Cheers to the Unsung Heroes of Parenthood

She was waxing poetic about Bionicles or something like it. I couldn’t see the title of the book she was reading (again) to her three-year-old in the pediatric ophthalmologist’s office yesterday morning, but I know it had “super strong creatures” and “lots of good guys” in it. Also, some sort of “transformer vehicle.”

She was my hero.

Nobody wanted to be in that waiting room. It was crowded and loud, filled with little kids playing with various toys, bigger kids trying to disappear into the chairs and grown-ups pretending not to watch Madagascar on the TV. (We couldn’t help but chuckle at “All hail the New York Giants,” betraying our feigned disinterest)

There were too many patients for just one doctor, and not enough distractions for the three-year-old with the Bionicle book. But his mom kept on trying.

“How about this book?” she offered cheerily. Her son nodded, and she began to read a book with no plot, just lists of fire engine equipment.

“Fire hose. Hatchet. Look at the fire chief’s car!” she delivered like a QVC saleswoman. Her son cooed. My 10-year-old kept on watching the movie, while I checked my e-mail.

“Don’t you want to read the book?” she asked as her three-year-old patient’s patience began to wear thin. He scooted off her lap and revved up a whine. She didn’t even flinch.

“I know…” she said. “Ten little monkeys jumping on a bed. One jumped up and bumped his head. Momma called the doctor and the doctor said…”

“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” her son finished, his whine morphing into a smile.

“Nine little monkeys jumping on a bed,” she continued. And continued. And continued until there were no more monkeys jumping on the bed, and I started wondering where the nurses kept the pain relievers.

My son sighed and asked when his appointment would start. Just then, a nurse called his name. As we got up from our seats and left the waiting area, I heard:

“Ten little monkeys jumping on a bed…” as though it was the very first time she’d said it.

My hero.

No responses to “Cheers to the Unsung Heroes of Parenthood”

  1. Michele

    I am convinced that doctor’s offices – waiting room and exam rooms – are torture chambers for parents. They are also doing research watching us to see how we manage!

    I had two non-sick kids at the allergy center one day that were literally banging their heads on the wall and cracking up about it (happened once by accident……and that’s all it took!) I can only imagine what others thought were going on in there!

  2. Angela McCoy

    Oh the dreaded doctors’ offices! With four special needs kids, we frequent several locations per month, and it’s always a nightmare. Twins with Autism and Auditory Processing Disorder never equates to, “let’s just sit down and read a story, while we wait patiently.” If only it were that simple.

    The nightmare, however, does not stem from the sudden outburst of screams, the echolalia, the hand flapping, the walking across the waiting room coffee table, the scaling of the reception counter, or even the never-ending tantrums thrown while I, alone, redirect them to something more appropriate. I can deal with that . . . no problem. They don’t sit still . . . just a small part of the developmental delays.

    It’s the whispering and pointing, the snarky comments, the old-school “he just needs a firm hand” suggestions, the stares, the dirty looks and the laughing initiated by the surrounding parents of ‘normal’ children. That’s the nightmare!

    The sad thing is that these parents are teaching their children that it’s alright to make fun of those different than theirselves, or to consider their presence in this world much more superior.

    If only more parents would share your heroic views of motherhood.

    If only more parents of ‘normal’ children would be thankful for their fortunate situations.

    This world would be a much better place . . . If only.

    Mom’s Fortress of Solitude

  3. Danielle

    Doctors offices are so hard! I remember taking two small kids only 19 months apart to the doctor. This is when we started going around (when they were old enough) and each making up a story. If the doctor didn’t come in after one round we all started again!

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