If you have more than one kid, you know what a disaster it is to take one to the doctor, but to have to bring the other(s) along for the ride. If one is getting shots, the others are laughing. Unless you have nice kids, in which case the others are crying along with the one getting the shots. I’m not a nice kid, I DEFINITELY laughed – SO HARD – at my sister getting shots once, I mean my brother and I were in TEARS and could barely breathe we were laughing so hard. It was one of the funniest things in the world (at that time), but the joke was on us, because little did we know, we were next for the shots.
>You won that round, Mom.<
I have nice kids, I’m not really sure how that happened, but that’s what I’m working with here. Don’t get me wrong, they’re assholes, but when comes to one or the other getting shots, skinning a knee, or even the threat of left behind, kicked out of the car, whatever it is at the time, they’ll both be in tears. One crying from pain/threat, the other hysterical because “that’s my sister!” Aww, Erin, that’s so sweet that they — No, it’s completely ridiculous. This of course would never stop one from punching/scratching/kicking/pushing/hitting/stabbing/maiming/stealing from the other. I told you; assholes.
Recently, my oldest has had a rough go with some dermatitis, which they’ve not really been able to treat effectively. After, I don’t know, 3874748390 office visits and picture texts, we’re at YET ANOTHER emergency visit and the dermatologist finally says “well, sometimes a zinc deficiency can cause this”. What’s that?? You want to treat the CAUSE??? Is it a cold day in Hell?? Because that’s logical. Responsible, even. So he orders a blood draw, they might even be able to do it today! (Do NOT get me started on why the doctor’s office can’t just DRAW BLOOD right then. There’s not a reason. They have phlebotomists on staff.) After a solid 30 minutes of trying to keep both girls quiet while we wait, during which time Oldest is emitting this constant whimper/whine about having blood drawn, they say LOLZ – can’t do it today. SUPER.
“You can come back tomorrow?”
-Actually, I can’t.
“You can come anytime between 8am and 5pm. Tomorrow?”
-No. Not tomorrow, she has school, and then gymnastics until 7pm.
“Oh, well you can come at 8am?”
Does no one else find this annoying? Because at this point, I kind of want to scream. I’m not the “let’s miss school for non-emergent situations” parent. I’m the “well, you’re not dead, so you’re going to school, XO” parent. “No problem, ma’am, you don’t need an appointment, just come anytime between 8am and 5pm.” Great, maybe Wednesday, then.
I admit, I completely forgot about it. Yesterday they called to say the doctor requested the results, but there were no results to be had. OOPS. Yep, we’ll come tomorrow. I SPECIFICALLY ASKED “is any time better than another?” and they said “no, ma’am, just come between 8am and 5pm, it’s just a quick draw.” The girls are off school this week (AGAIN) and have been bugging me to take them to this indoor playground place, so I figure we’ll go do the blood draw, with the promise of the soft play area immediately after if they behave.
We arrive at the office at 8:55am, I didn’t want to get there right at 8 and then have to kill time before the soft play opened. There are maybe 3 other patients there, perfect. Oldest is under strict orders that she is NOT to behave the way she did when she got her ears pierced. We sit down and wait, as directed. Youngest is playing on my phone. YES, ON MY PHONE. I know, I’m the WORST. Not impressed by your judgement. Oldest is relentless, “Can I play with your phone now?”
-No, your sister just started using it, why would you think it’s ok for me to take it from her just because you want it?
(Thirty seconds go by.)
“Can I play with it now?”
“In 2 minutes?”
“3 minutes? Four?”
-*full on death stare* Why don’t you draw with me, instead?
I explain what Celtic knots are, and show her the motherhood knot I’m working on. I described an art project we did in school when I was about her age, and she kind of combines the two ideas into one picture, everyone is happily doing something. QUIETLY.
An hour goes by. YES. A full, non-exaggerated sixty minutes. I use the bathroom, Oldest uses the bathroom, Youngest “doesn’t need to”. The 3 people that were there when we arrived have long gone, and the waiting room is now filled with kids who all have varying degrees of this awful hacking cough. The girls have switched activities, Youngest has colored – thankfully not on her self this time – and is now playing with other kids there. It’s been 90 minutes, and I decide it’s time to just go because I don’t want my kids picking up this cough. Or myself, I have to fly to the States in like 30 hours. Hard pass.
Pack everything up, stop at the desk to let them know we’re leaving. The lady is completely confused as to why we’re not done yet. Trust me, lady, ME TOO. She marches over and yells at the nurses’ station, and I do feel a little bad about that. She comes back and asks us to take a seat, it will just be a few minutes. I’m irritated, but I’d rather wait a few more minutes than have to drive back tomorrow. Oldest is MAD “you should have just said we were done!!” Sorry not sorry, kid. We sit back down, Oldest uses the bathroom again, Youngest still “doesn’t need to”. Both beg to play with my phone, but they’ve already annihilated the battery, so they’re outta luck on that front. It’s been another 20 minutes, and Youngest decides she finally needs to go to the bathroom, Oldest volunteers to take her (it’s within sight), I say fine. Five seconds after they open the door to the bathroom, the phlebotomist calls Oldest back. For fuck’s sake. I can’t be with Oldest in the room if I take Youngest to the bathroom, and I can’t expect the 3 year old to go to the bathroom and then find us on her own, so I tell Youngest she’s just gonna have to hold it, scoop her up, and we follow the guy. I’m PRAYING that she doesn’t pee all over me.
We enter the Phlebotomy Room, which is pretty much a glorified closet with a chair and 2 small cabinets. Oldest takes one look at the chair and loses her shit. Wailing that she’s scared and it’s gonna hurt. The guy is super friendly “Are you scared??” (apparently, he’s also an idiot) “Don’t be scared! I won’t hurt you!” I can’t NOT roll my eyes at that. He might not MEAN for it to hurt, but that doesn’t mean it won’t. She sits in the chair and is already sobbing. He hasn’t even prepped her damn arm, and she is SOBBING. “I don’t wanna do it, I’m scared! Dooooonnnnn’tttt dooooo iiiiitttt!!!”
“Oh no, don’t cry! Just don’t move ok, that’s all I ask. Don’t move.” I’m not convinced she heard him because she’s so busy kicking her feet and crying. “You HAVE to HOLD STILL, ok? Did you hear him? NO moving, that’s the only way to do this fast, ok?”
Now the dude looks nervous, “Ma’am? Maybe you will sit with her? Please?” Uh yeah, if by “with” you mean “on”, because I think we both know where this is headed. So I’m holding Youngest on my left hip, and we’re sitting on this chair with Oldest, and I’m intentionally pinning her arm and leg under mine. “See, Mommy is sitting with you, no need to cry or be scared!” he says. Youngest is asking the guy all kinds of questions “is that a bandaid? What does that do?” Before either he or I can answer, he swabs Oldest’s arm, causing her to SHRIEK. -And you thought I was kidding when I said they’re assholes. Now Youngest looks alarmed. The guy tries to get Oldest to bury her face in my shoulder “Don’t look, then you won’t be scared.” Yeah, she is NOT about that. He decides this is a lost cause and just goes for it. She immediately SCREAMS.
I did not think there was another level of hysterical sobbing, I thought she had maxed out already. NNNNOPE. Guy keeps warning her to sit still, don’t move, and I can feel her arm twitching under mine like she’s about to reach over and pull the needle out. I can just SEE that disaster. The guy adjusts the needle and when the blood begins to flow, Youngest’s eyes bug right out of her head.
Now Oldest is ugly crying “MOOOMMMMMMYYYYY!!! IT HHHHUUUUUURRRRRRTTTTTSSSSSS!! MAA-A-A-A-KE, MAKE IT STTTTTTOOOPPPPPPP!!” Youngest is snot-crying on my shirt and SCREECHING, with the shrillness, “HER BLOOD!! HE’S TAKING AWAY HER BLOOD!! I DON’T WANT HIM TO TAKE HER BLOOD!! SHE WILL DIIIIIIEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Imagine the amazing harmony the waiting room is enjoying in this moment. “MAAAKKKEE HHHIIIMMMM SSSSTTTOOOPPPPPP!!!” Somebody get these clowns a record deal. Now, imagine this is playing in stereo, live, IN YOUR EARS.
I’m trying, I’m really trying. I am fighting the urge SO HARD. My inner dialogue: Don’t do it, Erin. DO NOT. DO IT. They will think you’ve lost your mind. Must. Not– TOO LATE.
PULL IT TOGETHER, ERIN! BE A REAL MOM! But much like my wedding ceremony, the harder I try NOT to laugh, the harder I laugh. I can only think about two things in that moment: that time we laughed at my sister, and how COMPLETELY ridiculous are my children?! I can’t stop laughing. CAN.NOT. I know, Mother of the Year over here. But you don’t exactly get to be a gold medalist in the Mean Mom Olympics if you don’t laugh at your children’s theatrical anguish.
As he’s putting the bandaid on, and all but throwing us out of the room, Oldest is hiccup crying, and Youngest, bless her heart, is at least not crying – but she IS calling him a VAMPIRE over my shoulder in her meanest voice, demanding HER SISTER’S blood back. She even threw in a “You will NEVER get her blood again!!” I can’t. That poor guy.
Every person in the now-crowded waiting room is staring at this spectacle with a mixture of concern and bewilderment. And I am just LAUGHING. I can’t even make eye contact with them as we’re walking out. I just plastered on the pageant Barbie smile and marched them to the car. It pretty much made it worth the TWO HOURS that it took.
First world problem: My kids are protective of each other.