The day before yesterday I had to pick Full Speed up early from school. This time it was for his five year check up. I’ve gotten so used to him being exemplary in doctors’ settings that it threw me for a loop when he started acting like a squirrel.
Our pediatrician, who does not have the gentlest bedside manner, evaluated me with a harsh eye as I had to pull out every scare tactic I had to get Full Speed to properly comply. I was certain she was writing in her notes: Mother is losing her grip, child’s behavior is unacceptable, have both evaluated by a mental health professional and behavior specialist respectively, PRONTO!
I realize that a pediatrician can’t remember every patient’s history. However, when Full Speed tested a 20/60 in his right eye and a 20/40 in his left (best to date and I was ready to crack open some bubbly), she had the nerve to ask me what I was doing about it. She wanted to know my action plan to get him to 20/20. It was hard for me not to reach over and start to strangle her smug neck. Put that in your notes and suck it Dr. Lady!
If you can’t tell I’m a little sensitive concerning my boys and their vision. I feel I’ve done just about everything short of plucking my own eyeballs from my head and giving one to each of them to get them to 20/20 vision. Next time, I’m asking for the other doctors in the practice when we have an appointment.
As we exit the facility and Full Speed is still full of the sillies, I pause and tell him he better get his act together. We have to go to the grocery and his behavior needs to improve tremendously or he is going to start losing all sorts of privileges.
“Can I get a cookie?” he asks.
I turn and look at him. The look on my face tells him his answer without me so much as uttering a word.
He shapes up nicely. Of course he takes in his two pencils he earned for a good check-up (health-wise not behaviorally) and proceeds to have a loud, pencil sword fight with himself throughout the entire store. At several points in this outing I have to tell him to use ‘inside’ voices. He reins it in for a moment or two and then the action takes off and he loses all volume control repeatedly.
During this shopping trip I realize we are on the same trajectory as a Dad and two, small girls. I’m guessing they are about two and a half and one. I am in awe. They sit peaceably next to one another and don’t make a sound. At first I’m convinced it’s a fluke. Then, I realize that no matter where I see them in the store, they are still seated and quiet. Their Dad doesn’t raise his voice once. He even comes to a complete standstill and deliberates over what brand of cereal to buy. The girls just sit there.
I’m tempted to ask him if he administered Benadryl or some other sedative to them before he left home. I don’t of course but this ludicrous notion helps me cope with the fact that I am the Mom who always has the loudest, most rambunctious kids in the store at any given moment.
I look at Full Speed and he starts pretending to shoot me with his pencils. This is my life. I dodge imaginary bullets all day long. Luckily, I’m bullet-proof.