Last week I took my 4-year-old daughter to the doctor for a last-minute checkup. She hasn’t been in a while — since her 3-year actually, so the experience was pretty new to her. The new clinic we wanted to try had an opening that afternoon. We haven’t had much luck here in finding a pediatrician that we like, so I was hopeful this place would be the one.
She was absolutely ecstatic to go. Doc McStuffins is a favorite for her, and she loves to play doctor on all of her animals constantly. I explained to her they’d do the same for her at the doctor’s office, and we sang the little song that won’t leave my head:
“Gonna check your eyes,
check your ears,
find out how much you’ve grown!
Time for your checkup!”
Sam and I sing that song in our sleep.
We were called back, and Bella had the regular check-in on her weight, height, etc. She kept calling the nurse “Hallie” just like the hippo nurse on the show. I had to laugh. Then we waited for the doctor. Since Bella has learned how to express how she feels in play therapy, I told her that however she felt she could tell us. Scared, nervous, upset, excited — we would listen to find a solution.
The pediatrician walked in and the first thing Bella saw was his stethoscope. “Just like Doc McStuffins!” she squealed, and I nodded, fully expecting the doctor to share in that cute moment.
Instead he said, “Was that your last pediatrician?”
Things went a bit downhill from there. Bella kept asking why his checkup stuff wasn’t pink or had hearts. He asked her to lay back on the table so he could check her stomach and she freaked out. She said, “I feel scared, I FEEL SCARED,” just like I’d told her to. While I tried to reaffirm her it was ok to be scared, the doctor kept saying, “Nothing to be scared of! You’re fine!”
Only — she obviously wasn’t fine. We decided to have her sit on my lap instead, while I explained that she was pretty upset by hospitals and doctors after us having been in them so often, both while she was little for severe reflux and her brothers passing away. He was very kind about all of that, and some back history cleared up a lot of confusion.
He pulled out a computer to check her shot record, and Bella whispered to me, “Where is his big book of boo-boos?” I had to tell her that our doctor’s computer was his boo-boo book. She gave me a look that clearly said FAIL.
When he gave her the all-clear, and told her she did a great job, she looked disappointed. We headed out and she teared up a little. “What’s wrong?” I asked, concerned.
“Doc McStuffins didn’t come in to see me. Only that other man. And he didn’t even draw my diagnosis in the big book of boo-boos.”
I had some serious explaining to do on the way home.
Diana blogs at Diana Wrote about her life with a daughter here and three sons in heaven, life as an army wife, and her faith. You can also find her work on Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, Still Standing Magazine, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post, with smaller glimpses into her day on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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