I took the girls to their well visit doctor appointments the other day. H was a model patient this time, which was nice and surprising. S, well. I suppose she was ok, but if looks could kill the whole office would be a ghost town.
We had to leave gymnastics class early to get to the appointment, which was an obstacle as this was the last gym class ever for H. A class she's been going to for 2 years with the same friends. A class that has made me some friends, too. We'll still see these people, and really gymnastics was a glorified playdate (with a director, balance beam, trampoline.. how can you beat that?) but it was the first of the lasts with this group of kids, and that had me a bit choked up. As we were leaving, H turned back from the doorway and yelled very loudly "GOODBYE EVERYONE!" and every one stopped what they were doing and yelled back "GOODBYE, H!" As one mom said, it was very Norm from Cheers. I don't know from under which cabbage leaf this outgoing child came forth. S, who used to love gymnastics class now cries throughout the whole thing, won't let me put her down. She hides behind her monkey, which she folds in a triangle, and puts over her face so she looks like an old west baby bandido.
I knew that leaving the gym class before it was over to go to the doctor was going to be trying for all of us. I predicted loudly that if everything went smoothly, there would be a treat at the end of this ordeal. At the doctors office, the nurse said to get the girls down to their t-shirts, socks and underwear. Then she looked at H who was wearing jeans, a dress and a t-shirt over that. The nurse said to H, "perhaps you would like a gown instead." H as I mentioned before was very co-operativre, and taking her job as big sister very seriously, showing S at every chance she got how easy it was. The doctor was taking advantage of this too, when she checked H's ears, she said "Ok, look at your sister and smile really big, so she knows this doesn't hurt."
When it was S's turn, she did as she was told, but with a deeply furrowed brow and glares all around. I told the doctor that I wasn't worried about her health really, but her behavior. I described the tantrums, the anti-social behavior as of late. The doctor said I may have to change the way I do things to accommodate S, she said "maybe shes not the child you take to the grocery store" Is that an option? Not really. About the tantrums she said "Do you have a carpeted room where she can't hurt herself?" Ok, so my doctor just prescribed a padded room. Whats next a straight jacket? I described some more of S's behavior and the doctor continued with her grocery theme, "maybe she'll be the one to organize your grocery coupons." The doctors point, besides frustrating me, was that S is who she is. She called me out on doing things to appease the beast. Its true that I cave more than I like to think because S just makes it too damn hard otherwise. The doctor gave me a stern warning that I couldn't let S think her tantruming ways will be effective. She suggested S is keeping them up because they have been effective. Shes right, which pains me because I have been actively aware of this. It will require more digging in of the heals on my part. Gloves are off.
We went to the dollar store, as the predicted treat after the doctors visit. I told the girls they could each pick out one thing. I practised not giving into S's tantrums. Even though she walked around the store wearing a giant fuchsia straw hat, wearing 3 plastic leis and carrying a spatula while growling "NO!... MINE!.. S!" (incase you didn't know who 'mine' refers to) we successfully left the store with her only carrying a small white fluffy bear. H by the way chose a glittery baton.