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the interrogation

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Why is going to the pediatrician getting to be more like going to an inquisition?
We had two doctor's appointments this week...
One for the girls.
One for the boys.
I try to get all of our annual appointments done during the summer while the kids are out of school.
And getting them all done at the same time means I'm less likely to leave someone out! :)
We changed pediatricians this year.
Not because I wanted to.
Our absolutely wonderful pediatrician, whom the kids adored and I absolutely loved...moved.
He was perfect.
The kids would patiently wait for Dr. S. in his 'Things to Spot' muraled exam rooms. It didn't matter how long we had to wait, they could spend hours in there searching for the 10 spotted dogs.
As soon as he burst into the room, the teasing and games got started. Decked out in his mismatched slippers, funny-shaped stethescopes, and cartoon character scrubs, he immediately put them at ease...
No matter how sick they were.
He cared about them.
And the kids trusted him.
Now he's gone...
Leaving behind a list of recommended doctors to help us search for a new pediatrician.
So I picked one.
I'm not sure I chose wisely.
I picked the only woman on the list because I thought (stereotypically I know) she would most likely be compassionate with a good bedside manner for the kids.
What I didn't consider was her bedside manner with ME!
The questions started within the first few minutes of the girls' appointment.
'How old are they?'
'When is their birthday?'
'How long has it been since their last doctor's appointment?'

'Are they on any current medications?'
'Have there been any recent trips to the E.R.?'
Some of it, I get.
'Is there smoking in the home?"
'Is there a family history of any of the following...' (I love telling them, 'I don't know' and getting the quizzical look! HA! :)
'Are there any bedtime issues...'

'Does the child sleep through the night...'
But honestly, does it really matter that the child's favorite food is PB&J or ice cream?
For heaven's sake.

That's what kids are supposed to like!
It's not like I feed it to them for the supper...every night! ;>)
It all started out innocent enough, but as we went along they got more...judgemental.
And yes, I understand they are health questions, but they're also poking and prodding at my skills as a parent.
Thankfully I had all the right answers.
Except for one.
'Does the child wear a helmet when riding a bike?'
My kids don't wear helmets!
It's not because they shouldn't. I know they should. We started out with every intention of having them wear helmets...but somewhere along they way LIFE interefered and we became slackers.
So even though I do slather on SPF 30+ sunscreen before they go swimming and reapply liberally regularly...
...and no, we don't smoke...
...and yes, we are married and living together...
...and yes, there are six people living in our house...
...and yes, all four children do eat three well-rounded meals and three snacks a day, including at least four to six servings of fruits and vegetables daily...
...and no they aren't being bullied at school...
...and yes, they've seen the eye doctor AND the dentist in the last six months...
...and yes, they're doing just fine in school, but yes, they ARE getting speech help...
...and no, they aren't allowed a lot of sugary snacks...
...and yes, they are involved in sporting activities so they get plenty of exercise...
...and yes, I limit their amount of video games to 30 minutes a day...
...and yes, they all wear their seat belts and three of them are STILL in booster seats because not only is it state law - it's also safer...
...and no, they don't swim unsupervised...
...and yes, they are taking swim lessons...
...and yes, we have smoke detectors...
...and yes, we tested the batteries at the last time change...
...and yes, I've taught the kids to look both ways BEFORE they cross the street...
...SOMEHOW I STILL ended up getting lectured on bike helmets!
And it wasn't just a quick mention, of 'you really should have them wear helmets.'
It was a diatribe.
A speech.
A lecture.
Do I look like the world's worst mom to you, lady?!
To top it all off...she's a shot Nazi.
I thought all the kids were up to date on their boosters...but she likes to give the Hep A shot as well.
So the kids got shots we were ALL unprepared for.
And they get ANOTHER one in six months.
Great for morale, let me tell you. ;>)
I know there are a lot of parents out there who need to hear these questions.
They need to be educated about all of this stuff.
And I can't be left out...
Still, I couldn't help getting a little prickly over the interrogation.
I guess I'm still a little sensitive.
You know...having everyone and their brother take a close look at your parenting skills, home condition and then judging whether you would make fit parents or not...
It's still a little soon after the adoption to go through another inquisition.
Maybe it's my own little version of 'post-traumatic'.
My apologies to my doctor friends out there. I know there are several of you who read this blog and I'm sure you aren't ANYTHING like this nut. Keep up the good work! :)
P.P.S. - Please ignore any spelling errors. I spell-checked before I posted this, then re-read (as is my OCD nature) and found at least two spelling errors...who knows what else is in there!

7 salty messages:

kate June 27, 2008 at 12:37 PM  

Don't go back.

Do any of your friends have a ped they like?

Ask, because, seriously, I wouldn't go back.

MamaPoRuski June 28, 2008 at 11:08 PM  

Good thing you didn't tell him about your little adventure with "wicked weather" earlier this month! I agree with Kate, your pediatrician should be your best friend and right arm. We love ours and R's has the audacity to think he might retire next year!

Hannah,  June 29, 2008 at 9:36 PM  

we go to the same pedi, dr b., right?? we used to go to dr. s as well. :-( i'll keep you updated as i keep hunting. we had a similar experience except it was about that fact that he has fair skin. i can tell you more at work if you're interested. :-p

Muddy June 30, 2008 at 2:04 AM  

Have you considered finding a good family physician? My kids never saw a pediatrician, and I know ours never asked all those pesky questions. I would have been insulted at the inquisition too. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty anymore? It almost seems everywhere you go anymore you have to prove you are a decent human being that is raising your family right, not stealing etc etc..

Tina in CT June 30, 2008 at 11:49 AM  

It's a wonder that your generation lived as we never put helmets on you, the slats on your cribs were not as close together, you had mess playpins or ones with wooden slats, you were actually IN playpens, you had walkers that could tip, you roamed the neighborhood with your little friends, etc.

My advice - find a pediatrician that you like. Ask friends for their recommendations.

Lindy July 1, 2008 at 12:07 AM  

I can't believe that woman! I think I'd look for another pediatrician. Good grief.

Ashley July 1, 2008 at 7:21 PM  

My children don't wear helmets, either. We live out in the country and we do not have cement on our land. They roam all over the yard on their bikes and over stumps without a helmet. We also ride the 4-wheeler without a helmet and are we supposed to mow the lawn on our riding lawn mower with a helmet? I never wore a helmet growing up and I haven't made my children, either. We may change our mind one day, but we have never made them do that. I do not think it means you are a bad mom. If so, I am, too.

We also see a family physician for the whole family. We do not have a pediatrician in our small town. We love it, though and they are well taken care of. :) I hope you find a great doctor, too. I know how important that is.

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