Monday, June 10, 2013

The Pediatrician's Office: A Trip to Hell and Back

Is there a worse Hell on earth than the pediatrician's office?

Maybe if you have one of those rare easygoing, relaxed children, it isn't so awful.  At least it means you get out of the house, right?  If that's the case, you can stop reading.  For most of us, a trip to the doctor is even worse than a playgroup.  

I've tried several different tactics to prepare my son for the doctor.  I've done the emotion coaching and the fair warnings (Tomorrow, we get to go to the doctor! and I know you are scared; it's okay to be scared, but I will be there the whole time).  We've read books about doctor visits and we've watched Curious George Goes to the Doctor.  Nothing has worked.  My son gets riled up about it as soon as I squeak out the word doctor-- whether it's a week or two minutes before the appointment.

How do I survive the unavoidable?  I give my son things to stall the inevitable tantrum, of course.  Can he have his pacifier (don't judge me)?  Yes.  Can he have [two packages of] fruit snacks in the car?  Sure.  Can he hold onto my phone and watch Youtube clips of the Wiggles for the entire car ride and once we get to the office?  You bet.  Anything to calm him down and prevent the red-faced crying that I (and the doctor and nurses) are bound to eventually endure.  

I can just picture the poor doctor when she looks at her chart and sees our name.   I envision her taking a deep breath, exhaling loudly, and pumping herself up (I can do this!) before entering the exam room.

As she optimistically enters the room to greet us, smiling and friendly, my son's eyes just about pop out of his head.  He's ready to leave.  NOW.  Let's face it-- he's been ready.  Now he holds nothing back.

The fun has just begun!  The real treat is when the chitchat is over and the physical exam begins.  If you ever need help pinning your child's arms and legs down so the doctor can peek into his ears or look at his throat, call me.  I've had loads of experience with it.  

Don't even get me started on the the shots, the germs, and the stethoscope.

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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*I wrote this when my son was 3.  Fortunately, things have gotten a bit easier.  The pediatrician's office is still no picnic, but it isn't as death-defying as it used to be.  The dentist is another story.