Friday, December 03, 2010

The difference a year makes

I have a lot of things I could write about...for instance, on our way home from Wisconsin over the Thanksgiving holiday Alison threw up in the car. That was good times. Also, she lost her first tooth the night before we left, meaning the tooth fairy had to visit. Oliver is petrified of the tooth fairy. However, I'm overjoyed about what happened this morning, so I'm going to write about that.

The last time Oliver was at the doctor was for his 3 year well-child check-up. Yes, he's been blessed with good health, but that's not the point. That Doctor's visit will be etched in my memory for all of eternity. I am pretty sure I wrote about it, but I can't find it and I'm sick of searching, so I can't link to it. Suffice it to say it was the most unproductive appointment in the history of doctor appointments. I kind of wanted to ask for my co-pay back. Oliver refused to be weighed, measured, take his clothes off, answer any questions, have his vision or hearing checked or basically anything that was supposed to happen at that visit. At the very end he relented and let them take his blood pressure, but that was it. He threw the biggest crying and screaming fit of his life in the hallway at the office next to the scale, even stretching the limits of the patience of a pediatric nurse. A nurse who works in a doctor's office every day with small kids getting shots. Speaking of shots, I can't even talk about've never seen a kid freak out so much in your life. Not because of the shots, but because of the bandaids. This is the kind of kid Oliver is. Sweet and loving, yes. Hilarious, yes. Full of weird quirks and fears, YES. (See above for tooth fairy reference, also tornados, fire, bandaids...I could go on.)

Our pediatrician moved to a new office, so I decided to stick with him and switch, too. I made Oliver's appointment this year and started casually mentioning to him that he was going to go to the doctor. You know, so the doctor could see how strong he'd gotten, how fast he could run, bull like that. What I really wanted to say was "So help me God, kid, we are going to the doctor and you are going to let them weigh you and measure you. You're going to strip naked gleefully, just like you do at home, and let him check you out. You're going to answer his questions, do what he says, make me look like the best mom in the world, AND submit to a vision and hearing screening. If you don't he is going to give you lots and lots of shots, followed by lots and lots of bandaids. Got it?" I had a feeling that angle would backfire, though.

This week has been a bit hectic and I completely forgot about his appointment until last night when I was looking at the calendar after the kids went to bed. (That'll teach me to ignore calls from numbers I don't recognize on my cell phone.) I went into their room this morning and woke them up like I always do. It was apparent Oliver was already awake, so I mentioned that today was the day he was going to go to the doctor.

He promptly started crying. Kind of dashed my hopes for a smooth appointment this time around. Once again I swallowed my initial mothering instinct ("are you kidding me with this? It's the freaking doctor, it's easier than grocery shopping. What is your deal, kid?") I tried the super patient, calm tactic. That didn't work, so I resorted to the bargaining tactic. I told him if he was good at the doctor and did everything they asked him to do and was cooperative, I would take him out for a treat afterwards. Since I was talking to Oliver, I wasn't sure it was going to work. He's been known to refuse a doughnut because it meant he had to put on shoes. This time, though, it got the desired effect, after I promised him there would be no shots (I was very, VERY hopeful.)

I talked up the doctor all morning, saying how impressed he would be with how big and strong Oliver had gotten, etc., so by the time we were getting out of the car at the clinic Oliver actually said "I can't wait to see Dr. [insert his name here]!"

You guys, he was the most cooperative kid I've ever seen. It was amazing. Stand on the scale? No problem. You want my back against the wall here so you can see how tall I am? I can do that. Is this good? You want me to move back? Have my blood pressure taken? Yeppers. He answered questions left and right. He even ran so the doctor could look at his gait (he's really flat footed, no more croc wearing for him). He was a bit hesitant on getting up on the table, but after being reassured that no shots were going to happen up there, he hopped up no problem. They even had the nasal spray flu vaccine, which he agreed to, so I was golden. Then the doctor asked if he'd ever had his hearing and vision checked. I reminded the good doctor that the last appointment was an unmitigated disaster, he nodded knowingly and said we'd try it again this time.

Oliver willingly put on glasses AND headphones. I almost fainted. His vision and hearing are perfect. I practically skipped out of there, humming showtunes. It was like unicorns were running around pooping rainbows. He could've asked for anything and I probably would've gotten it for him, but luckily, being 4, his needs are simple, so I bought him a big chocolate chip cookie he didn't have to share with anyone and smothered him with kisses until he asked me to please stop it.

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