(This article is a reprint from June 21, 2011)
Pediatrician visits with little ones are always interesting, but when both kids go on the same day things are even trickier.
In this particular case, taking the efficient route was not the path of least resistance, and we learned a valuable lesson in the process.
A while back, Pam had the option of scheduling routine checkups for Beckett, 3, and Carson, 19 months, on the same day and same appointment time.
Figuring it was a 30-minute drive to our pediatrician’s office, she figured having them come on the same day would save us two trips within a short period of time. I thought it was a solid move as well.
Well, within a couple minutes of being in the doctor’s office, we learned that was a mistake, as Beckett and Carson were both lunatics in the room, resulting in their parents scrambling all around the place and walls seemingly closing in around us.
I can’t speak for my wife, but the voice inside my head was spewing all sorts of foulness.
Between Beckett making constant jail breaks out of the room and sprinting to the exit door and Carson trying to repeatedly climb in a trashcan, pull a blind down and explore a cabinet, it was quite challenging.
We were regretting this move from the early going.
Usually, it’s easy to say who was most challenging between our kids (Beckett is proud to claim top honors in that department more often than not). On this particular day, it was only Beckett by the tip of his nose, as Carson was being uncharacteristically challenging.
What made matters even worse was the fact the appointment took place at naptime. Therefore, both kids were particularly zany and out of sorts. At the time the appointment was made, we thought it would be worth it to get it done at the same time. Again, we learned soon after stepping foot in the doctor’s office we had erred.
Aside from the kids’ antics, it was an eventful visit, as Beckett was due for a few immunizations and Carson just one.
Carson took his like a champ with a just one or two quick tears. On the other extreme, Beckett’s performance was worthy of an Academy Award nomination, at least.
Since we knew he was due for a few shots, we tried to prep him for what was coming on the drive over, but it clearly didn’t resonate, as he went crazy as soon as the needle broke skin. I can’t say that I blame him. Who likes getting shots?
Since he’s now a handful to hold, all eyes pointed to me when it came to whose lap Beckett was going to sit in while he received his shots. It wasn’t the lap part that concerned me, it was holding on to him long enough and tight enough.
I immediately put him into my best bear hug, exposing his thigh and arm for the nurse. I knew he was a strong kid ever since he picked up an ottoman over his head and flung it across the room shortly after he learned how to walk, but I, nonetheless, underestimated him because he was able to get a leg free enough to kick me in the arm and wiggle out an arm fast enough to land a blow to the bottom of my chin.
I can’t remember if it was open-handed or not, but it was enough to ring my bell for a moment, causing me to lose my grip on him in my lap.
All the while, his tomato face, manic screams and tears let everyone in the building know what was happening in our room.
With Carson, he simply cried and buried his head in my chest and was fine a few seconds later.
Beckett, on the other hand, wanted no part of being held and simply wanted to get out of the room at all costs. His arms were flailing. His legs were kicking. His head was rocking. He was in assault mode.
I knew if I let him go altogether he was heading straight out the door and to the car and the scene would have been even uglier getting him back into the room.
What was funny was after all was said and done and the Band-Aids had been placed on the appropriate places on his body, Beckett said, “thank you” to the nurse, for some reason.
Meanwhile, I was moving my jaw back and forth to make sure he hadn’t done any damage.
By the time everything was taken care of, my shirt was wet, Pam was visibly shaken (if not scarred) and Beckett and Carson each had their share of stickers for their war wounds.
By the time we had gotten the kids strapped into the car and pulled away, there was a lot of huge exhales and a strange quiet.
After experiences like this, Pam and I don’t really have a lot to say to each other. We go through these types of situations together. I can’t say it’s always with a smile, but we get through it. Our facial expressions and body language pretty much say it all. There’s really no need to say the obvious about that kind of nightmare. We know what each other are thinking.
However, after a few minutes of silence and we noticed the kids had both fallen asleep, she did say, “I guess we will never do that again.”
All I could muster at that point was something along the lines of, “sounds great to me.”
A couple days later, we talked a little bit more about it. The trauma had started to wear off a little by then, and we even shared a laugh or two, I think.