Today was my (not such a baby anymore) baby’s 12 month check-up. I made the appointment months ago because our awesome pediatrician is well, awesome, and he books up really fast. And when I made the appointment my husband was working evenings so I made it in the morning, knowing that it would be so much easier to just take the one kid. Fast forward to 8 this morning when the alarm goes off and I realize I have to haul to kids to the pediatricians office because my husband now works mornings. The appointment was at 9, and it was all the way across town, and I had to get the kids up, dressed, and fed within the next half hour, so I did the only sensible thing. I hit the snooze button. Ten minutes later, I got up, and knowing I had just missed my precious window of being able to shower, I just resigned myself to a slightly dirty Friday. Don’t worry guys, I showered yesterday (I’m pretty sure I did, okay, it might have been the day before). I brushed my teeth, put my hair up in my perma-style of a bun (because little hands like to pull in unsecured hair, and while my children may be giving me premature grey hair, I refuse to be bald), and began the awesome task of waking the kids. They were actually reasonable this morning, so we were able to get out of the house without too much of a ruckus. Which, let’s face it, is pretty much a miracle. I’m feeling pretty good about myself until I’m in the car, almost to the office, and I see that my white shirt has a large brown stain on the shoulder, that I’m seriously am hoping is coffee, but in my house you really never know.
We arrive at the Dr.’s office, and get in the line to check in. My 3-year-old wanders around the waiting room, and heads for the toys. “No!” I call after him. “We don’t touch toys at the doctors office.” He remember the rule because he replies, “Uh Oh! THE GERMIES!!! I gotta wash my hands!” Yep, I scared my kid about germs, and he remembers. People in the waiting room give me Looks. Not little looks, big, “that lady is crazy” Looks. With a capital L. Look at me all you want; I’m trying to not have my whole family sick all dang winter this year. I would have no problem telling my 3 year-old that if he plays with kids that have runny noses, dinosaurs will come into his playroom at night and eat all of his toys. I am ruthless in my pursuit of a less sick winter. Then again, maybe they were just looking at my hopefully coffee (not poop) stain on my shirt.
Moving on, we get checked in and called back. The nurse, who we love, takes away the piece of toast Liam was eating in order to weigh him. He screamed bloody murder, then yanked out a good-sized handful of her hair, which was not secured in a bun. Once he had his toast back, all was fine, and the appointment was uneventful until it was time to draw blood. Another nurse and I have to hold Liam down, while a second nurse does the actual blood draw. Liam is screaming bloody murder again and crying big sad tears, and Logan pipes in with a “my turn next please!” Seriously kid, I know brother is getting attention right now from several people, but take the blood-curdling screams as a sign that this is probably not a fun activity to get in line for. It’s times like these that I picture him as a little lemming, lining up to walk right off a cliff. “Gee, this is a long line, but I bet it’ll be so worth it when I get to the front.” As we’re getting ready to leave, the doctor comments on how wonderful my boys are. I’m sure he probably says this to everyone, but from him it sounds so sincere. Every time we leave this particular pediatrician he makes me feel like I’m an awesome parent. For this reason (and the fact that he’s a great doctor), I fear that he will retire or die (what? he’s really old) before my kids are teenagers. I don’t know how I would find a new pediatrician. I don’t love anyone else in his practice, and I’m thinking it would be awkward when calling to interview other practices to ask them if their doctors make a regular point to affirm their patients parents, while acting like that’s not what they’re doing, that they’re simply that impressed with the family. Seriously though, I think every parent needs affirmations that they’re doing a good job.
So some parent to parent love from the (not so) Super Mama:
You are a good parent. Even if your dishes aren’t done, even if your laundry piles up, even when you accidentally let your baby roll off the couch, even if you sometimes have to lock yourself in the bathroom and cry. You are a good parent. On the days that you play with your kids, on the days you lay on the couch with a headache, on the days that are easy and fun, and on the days that you feel like you spent your whole day putting your kid in and out of time out. You are a good parent. No matter what parenting choices you make, whether you co-sleep or use a crib, whether you’re a “helicopter” or a “free-ranger,” whether you rock them to sleep or let them cry it out. You are a good parent. Even if your kid falls down, even if you let your kids have peanut butter and hotdogs before they turn one, and even if some days you want to plop your kids in a box and ship them to Peru, you are still a good parent. Even when you feel like you aren’t, you are a good parent. Good parents care. Good parents doubt themselves sometimes. Good parents need that affirmation occasionally. So, if it’s hard sometimes, that’s because you’re doing it right. I want you to know, you’re doing a great job.