Isn't it amazing how something as mundane as going to a doctor's appointment can turn into one of the biggest pains-in-the-ass when kids are involved?
I thought I was prepared to entertain my two children as we waited to see the doctor for the second time in two weeks (Elsa had a double-ear infection, and I could have sworn she was still pulling on her left ear, and that it seemed to be emanating a strange odor....but we'll get to that later). Rollie had his Rescue Pack and a box full of plastic bugs, I brought a diaper bag full of snacks, drinks, books, pacifiers, wipes, extra changes of clothes...everything I could possibly need while being stuck in a 10X12, putty-colored room for twenty minutes. Right?
Rollie brought his bugs with the intent that I hide them throughout the exam room, and then he 'rescue' them, a la Diego (his new hero). I did the best I could, but there aren't many places for fake bugs to hide without me getting really grossed out that they've contracted some serious germs. The same goes double for Elsa. She isn't walking, so I couldn't put her down on the floor (despite her strenuous struggles to free herself from my arms). I wheeled her around on the doctor's stool for a while, but Rollie was trying to crash into us with a regular chair and we were causing quite a ruckus.
It was around this time that the doctor decided to come in. He's a very nice man, but I'm sure he took one look at the office--the neon-colored bugs hidden on the window sills and countertops, the confetti from the exam table all over the floor, cracker crumbs and debit cards and books strewn everywhere, and the shrieks from two unruly children echoing off the walls--and was ready to change professions to something more civilized....training monkeys, perhaps.
Oddly enough, I didn't feel that embarrassed. I think I've gotten really good at rationalizing the behavior and appearance of my children. I found myself thinking, well what does he expect? I'm trapped in this tiny room with two kids, one of whom is sick, the other of whom hasn't pooped in three days, and all we have for entertainment is exam table tissue paper and my overstuffed, George Costanza wallet. Maybe if he'd seen us right away, instead of having us wait for 20 minutes, Exam Room 3 wouldn't look like the aftermath of a prison riot. Not that 20 minutes is even that long of a wait, but maybe the doctor should look into installing a jungle gym in each exam room, or perhaps a Thomas table and a bounce house. Or maybe he should consider adding a clown that specializes in balloon animals to his staff. Oh wait, I hate clowns.
It turns out that Elsa's ears were totally fine. Apparently she has an obsessive-compulsive ear-tugging habit. And her ears naturally smell funky. But he did write a prescription for her eczema. So I guess the visit wasn't a total waste....