I took Katie to the doctor on Monday. She was out of school anyway, so we scheduled her semi-yearly checkup with the pediatric gastroenterologist.
Say that three times fast.
It must take some special sort of weirdo to want to be a pediatric gastroenterologist. Maybe that’s why Katie’s doctor is the only one of his ilk this side of Dallas. Gastroenterologists are basically poo doctors. When we entered the doctor's waiting room we were immediately greeted with the stench of dirty diaper. Ugh. Not much in the world smells worse.
Then some poor woman hauled in an amazingly pale, 8 or 9 year old boy, wrapped in a blanket. The kid was obviously unwell. As they signed in, she asked “Can we have a trash can please? It’s been a really rough morning.”
I’ll take stinky felons over puking kids any day.
Katie gets really nervous about her doctor’s appointments – it’s somewhat embarrassing for her. So, one day I told her not to worry about it – bo-bos are his business. She found that hysterically funny and it’s become her new doctor visit mantra: Bo-bos are his business. (Can I just point out – I usually don’t use obnoxious kiddie-words for body parts, but somehow ‘asses are his assets’ didn’t work as well.)
I think I may be the one who’s a little nervous about her doctor’s appointment next time. You can’t believe all the stuff they expect you to know about the kid. You have to squirt out her date of birth without even thinking. I know the month and day, but hell, I hadn’t even met her father until a nearly three years after she was born. She was three when we got married, so it takes me a second to do the math and figure out the year.
By the time I got it figured out (with the help of Katie blurting out “1996!”) the nurse was quizzing me about her medications. I thought I was doing well to remember the names of them, but she wanted to know dosages as well. What’s up with that? It’s a green pill and a brown pill. That’s all I know. ‘Hell, y’all prescribed ‘em. Figure it out yerself,’ I thought. I tried to play it off with a ‘talk to the kid – she’s your patient, not me’ attitude. I don’t think she really bought that though, and I’m fairly sure there were some comments about incompetent adult supervision added to the file.
Seriously – I am way behind the curve on this responsible adult business. The doctor told me her weight and height are on track. She’s starting to stretch out, he said. That I got. Then he went on with some schmaltz about her being in the 75th percentile. What is that about? Is she doing poorly on some sort of intestinal achievement test? Does she need glasses? Remedial reading? What?
I think I need a t-shirt that says something about “Not Officially a Parent”.
Somebody at church asked me a couple of weeks ago about when I was going to adopt her. Not if, when. If I’d known her better, I would’ve said “Well, hell! I never even thought about that!” Adopt her? Why? Is there something I don’t know?
I always sign her permission slips and medical forms and all sorts of other things that require a parent or guardian. No one ever questions it. And if they do, who cares? What are they gonna do, take away my PTA card? As if!
I like things the way they are. We’re on a first name basis – I call her Katie, she calls me Rachel. She sends mother’s day cards to her grandmothers. That’s cool with me.
She scares the crap out of me way too early in the morning by yelling “It’s EASTER!!” right into my sleeping face. And she gives me a bite of all her blizzards. I’m cool with that, too.
I’ve never wanted to be a mother and I’ve done my part by not contributing to global over-population. (My boss often leaves my office, shaking his head and telling anyone who will listen, “well, at least she never reproduced.” High praise, in my book.) I much prefer the role of bodyguard, chauffeur and official denier/granter of permission to do stupid stuff.
As we were leaving Big Flat City yesterday, we passed a few less-than-respectable joints. I asked her if she wanted to stop at one of them and get a tattoo. I told her I’d even pay for it.