Earlier this week I mentioned Cookie Bear and I were feeling under the weather. Well, the next day Mama Bear and I decided it was best to take her and Junior Bear, who has a swollen toe, to the doctor. I also kept Peanut Bear home from school that day, because she was showing the same symptoms I had, so thought it was best to take her as well.
Three kids, one parent and a doctor’s office. So much could go wrong.
But little did. Why? Because Papa Bear is an old pro at this – not because I’m perfect, but because I learn from my mistakes.
See, in my four-plus years of playing Daytime Daddy, I became quite the regular at the pediatrician’s office.
I took the kids there for everything. In addition to the regular check-ups, if I heard a cough, saw a runny nose or diaper rash, anything and everything, I was there. I have been there so much the receptionist just puts our files on the top of the desk once we walk in (I don’t know if that’s because she likes us or because she figures the quicker we get signed in the quicker we get out of there).
Anyway, being home during the day, I had the pleasure (some might say misfortune) to be the one to take the kids to most of their scheduled checkups, unless of course Mama Bear was home for the summer and then I’d let her go (yeah right, I let her).
The couple of years taking the twins was not an easy task. At first, I had no idea what to expect when going to the doctor’s office with kids. I thought all I had to do was bring…well, the kids. Right? Simple, I thought. What else could I possibly need? It was a doctor’s office.
Boy was I wrong!
After I waited over an hour during my first solo visit I realized it would be a good idea to bring some “supplies” with me the next time. I learned that just because they’re a pediatrician doesn’t make them anymore on schedule than a regular family doctor. Diapers, toys, bottles, all would have been helpful – especially the bottles.
So, from then on out I packed like I was going on a week’s long vacation. I brought, bottles (with water), formula (in the canister that you already have the portions divided), snacks (like Cheerios), toys (those teething kind came in handy); three diapers each, band-aids, a change of clothes and much, much more. Mama Bear thought I was nuts.
Packing was the easy part. The travel was a completely different story. Assuming I left the house on time, I would haul two baby carriers and a full diaper bag through the parking lot (because why should the door be close to parking?), up a flight of stairs (why should the doctor’s office be on the first floor?) and then wait, and wait, and wait, until we got called back to the office to wait, and wait again.
Now this could be physically draining, but I would soon find that this was nothing compared to bringing two toddlers to the doctor’s office.
Have you ever tried to do anything with a toddler? If you have multiple that by two and then imagine you’re a dad. The result? A mess.
Here is an excerpt of my first visit to the doctor’s office with Junior Bear and Peanut Bear when they were almost two years old (Keep in mind, this is just my side. I honestly can’t remember if the kids were talking, but as you will see it doesn't really matter if they were talking):
Nurse: You’ll be in room 8.
Papa Bear: Thanks…
Hey, over here!
Junior, Peanut not that room. This one!
After chasing them down the hall, we backtrack and get in the room…
Okay, guys just sit down…No. Not there. Over here…No! Not on that chair. It rolls and spins, you’ll get hurt…Here. Sit here. No! NOT ON THAT CHAIR!!!...Fine, fine. I’ll spin you once. Okay, okay, I’ll spin you too. Then you have to sit down…Okay, that’s it. No! That’s enough!...Peanut, stop the spinning!...I hear something behind me…Junior! Get out of the trash can. That’s dirty…I get him and while I’m wiping him down…Peanut! Enough with that chair!...Fine. One more spin and then we’re done…I put him down and go to her…Junior! Pleeease get out of the trash can!!... Turning around I notice something else….Peanut! Stop climbing up the drawers!...You’d think a pediatrician’s office would be kid proofed..Quick Papa Bear, think of something…Here, you look at this hammer thing. You look at this flat stick…Watch, sit here…Stop ripping the paper! No you can’t jump, and you please let go of that! (the thing doctors look in your mouth, ears and eyes with)… Sit down PLEASE!!!...Finally get them down and tap their knees…Okay, here. Just tap your knee. No! Don’t hit him with it. Stop it!...He starts crying...Give that to me now…AAAHHHHH!!!!!
Doc: Hellooo. Looks like Daddy has his hands full.
Anyway, I think you get the idea. I still have nightmares about that, but I learned something from that visit -- bring crayons and coloring books. Those two things have been packed for every visit since.
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