Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What happens behind closed doors...

(they always say make the title sexy and people will want to read it... did that work?)

Friday the twins had eye exams at one of our children's hospital annex locations. Oliver has been blinking hard a lot and my pediatrician wanted him to be seen by a specialist. Collin came along because as he said: "if one is going, the other one might as well go for a check up too." Clearly my doctor does not have twins. Let me explain:

2 children + 2 years old + siblings + 45 minutes + hot exam room = massive meltdowns

Really though, you knew the answer to that equation didn't you?

They did really well, considering we were shuffled around a bit. Five minutes after we arrived we went into a room with a nurse who did, what turned out to be, preliminary tests. She then dilated their eyes (they loved that...not) and sent us to the waiting room for "about 30 minutes." I sat there filling out the mass of forms in duplicate, as the boys played happily. After only maybe 15 minutes, they came to get us. Woo hoo, it's my lucky day!

The gentleman, who I thought was our doctor, took us to an exam room where he did a few more tests on the twins and then told me the doctor would be in shortly. Am I the only person that hates the words "the doctor will be in shortly," knowing full well that translates to "sometime before the end of the day." We were in the exam room, albeit a larger than normal exam room, for 45 minutes (that had to be like 8 hours in toddler time). It started out okay. After I had the twins, I loosened up quite a bit about many things (it was called survival actually). Letting them play with toys and books at the doctor's office and roll around on the floor, even knowing that they have a brown tinge for a reason, is one said loosened standard. At first it went well, they played with the items individually and also shared. It was so sweet. I was down on the floor with them playing and reading too. One big happy happy.

Oliver kept calling the chair a robot and when you looked at how it was broken up, it really did look like one.
Playing nicely with the bead chaser in the exam room.

I almost got a false sense of security for the eight minutes that lasted. Then, I was ripped from the fantasy land in my mind and brought back to reality: the fighting over toys and playing with things they shouldn't ensued. It was not pretty people. They went from sharing to ripping it from each other. It was from happy talk to screaming at each other, hitting, shoving and crying. All, in a very hot exam room.

I had to wonder what the doctors, nurses, office staff, the patients in the other rooms and most likely even waiting room... and probably the office down the hall... maybe even the ones upstairs and downstairs, thought of the sounds coming from our room. They were yelling at each other and yelling at me. I was consoling one or the other to no avail.

Collin was getting on the room phone and the computer (really, a phone on the reachable counter and a computer - come on!). They were getting at the doctors tools and wanting to take a belly ride on the stool on wheels. I went from on the floor happily playing with them to "no sweetie, please don't do that" and redirecting them, to putting toys in time out, to first and middle name usage, and then largely giving up... deciding to make videos on my phone to send to Steve with a "wish you were here" message (okay, maybe those weren't the exact words I used). I was dangerously close to opening the door of the exam room and telling the staff I was going to unleash these two if the doctor didn't come in soon.

The third fight over the bead chaser... (yes, it went into time out after this)... future Jerry Springer guests huh?
Collin talking on the phone, for the umpteenth time! If you watch, in the end he is so mad at me for raining on his parade that he is not only screeching "no!" but also signing no to me as well (fingers to thumb).

Really, why on earth would they lock two toddlers in a room together for 45 minutes (after already being there for 30 minutes prior)? I would have rather waited in the lobby with the mounds of dirty toys and the brain dumbing cartoon network. By the time the doctor came to our room, did I mention it was 45 minutes (?!), they were in full meltdown and I was a puddle of sweat.

Fortunately, the doctor was able to check their eyes without being assaulted by one of the boys. Okay, Collin was iffy on that last point. It wasn't Collin's fault though, the doctor turned on a video of some sort to get them to look straight ahead at a screen, then he turned it off... on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off... Collin was giving him the "stop messing with me dude, can't you see I'm on the edge here? Leave the video on and no one with get hurt" look. If he wasn't sitting on my lap, I would have cleared out. Luckily he made it through. And, other than a case of dry eyes for Oliver, all was good.

I was even thinking: "whew, I see the light at the end of the tunnel." That was, before the doctor gave each boy a token for the prize machine. What? Oh yes, prize machine. Which then they were all about of course. The prize machine that had teeny tiny very non-age appropriate trinkets. They each picked a little stretchy lizard thing, which they insisted on getting out and carrying around. Guess how many times they lost one of them on the way out... down the hall, in the elevator, out the building lobby and to the parking lot? Yea, let's not go there. We ended up permanently loosing Collin's somewhere in the parking lot... I even ran back through our path to the car and then did two drive around missions looking for it... as he screamed. Yes, I had a tinge of mommy guilt for not being able to find it. On that note, to doctors everywhere, two year old children do not expect a prize for a visit. They do not know of such things yet. So, please do not give them such things. Or, if you really feel compelled, have something larger and age appropriate for them. Please. Thank you.

That is what happens behind closed doors in exam rooms with toddlers who have expired. Seriously, they need to rethink the no food and drink rule for waits that long.

Oh, and after all that, I left my insurance card in the lobby. Sigh...


Anonymous said...

You deserve a medal for taking them yourself! Sounds to me like you did an excellent job.

Gotfam said...

Oh my god...that post was priceless. Maybe they should have beer machines (or just a wet bar) for parents. The video took the cake.

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