And so I found myself in the doctor’s office with a newly minted three-year old clinging to me for dear life, head buried in my chest, weeping uncontrollably. She was not sick, nor threatened with vaccinations, and was telling me just two minutes before how much she liked “the doctor,” referring to the friendly young nurse with whom she was making toddler small-talk. The actual doctor reassured me this was perfectly normal behavior and that this would be the last time the doctor visit would be this traumatic. First time as well, apparently, since my child has never – not even once- ran to me out of fear of a stranger.
This reassurance, though, is one of the reasons I like the well-child checks. I had minimal questions this time and didn’t circle one concern on the form I must fill out for each of these visits. I used to circle rashes because of her eczema flare ups, but those are gone, replaced with mere dry skin that I should moisturize more often. The application of the lotion is much more of a nuisance to both of us than the dry skin is to her, so I’ve adopted the “meh” stance. I used to circle weight and nutrition as well, but if the last three years have taught me anything, it’s that the kid is going to weigh what she’s going to weigh and eat what she’s going to eat, and nothing I can do will make her gain weight or expand her palette faster than is meant to be.
I did ask for an opinion on milk, since Sonja stopped drinking it when I stopped offering it out of the bottle. The doctor’s stance on this was pretty “meh” as well, since I explained she was certainly not lacking dairy in her diet. When going over breakfast foods, we mentioned that she likes cinnamon rolls, and the doctor suggested we try a Julia Child recipe that calls for six sticks of butter. “How many cinnamon rolls does that make?” I asked. “About a dozen,” the doctor answered. C’mon Doc, let’s be honest. Who’s really going to plump up from those cinnamon rolls? Sonja, who’s going to eat maybe one, or mom and dad, who are going to eat the other eleven?
The only other concern I brought up was fluoride, since she rarely finishes the water in which I hide hers. He replaced the liquid supplement with a chewable, and that, much as I suspected, went over like a lead balloon.
We did get some welcome news when we went over the growth chart and found that Sonja had shot up to near 50th percentile for height. That triumph lasted until I got home and noticed that they’d plotted her two-foot, eleven-inch height on the 24 month point, meaning she is almost, but not quite, average height for a two-year-old. Sigh. They made the same mistake on her weight chart, but, meh. 24 pounds, if you’re curious.
As we were wrapping up our conversation, Sonja asked, in between sobs, if it was time to go get a treat. I readily admitted to bribing my child and was reassured that it was perfectly okay, that ending a doctor’s visit on an up-note was a good thing. If I could get more of these reassurances, say once a week instead of once a year, I think I’d be a much saner parent. Now I’ve got to keep winging it until she’s four and I can be reassured, once again, that everything is meh.