So, Emily has what I thought was a cold for the last few weeks, so after an exceptionally crabby morning with her, we decided we had better make sure there isn’t some ear infection or sinus infection lurking. I really do try to ride these things out, but my kids have a nasty habit of not showing typical signs when there is an infection. You know, rubbing the ears, fevers, screaming “take me to the doctor, my ears hurt!”
I love my pediatrician, and the office staff is great. But I always hate going. Why? Frankly because of all the sick kids running around. I just want to force my kids into something akin to a straight jacket and a gas mask, only freeing them when the doctor is ready to inspect them. Sigh. Today was no different. Well, it was no different in that regard. The white board markers and erasers that each kid runs around with after wiping their snotty noses get picked up by Emily and used. She wants to touch everything in the bathroom. And all the while I am practicing my breathing exercises, the ones intended to slow the onslaught of panic.
What was so glaringly different today were the parents in the waiting room. First, there was this lady a little girl called “Grandma” that absolutely reeked of cigarettes. It was so horrendous I couldn’t sit even two chairs away from her without fighting the gag reflex I hadn’t felt since I was pregnant with Emily. But damn it all, she sat next to the terrarium with the frog named Blue in it. Emily really wanted to see the frog. The little bugger was hiding, but I couldn’t stay seated there long enough to try and find him for fear of passing out from holding my breath for too long. Seriously, she was a walking, stinking poster for why you shouldn’t smoke. At least a fart dissipates. Sadly, I overheard the doctor talking about the little girl and referencing RSV. Um, hello, maybe not hanging out with the walking ashtray would help the little girl’s breathing. But hey, I don’t have a medical degree. Don’t take my word for it.
But uber stank wasn’t the worst of it today. Crazy tattoo man was. Before I go any further, I consider myself open-minded and hip when it comes to tattoos and other forms of body art. If I weren’t so freaked about the needle part, I think I would have been inked a few times. I love my friend Eileen’s flowery sleeve, and I totally find Greg’s tattoo hot and sexy. This guy? He was scary. At first when I saw him, I thought, there’s a young, hip guy with a couple of young kids. After watching him and inspecting him closer in the waiting room for a while I learned that hip wouldn’t exactly describe him. Scary. Possible white supremacist? Those are likely the more accurate ways to describe this guy. He had boots tattooed at his sideburns; he had the word HATE on his right-hand knuckles. He had skulls on the top of his hands. The other bits of ones peering out over his shirt were unrecognizable to me.
So, then I watch him interact with his kids. By drawing blood-laden happy faces on the big white board. Seriously, I could handle all the metal rings he was putting in their faces (again because I think piercing is cool in its own right). The blood around the mouths, the black eyes, and the bullet holes? Not so much. Maybe at a night club, but is it really the smartest thing in a pediatrician’s office with a bunch of toddler’s running around? Then he gets so wrapped up in his own drawing, he doesn’t see his son sneak off into one of the patient rooms. I have to admit, I was so wrapped up in his drawings too and didn’t see him sneak off either. After he finds the younger son, he takes him to the white board to show him is masterpiece, instructing him NOT to mess up his pictures. Yeah, the ones on the white board. In a pediatrician’s office. That is there for the kids to draw on. And spread germs.
Then frighteningly enough, the kids open their mouths and out come words like “idiot” and “bloody”. The younger kid couldn’t have been older than six, and he and his older brother are totally into their father’s drawings. So much so, they make their own scary images. OK, OK, OK. Braedyn likes to draw monsters and scary things too. He likes to draw things with claws. But truly, there was a marked difference between the level of discussion Braedyn has about his scary pictures and the ways these kids interacted with their father’s drawings. Seriously, someone please sign this guy up for the father of the year award. He probably has his sons’ first combat boots bronzed on his mantel. Maybe I am being overly harsh with this guy. Maybe he’s had a rough life, and he’s turning himself around for his kids. That may be true, and if it is, I’m truly sorry for jumping to conclusions. In my own defense, it was like sitting front and center, in the smoking section, for a train wreck.
So, after seeing the doctor, we learned that Emily is actually dealing with allergies. Her “cold” showed up soon after we stopped her allergy medicine for the winter. Apparently, she doesn’t get the medicinal break and we don’t get the financial one. So we walked in with something not contagious and walked out with who knows what. At least when we left we could breath fresh air.