answer, I'll just tell you right now, is no).

So, by the time our names were finally called, I was wallowing in a puddle of inferiority in downtown Crazy Town.

And that's where my story loses steam.

Because, you see, once we got called back, everything went perfectly. The slavering demon in my mind transformed back into the cheerful doctor we know and love. She called Tori perfect. Cheered because she'd grown four inches (she's tall for her age now, folks). And while Tori's weight is still in the 90th percentile, the doc didn't even bat an eye.

Oh, and the whole feeding thing? Not a big deal. Apparently, as long as we keep trying, all is well. She echoed what many of you told me—that  Tori eventually will get hungry. And then she'll eat. Makes sense, right? Of course it does.

So I escaped without "Bad Mom" getting stamped on my head. Even better? I managed to escape from Crazy Town. I'd like to say it'll never happen again, but that would be a lie. I'm sure that when her next appointment approaches, the slavering demon will knock on my door.

That would be one of the many downsides of having a vivid imagination.


  1. Hehe :) I loved your descriptions of your harrowing day. Doctor's visits do have the ability to make me a little nervous, too. I think it's gotten better now, though, if that helps at all.

    Side note: I have short hair, and I fix it NOT AT ALL. I'm amazed that long-haired mamas don't chop it all off in a fit of rage from the extra hassle I imagine it causes. Grass is always greener, no?

    I'm glad your baby is perfect - but we already knew that :) You're a good mom.

  2. Those Stepford people really creep me out. I think really, they are robots.

  3. Wow- We had Bea's 6 month visit this morning too. I can't believe I got out the door at 8:42... for our 8:45 appt.

    In the time we got up, I had Bea breastfed, bottlefed (we're doing both in the AM), freshly bathed, clothed and diapered, and fed some oatmeal.

    I also managed to get a shower in myself and - get this - blow dry and DO my hair. Amber, I put on LIPSTICK for crying out loud. At 8:42 in the MORNING!

    (For the record, I have short hair. And you are totally right about having to do it.)

    Why all the prep? Because for once, I wanted to be that "together" mom in the waiting room rather than the schlumpit I usually am when I take her.

    Oh, and Bea's pediatrician is kinda cute. I am sure that has something to do with it.

    Here's the kicker. The H1N1 craze had all the well visit kids enter in the back and wait in a little hallway clearly not designed for waiting. No one saw me in my together-ness glory. Whatev. I was still in lounge pants and Uggs, so I wasn't in that much of my glory anyway.

    Here's to perfect babies... and not so perfect moms!


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