Due to my son’s symptoms of illness after our weekend adventure – and the nasty-sounding wheezing he woke with on Tuesday – I did indeed follow up with a doctor’s appointment yesterday afternoon. Turns out his lungs and ears are fine and all we need to do is hydrate him, try to feed him, and wait it out. Good enough, except the visit to the doctor’s office cost me my ass in terms of piece of mind. The Boy himself was cranky and ill-disposed to any prodding, weighing, and scoping activities (he voiced his protests by thrashing, yelling, crying, and in general being a shit). And whatever brilliant, sedate little assistant Ralph described my daughter as in their Urgent Care visit the night before, my Sophie was less helpful and more, well, four years old.
The doctor seemed to add some nervous energy of his own to the equation. He attempted to gain my son’s trust by plying a magazine and discussing the pictures (a National Geographic featuring the cheery and child-friendly subjects of Hurricane Katrina aftermath and computer-renderered carnivorous dinosaurs mauling fish). He took a “stern” tone at my two-year-old. He flapped his hands at the kids and said things like, “OK we’re going to stop playing and calm down now” in that voice I’ve always inwardly cringed at when I’ve heard myself use it – a wussy, I’m-pretending-I’m-the-boss-but-nobody’s-really-fooled thin whine (like a last-ditch attempt from an antelope facing a pair of jackels). My children turned their bright, reddened, malevolent eyes on him and proceeded to tear the examination room to shreds under his nose. I did my best to control them and actually discuss my child’s condition with the physician. But the next time I looked up he’d speedily vacated the room (I practically saw dust in the air), leaving the door open as if to say, “Get your sorry ass and your sickly brats out of here!”.I didn’t blame him one bit.
At least now I’m home, nursing a still-grouchy boy with a runny nose, begging him to drink water, and enjoying the increased cuddling opportunities.
“Things are looking up for the Hogabooms.”