I took all three kids to the doctor a few weeks back. It was our first visit since moving and a rather overdue 1 year checkup for Abigail (at 14 months - oops). In my defense we did move the week before she turned 1 and it took me quite a while to find a doctor who was accepting new patients.
This wasn't helped by the fact that the very lovely receptionist was horrified at the thought that my girls be seen by a male doctor. No she said, they must be seen by a woman, after all one day they'll be women too. Never mind that all three were cared for in utero by males, pushed into this world straight into the arms of male doctors and have since been seen by a succession of very competent male doctors. Well its time for a change, they now have a very lovely female doctor and a bunch of charming female nurses.
As you can imagine I was looking just slightly harassed by the time I finally stood in the waiting room with all three girls looking vaguely presentable (I was not responsible for the clothing choices of the older two and although I have made many attempts to teach them about colour matching it really has not sunk in). I had strapped Abigail (the patient for the day) into her stroller so that she couldn't escape and the older two were glued to the tropical fish tank in the waiting room (poor fish). I was handed a bunch of paperwork to fill out and I started in on that while catching my breath.
Rewind to the previous day. With the first doctors visit only a day away I was feeling quite pleased with myself that I had managed to keep all three children healthy. It was late afternoon, I was taking a breather and the kids were all, for once, playing nicely together. I could hear the joyful sounds of giggling and even belly laughs from the baby as they amused each other in the playroom. Then I heard the thumping of feet on floor as a stampede broke out. I do remember thinking, oh how cute, they're all playing tag (I know, they were indoors and this game involved a 1 year old but it was late in the day and my mind was obviously befuddled). Next thing I hear is "tag, you're it" then thud followed closely by piercing screams. Kaitlyn appears in front of me with a horrified look on her face and the baby stumbles over with blood all over hers.
Yes, she had joined the 'bash my tooth' club that both Emily and Kaitlyn had joined at around the same age. After applying cold cloths to the area and finding that the lip was cut and the little gum part between to the 2 front teeth was split I had to have Kaitlyn sit down before she passed out from the sight of the blood. There really wasn't much I could do beyond that, Abigail seemed fine after a cuddle and I just had to accept the fact that I had made it to within 24 hours of the doctors visit with the patient intact and hope the doctor didn't look too closely.
So, as I sit there in the waiting room filling out forms I wonder what it feels like to be a "have it all together" kind of mother. My name is called and I herd the kids ahead of me through the door into the exam room. The nurses are lovely and seem used to the chaos that accompanies me wherever I go. They do all the preliminary measurements and while one measures the other enters all the data into the laptop. Very efficient. They get to the part where they want to know about our family. I'm busy getting the nappy back on Abigail before she christens the new doctor's surgery so they decide it would be interesting if they ask the older girls the questions.
So what is your daddy's name? James Franklin Jones (I'm impressed, I expected Daddy Jones). What is mummy's name? Naomi Mary Jones (very impressed now, they've really been paying attention). Does mummy have a job? No (what???). What does daddy do for a job? He makes the money, Mummy spends it (my heart swells with pride, I have taught them well haven't I?).
I had to clarify a few of their answers. "Yes I do have a job", "Oh, really what do you do?" "I look after these three!!" "Oh, yes, ha ha" as they write down 'unemployed' - Oh well I tried. Daddy does have a proper job, no he doesn't have a printing press in the basement.
We did get through the visit with no real incidents (unless you count having to put Emily and Kaitlyn in timeout for fist fighting (fortunately when the nurses were out of the room) and having to check that the doctor's look in your ear thingy wasn't broken when Kaitlyn dropped it on the floor. All was well. The doctor didn't even mention Abigail's teeth and with all the commotion going on I completely forgot to point it out.
All this was brought to mind when I heard James say to me this morning (Saturday) "don't worry, it'll be ok. Just think of all the extra money I'll make by working this weekend". Well clearly it is my job to spend it since he's making it. I mustn't shirk on my responsibility, after all the kids told the doctor that's what I'm supposed to do. And what do you know, this coming week we have both Emily and Kaitlyn's annual checkups at the doctor's so she's bound to hear a blow by blow of what's been going on in the Jones house since we last met.
Now all I have to do is figure out how to get all three children to the appointment with no major injuries. It's both of them in back to back appointments too, what was I thinking?!!
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