Not That Kind Of Mom


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About 8 years ago, when I was pregnant with Reagan, I was told that I needed to choose a pediatrician. I realize I should have assumed as much, but I remember thinking, “I do?” As though I were going to magically have a doctor for my kids without actually doing anything about it.

I don’t remember specifics, but I know I made that decision as I make many decisions, somewhat haphazardly and distractedly. I think I chose our pediatrician mostly because my friend Carey, whose kids I had babysat, loved him. And I’m a lot like Carey so I figured he was probably my cup of tea.

It wasn’t until I was sitting in the waiting room with baby Reagan a few months later that I realized people actually take this decision very seriously. There was a pregnant woman sitting across from me, and after a few minutes of chatting I realized she was essentially there to interview this office and this doctor. And that she was doing so with multiple pediatricians before making her decision.

Oh. Should I have done that??

This is how I feel much of the time. As though I missed a mom memo that tells me how to be super dialed into my kids’ health. Instead, I am the person who only goes to the doctor if it’s absolutely, 100% necessary. Like there needs to be blood or a very high fever or difficulty breathing. And I am the person who is often completely clueless about what I should be doing for my kids health-wise.

So, a couple of weeks ago (we’re getting to the good part of this story, people), I took Charlotte and Titus in for their yearly check up (which I feel is a huge accomplishment, btw).

Oh, and just in case you are at the beginning of having children, you should know that the best thing you can do is schedule as many of these checkups as possible simultaneously so as to avoid multiple trips to the doctor. Yes, I know they will schedule your kid’s checkups near their birthday, but you don’t have to keep them at that time of year. Instead, just take them all in in April, or June, or whatever. But not August, when every single child in your city needs a checkup before school starts. Never. August.

Anyhow, Charlie and Titus had theirs together, which was great for the aforementioned reasons. It was also great because Charlotte and Titus are best friends and really laid back and easy going about the doctor so it’s not stressful in the least.

They happily stood on the scale and had their heights measured and sat like statues while their blood pressure was taken. They did their vision screenings and I was so proud of Titus for knowing his letters I didn’t really care how well he could or couldn’t see.

And then we waited and waited and waited for our Doctor. Guys, in order to know how amazing our pediatrician is (as luck would have it, since, as I already mentioned, I thought very little about how or why I chose him), you need to know that I almost always wait at least 45 minutes, if not more, to see him, and I don’t even care.

This man sat on the cold tile floor with Charlotte for 20 minutes when she was 18 months old. He gently walked me through the medical aspects of our adoption, like getting tested for every kind of disease and overcoming malnutrition. He extensively researched epilepsy in developing countries when we thought Eva may be having seizures (she wasn’t). Basically, he wins at being a pediatrician.

Aside from all of the awesome things he’s done for us, he is the father of 3, 2 of whom are twins, so he just gets parenting. So when I, say, don’t follow the back-sleeping rule or the harness-carseat-until-they-are-adults rule, he’s understanding about it.

So whatever, take as long as you need Doctor. You’re probably being awesome for someone else while I’m sitting here waiting for you.

He did finally come, and started by going over the kids growth charts with me. He was marveling at how much good nutrition has changed Titus in the last 3 years (20th weight percentile! Up from <1% when we got him!) I said something about clean water and then this conversation happened:

Doctor: I can’t remember…did either of them have giardia when they got here?

Me: Yeah, Eva had a parasite…but we just waited for it to pass through her system.

Doctor: Did you see it? When she, you know…

Me, horrified: What?? Ew. No. Uh, I’m not really one to check my kids poop every day. I’m not that kind of mom.

Doctor, thankfully, laughs.

A few minutes later he is checking Charlotte first, and we’re talking about a few skin issues. Mild dry skin, and a kind of rash called moluscum. He starts telling me about how it’s fine to just leave it alone but if it bothers me, I can use this or that product on it…then grins at me and says, “But as we’ve already established, you’re not that kind of mom.”

He gets me!

THEN, a few minutes after that, he started Titus’s check up. Titus, by the way, cackles through the whole thing because he’s ticklish. Which I love. Anyway, the Doc is chatting with me as he tests reflexes and looks in his mouth and so on. Then stops abruptly when he shines his otoscope in Titus’s ear.

“Hmmm…is that…there’s something in there…I think it’s…I think it might be a bead??”


Uh, yeah, it’s definitely a bead. A necklace bead. From one of those WRETCHED necklace making sets your girls become obsessed with.

Doctor: Has he been complaining about his ear hurting?

Me: No! Well…I guess he said something about his ear a few weeks ago but I thought he was being dramatic because Charlie was getting attention for her sore throat!

Doctor: Barely containing laughter.

Me: TITUS! Did you put that in there?

Titus, proudly, grinning: Yeah.

Me: How long as it been in there??

Titus: Um…I think 100 days.

Me: Don’t listen to him. 100 is his favorite number.

And then I just didn’t stop laughing for the rest of the visit.

Except to stop and tell Titus he could explain to daddy the $35 copay it would take to have it removed at an ENT because they couldn’t get it out at the pediatrician’s office. Titus didn’t seem phased by this one bit.



I am really REALLY not that kind of mom.

Y’all, I’m just NOT the kind of mom to pay close attention to my kids’ health issues. Every day someone has a new bruise or cut or tooth falling out or coming in or mild tummy ache from holding it too long or sniffle or cough or whatever. And honestly if I worried about it all I’d go insane. So I kiss it and say it will be fine or give them a wet paper towel (the cure of almost every boo-boo) or just plain ignore.

And let me just say that some moms ARE that kind of mom and I need those moms. They are the ones who make me take my kid to the doctor when it’s necessary or say, “hey, it might be this,” and I reply “You’re right! I never would have considered that!” They’re the ones I call when I have that deep down sense that I should probably be more worried than I am. There’s no correct type of mommying here. But I’m really really ok with the kind of mom I am. Or am not.

However, the next time someone’s ear hurts, I will probably take them to the doctor immediately, no questions asked.

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