I was going to title this post “Why I Lie to the Pediatrician,” but I thought that that title wouldn’t be totally accurate and might freak some people out. I don’t actually lie to my kids’s pediatrician. I tell her a lot of truths. But I don’t always tell her the whole truth. And not to get all cliche’ and A Few Good Men on you, but she probably wouldn’t be able to handle the whole truth in some cases.
I remember my first born’s first trip to the pediatrician. I was a freaking wreck. It wasn’t all because I was taking my kid to the doctor for the first time. Some of my freaking out came as a result from just being released from a hospital, having a couple blood transfusions, being re-admitted to the hospital due to a possible infection and all the other hormones and crap that take over and invade your body after birth. I had all of that going on along with this first trip to the doctor.
I thought of this doctor visit as being a test for both my husband and myself as parents. Prior to having my son, the only thing that I had managed to keep alive was my chihuahua, and at times she acted a bit like Cybil, so keeping my new son alive, seemingly normal and healthy was a big deal to me.
I remember going in and being asked a shit ton of questions that ranged from how often does he wet and soil his diapers to how often were his periods of alertness. I have to be honest, I never kept a diaper count. I just knew that he went all the freaking time. And I was hardly aware of my own periods of alertness let alone alert enough to time his. I’m joking, but I’m not. I felt like I was being given a final exam for something I didn’t even know I was suppose to study for. Several questions and nods of the heads later, I left with a crap load of handouts and a headache.
I decided that I would better prepare myself for the next go-round. Going into the second doctor’s appointment I would know all the answers…or at least was prepared to BS a bit. It was during this doctor visit that the doctor inquired about my son’s sleep habits. I told the doctor that my son didn’t really sleep well on his own, but slept great in bed with my husband and I. This doctor gave me a look like I farted in church. He promptly told me:
“Babies die everyday in bed. Don’t ever do that again.”
I smiled awkwardly, nodded my head and left feeling like an idiot. I had grown up in a household where my sister always slept in my mother’s bed. I never once thought that something that seemed so normal and non-newsworthy would mean so much to a guy who could barely remember how to pronounce my name.
A couple months later my family had moved back to my hometown, and I got the pleasure of hunting down a new pediatrician. I found one that was recommended to me by a few people I knew and was hopeful. Well, this asshole told me that at four months my child was ready to be weaned from breastfeeding and ready to go on solids. My mother came on this trip with me, and I am pretty sure that had there not been other people with us, she would have told him to go bleep himself.
I have been on a ton of doctor’s appointments now between both of my children where doctors tell you to do shit that you can literally google in less than 5 seconds and find to be totally false. So, when it was my Mush Man’s turn to go to his first pediatrician visit, I decided to put the pediatrician on a need to know basis.
But when you think about it, shouldn’t all doctors, unless you are a complete dumbass, be on a need to know basis? They are doctors, not priests; so what is the need for the confessional of every single detail of your child’s daily routine? I constantly hear people say, myself at times included, “I want to do “x” but first want to check in with the doctor.” Now, I know that doctors are good and necessary, but let’s keep in mind that 50% of doctors graduate in the bottom 50% of their class. And to quote Carlin, “Somewhere out there is the worst doctor in the world, and some idiot has an appointment with him tomorrow.” You should never rely on the advice of one person in regards to important decisions. Yet, many parents feel as though they need constant permission from a doctor in order to successfully raise their children. Please keep in mind, this theory of thinking does not apply to dumbasses, so if you know a dumbass and they read this, make sure you tell them that they need to ask a doctor first.
For instance, my Mush Man’s doctor asked me once whether or not I minded my son’s sleeping habits. Quite frankly, I don’t think anyone enjoys the sleep habits of anybody who is trying to dictate their own, but I told her that I was fine with it. I told her I just take my cues from him and roll with it. She told me that what I was doing was perfect (and I am a child that went to school to work for grades and praise so I did enjoy the compliment). But she also told me not to attend to him the minute that he started crying. She told me to let him figure it out in his crib.
At this point, I could have told her that my baby doesn’t sleep in a crib, but who was I to ruin the nice visit we were having? So I just smiled. I mentally put her on the need to know basis, and I personally didn’t think that she needed to know this. Now, if my kid breaks out in blue spots and starts growing feathers then I will totally be calling up the doctor and throwing her ass into our inner circle, but until then, I think I will just stick with my instincts and perhaps a little bit of Google.