Dear Jo: The Doctor’s Visit

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July 14, 3 years A.B. (after-baby)

Dear Jo,

Emerson clearly got your ice cream gene. That child can put away ice cream like none other. Today you took him out for a few scoops. Just the two of you. It would’ve been a beautiful moment if it hadn’t followed his doctor’s appointment. Well, it was still a beautiful moment, but not in the same way it could’ve been.

Dear Jo: The Doctor's Visit

You had told him before the appointment that if he was helpful, answered all the doctor’s questions and did all he was asked to do then you’d take him out for a special treat. (Remember when you once said you’d NEVER bribe your kids? Well, that lasted all of an hour into parenting.)

You knew you probably didn’t have to bribe him. Sure, he might be shy, but he’d still do what he was asked to do. He answered questions, made some eye contact, drew pictures and didn’t fight the blood pressure cuff even though he said it hurt. He earned his treat.

“So where are we going?” he asked as he skipped out of the doctor’s appointment.

You were so distracted by the thought of follow-up appointments, an upcoming EEG and the possibility of specialists that you didn’t hear him at first.

“Mom! What’s the treat?”

Right. Treat. “Well, buddy, you did such a great job for the doctor that we are going to do something special before we go home to see Grandma and Lyla.”

He figured out the destination before you arrived thanks to his innate compass and sense of place. That he did not get from you. Maybe that came from Paul.

“How many scoops can I get?” he asked, as he looked over all his options.

“How old are you?”

“Three.”

“That sounds like a good number to me.”

His eyes grew three sizes—one for each scoop. “Three? But we haven’t ate lunch yet.”

“I know, buddy. This is a special treat. Go ahead and get the waffle cone, if you want.”

“With chocolate on it?”

“Go for it.”

He carried his triple scooper like a trophy to his favorite table by the window. You watched him lick his ice cream, careful to catch most dribbles before they could fall to the table or his clothes. You wondered when he had gotten so big and when he had started looking so much more like Paul. You had noticed that morning that his shorts were shorter than they should be. You should really get him some new clothes. After all, preschool starts soon.

And then it hit you: preschool starts soon. When you first signed him up, you wondered if he was ready. Could he really be old enough? But now there were different reasons to wonder if he was ready. Would he space out? Would he be able to keep up with the other kids because of it? Would he be made fun of? What if they put him on medicine? What if it changed him?

“Done!” he said, interrupting your internal questioning.

He ate all three scoops before you finished your one. You weren’t really hungry. You didn’t even know why you ordered anything.

When you got home, Carol Ann immediately hit you with questions.

“How did it go?” she asked.

“It was great!” Emerson replied. “I got THREE scoops of ice cream! AND a waffle cone. With CHOCOLATE!”

Carol Ann looked at you, “But how was the….”

“It was fine.” You wanted to talk to Paul before telling his mother.

“But what did he say? Is he okay? What are the next steps? Does he know what’s causing….”

“They call it ‘absence seizures.’”

“Seizures!”

Emerson stopped pushing his trains and looked at his grandma. You hoped he and Lyla both avoided her over-reaction genes.

“Yes. We are scheduling an EEG,” you said to her before turning to Emerson. “How about some lunch? Wanna see if Grandma wants to stay?”

You hoped she’d say no.

“I’d love to!” she said. “But first I think Mama needs to feed Lyla.”

You scooped up the baby and retreated to your bedroom to nurse her. You gave thanks to breastfeeding, for the reprieve it gave you from the line of questions that were sure to come at some point. But with no answers to give and too many questions of your own, how could you answer hers?

Dear Jo: A {fictional} Diary of a Modern Mom“Dear Jo: A Diary of a Modern Mom” is a serial fiction story written by Meagan Church. Stay tuned for the next diary entry of one mom’s attempt to chronicle what she has been told are the days she shouldn’t forget…spit-up, tantrums, milestones and all. Visit the Dear Jo page to catch up on the already-published entries. And, be sure to subscribe today, so you don’t miss a single installment:


 

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{Photo credit: ©Springfield Gallery – Fotolia.com.}

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