April 4, 2012

Dr. Switchyswappy - the sequel

Hack, Hack, Hack. Sorry to have sprayed germs your way. Heads up, don't come visit me right now, I've got a cold. Or virus. Or allergies. Or all three rolled into one. Nothing too serious - just a hacking, dry cough, banging headache, runny nose, achy body and creepy skin feeling. Blaghhh and booooooo. Oh, stop. There's no need to send flowers... jeez, you guys are so thoughtful!! (I like daisies and peonies).

Anyway, mom came to get the baby this afternoon because I was feeling much worse than I did this morning. I can rest a little easier knowing that Scarlett is rolling around happily as my mother and grandmother play with her for hours on end. Here, she wouldn't have had such a great playmate. I just needed to lie down for a little while. But ya know when you take that weird, little midday nap and you get up and just feel dazed and horrendous?? That's what happened. The cough turned hackier, my nose got half-stuffy/half-runnier and my "creepy skin feeling" got creepier. Phooey on me. Honey Lemon Halls for this gal.

In other news, I am THRILLED to report that Dr. Switchyswappy has been a complete success!!!! Even beyond what I'd hoped for! The new doctor is a delight! Here's how Scarlett's six month visit (yesterday) went down...

I arrived ten minutes early - because I always arrive early - because I always hope that if they're on schedule they'll take us early. I sit in the waiting area which was an absolute zoo for some reason. I leave Scarlett in the infant carrier because it's just easier for me. She plays with  her little hanging toys and checks out the sights. Little did we know we would quickly become the center of attention and my anxiety would skyrocket.

Now, I understand kids love other kids and babies. I get it! Scarlett loves kids! I also know kids love to touch everything and explore. Totally understood. However, in a crowded pediatrician's waiting room I have no idea who has a well visit and who has the plague. I usually engage in some quick small talk with the other parents, asking the typical ages and names of their children. It's been a very calm wait on past occasions. But this day I was to be invaded. Invaded by toddlers.

Invaded. That's how I felt. As if Scarlett and I were in danger and should pick up and move to another area. At first I didn't mind the curious kiddies - one fifteen month old girl, Fiona, a one year old girl named Kylie and a three year old boy, Eamon. Eamon was VERY active and pretty much fought with his mama the entire time. Limbs flailing, jumping and ninja-kicking, throwing magazines and pamphlets, yelling and climbing over the chairs - over our chairs - over Scarlett. My heart started to pound a little harder at this point. I was getting that nervous Mama-Bird instinct like I needed to protect my child from this wild man. I contemplated moving the carrier from the floor to the chair but the little girls were walking over to us. Eamon took notice and joined the pod. I felt as though three sharks were closing in on a wounded seal. My eyes were sharp. Eamon immediately grabbed Scarlett's toys and started shaking, swinging and rattling them just an INCH from her face. He was yelling in Scarlett's face and turning her innocent and colorful owl into a scary monster. His mother simply said, "Gentle, do gentle, Eamon." I watched as his grubby hands got to know every centimeter of every toy that I brought to soothe my girl. The two small girls were much more cautious. Touching Scarlett's shoes, pointing out that she is a "baby" and reaching for her toys. As all three huddled around her, attacking her owl and elephant, I watched as Scarlett raised her fists by her face and widened her eyes. She seemed nervous. I felt so bad. The other mothers simply smiled as the children grabbed her toys and swung metal keys around her. I smiled nervously and began to rock her carrier saying, "you're okay" as if I was trying to convince myself. At one point one of the girls screamed into Scarlett's face and she began to whimper, looking at me, frightened. What could I do??

After about forty minutes of this I had to take her out of the car seat. I held her, bounced her on my knee and rocked her in my arms. The doctor was a full hour late. The waiting experience was actually excruciating. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to say, "Please leave my baby alone, she's very small and fragile." I wanted the other mothers to realize it on their own and keep a closer eye on their own babies. I know it's different being a "new mom". I know we get terms thrown around about us like, OVERREACT, GERMAPHOBE, OVERPROTECTIVE etc. But come on. Tell me you wouldn't have been scared having your little, six month old bundle of love being surrounded by dangerous scenarios. That's what they were. Jumping, flailing, throwing object boy, Keys-swinging girl, face-touching other girl. Not to mention the toys that went right into my diaper bag to be scoured with soap as soon as I got home. I have no idea where all of those little hands have been! Just in that waiting room I saw them on a plethora of filthy things. My little girl doesn't need any more help getting viruses. We do just fine on our own.

We finally made it into the doctor's exam room. SAFE! We were both relaxed. Scarlett immediately got to work kicking furiously at the paper lining the table. She was in heaven! She flipped onto her belly and tore up every inch of that paper. She began babbling and screeching with contentment. I didn't care how long we had to wait in that room, we were happy there. She was weighed and measured and we awaited the doctor. As soon as the door opened I knew I had made the right decision in switching. Immediately the doctor acknowledged Scarlett- how active she was, her great motor-skills etc. She flipped her laptop around to show us her growth charts while explaining everything to us both. Even stopping to say, "Yes, I know you love my computer don't you!?" I was soooo glad she had just the demeanor I hoped for. She spewed out information while lifting Scarlett to the exam table. She asked a lot of questions about our daily routines and answered every question I had to my complete satisfaction. We weren't rushed through our Q&A despite her backed up schedule. She was wonderful and well worth the hour wait.

I am certain that Scarlett is going to have the experience that I was looking for with her pediatrician. I couldn't be happier that I switched. Not everyone clicks - not everyone has the same experience with the same people. I found our fit. Cross another one off the list!

How would you have handled our waiting room experience? 
Would you have asked the children to give the baby some space or are you much more relaxed?

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