Let me just set the scene here: I went to see a cardiologist today and I had to bring my 2.5 year old with me. This was an appointment with a specialist, so not exactly a quick in and out. We were there for almost 1.5 hours. Caroline was not on her best behavior ever, but she still did pretty darn good for a 2.5 year old. That being said, I was just taking it all in trying not to laugh out loud.
We walk in, and of course, there are lots of people over 60 in the waiting room- I mean it’s to be expected at the cardiologist. Caroline was the only child, and I was the only one there (other than the staff) that was younger than 60. This was not the average waiting room that we usually end up in.
I was greeted by sooooooo many smiles. These were grandmas and grandpas sitting around reminiscing and loving the sight of little Caroline. She was her usual chatterbox, but I let her talk away because I could see how much these wonderful men and women were enjoying the scene. To them, this was not an annoying child that was bothersome; to them this was memories and life sitting in front of them. It was beautiful and refreshing to be a part of.
Caroline asked if she could walk loops around the waiting room. Normally my answer would have been no, that she needs to sit with me since it was so busy (there were lots of people in there). I went ahead and let her burn some energy off and just told her she needed to walk and watch out for other people. She did just that, and as she walked by each of the people in the waiting room, their smiles got bigger, and their eyes had something youthful and full of energy to watch. They all enjoyed it and I enjoyed not having to restrain my daughter in as much as possible, to make sure we were extra polite. Everything was casual and relaxed.
One lady showed Caroline pictures of her grandchildren, and others just said hello and watched. Caroline wasn’t quite sure how to interact, but she did her best and was polite.
Then it was our turn. The medical assistant called us back and took us into a room. This is where things got a little funny and awkward! I had worn a dress (because my 9 week pregnant belly is so much more comfortable in dresses right now). I hadn’t really thought about the fact that they’d want to do an EKG on me. So instead of undressing from the waist up, I was sitting there in my underwear in a tiny paper vest they had provided. Not ideal to say the least, but oh well!
The medical assistant gave Caroline one to wear as well, which (of course) started the pleading to get “naked like Mama”. Suddenly being cooped up in a tiny room, Caroline was not listening well and was talking nonstop. It was difficult to get all of the information I needed to the assistant, and have her do the EKG, etc, all while dealing with my toddler that was taking her shoes off, trying to walk around in mine, getting on the scale, crying for my help, and on and on. Suddenly the calmness of not having to restrain her quite as much was completely gone and I was feeling the pressure and so wishing I’d had another set of hands to help me.
The medical assistant was great with Caroline, and even gave her the stethoscope to look at. Caroline didn’t want anything to do with the things we’d brought for her to play with (naturally). But this always happens, right!?
Once we finally got done with the medical assistant, the doctor came right in with no break…no chance to redirect my daughter! I immediately apologized for the mess (as Caroline had things everywhere and I was stuck naked on a table not able to deal with much). He laughed and replied that the mess will only get bigger as she gets older. I sighed with relief knowing he clearly has children of his own.
He was also great with Caroline, but it was still difficult to focus for all of us. Caroline was trying on my bra, and asking for my help putting it on (in front of this male doctor). I just went with it since I didn’t want a tantrum over my bra in addition to this chaos, but how embarrassing to have your daughter running around with your bra on in front of some random dude!? Then, she kept calling me “naked Mama”…which I was since I hadn’t worn pants today! It was all very laughable to say the least.
Right in the middle of the appointment (none of which I needed to still be in my underwear for), Caroline announced that she had to go potty. Luckily, the doctor was very understanding. He suggested I get dressed, take her potty and simply meet him in his office to finish the appointment. It was a much needed break. We got dressed, got our things, went potty and then finished up in his office just perfectly.
As we were checking out, a husband and wife that were in the waiting room came up behind us and said hello as they were checking out. They also laughed and asked if she “ever stops talking?”. I laughed at the thought of it…”No, no she doesn’t” I replied. Everyone told her how adorable she was and we left in good spirits.
It was past lunch at this point, and my pregnant belly was not having anything to do with driving home for lunch. I also wanted to reward Caroline for being so patient at such a long appointment. We stopped at the mall to get some food. Worst idea ever, but again we made the best of it and enjoyed our outing. This of all days, was the day that there would be a field trip of middle school students (two buses full) there to eat lunch. They were loud, making the lines insanely long, and making our wait for food longer than had we just gone home. Caroline somehow waited patiently (as did Baby V in Mama’s belly). Caroline then proceeded to eat at a snail’s pace, but boy was the food good!
Such a memorable outing today. It wasn’t perfect, but it will make me laugh when I think of it for years to come, and it will make me smile as I think back to our beautiful experience in the waiting room and all the happiness that came from such a small encounter. I hope this is a lesson to us all, to just enjoy the moments with our little ones, and to allow happiness to take over instead of being annoyed when you are the one sitting next to a mom with a tiny toddler on her hands. The innocence and happiness can be infectious- if we let it!
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