Babies Having Babies
I'm a little thrown by this unforeseen development, thinking that this was something that was about 20 years in the future, if it was something that was to be at all, but life throws us curve balls.
It all started innocently enough with Sara's check-up on Friday. She was seeing her new pediatrician, Dr H, who I know and like, personally and professionally. She is a worthy replacement for the fabulous Dr P, if anyone can be said to be worthy.
I set Sara up for this a day or two in advance, as springing something on Sara that does not involve zoos or chocolate is not quite the wise thing.
Everything seems fine until we are called back and my darling daughter, who is not a shrinking violet under normal circumstances, turns into a 40 lb tumor on my right thigh, face pressed to my jeans as I waddle down the hall with a rather bemused look on my face.
The nice peds nurse tries her best to get Sara to warm up to her, and has some success in that Sara complies with getting on the scale and standing up straight for her height and so on.
We are then left alone to get her into one of those little kid gowns and await "Mommy's friend, Dr H".
Sara decides to sit on my lap for the wait. We chat. It's nice.
With the knock on the door, Sara is suddenly overcome with African Sleeping Sickness. It's phenomenal. She slumps in my lap, her head against my chest, eyes resolutely closed, softly snoring in a very unconvincing manner.
Dr H looks at me strangely.
Sara continues to feign sleep.
Dr H asks the usual questions and tries to believe me when I describe my little chatterbox and wild-woman.
Sara continues to feign sleep.
Both of us shrugging, the physical exam commences.
Sara continues to feign sleep, despite a trial of tickling under the arms and the soles of the feet. She does not even flinch. She opens her mouth on command (and her eyes for the 2 seconds necessary to check her pupils).
We consider the diagnosis of locked-in syndrome.
It is the easiest exam poor perplexed Dr H will have all day, we are sure.
After all this, I ask Sara to please open her eyes as I have something important to discuss with her: The Shot Talk. I explain she will get 5 (yes, 5! containing a total of 9 separate vaccines) shots and that it will hurt, but not for long and that I will hold her and it will be over soon. She is asked what her favorite color is for a bracelet that she will receive as a prize for going through all this.
"Violet," is her answer.
She is very, very brave with all the painful shots. She cries silently with big tears that splash on my arm, but doesn't pull away very much. I feel like total shit, of course, but try to console myself with how much shit I'd feel like if she came down with measles or tetanus or hepatitis A or any of the other 6 maladies.
She is told she is the bravest of kids and is given not one, but 2 different violet bracelets, a violet heart-shaped ring, a rubber duck with a princess crown, bubbles in a violet container and a pencil (alas, blue). We head out for lunch to celebrate her bravery and to stop at the pharmacy to fill her fluoride prescription. It is there that my fatal mistake is made.
Remember that I am now a Grandma?
She got to pick out a toy for her bravery. (Yes, I spoiled her. I did this completely intentionally. I don't want her to remember the shots, I want her to remember the good stuff she got. This should be the last time she needs so many shots unless she goes off to the Peace Corps, and should that be the case, it'll be her own fault and she'll just have herself to blame. In my defense, this is the only time I've done this for her. Colin also got some very nice presents when he got his appendix out and was so terribly brave through all that pain. I do believe bravery in the very young deserves to be re-enforced strongly and with more than words. So there. Sue me.)
And what did she choose? Not one of the art things. Not a game. Nope.
You guessed it: A new doll.
And not just any doll. A baby doll that cries and giggles and burps. (Oh! the glee those burp sounds cause. Oh! The hundreds and hundreds of times that poor baby has had to fraaaap. A baby doll that starts to fuss and then loudly cry if you just let it sit and ignore it. (You stop the crying by stuffing a bottle in its demanding little mouth.)
Sara, for her part, is not a bad baby doll mother. She has given it tons of attention, never leaving its side, even waking it when it finally gives up and 'sleeps'. (Clearly Sara's not learned my Rule #1 of Motherhood: NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING BABY.)
This extended to her hollering to me from the toilet as she demanded that I "Take Baby," so she could wipe and wash her hands.
Which is why I found myself holding Baby in my arms, doing the Mommy bouncy-walk, while I kicked the laundry basket down the hall, to an intense feeling of deja vu.
This has continued for most of the weekend. Finally, last night, Sara decided that Baby needs to just 'cry it out' and things were quiet.
And so, I am left to ponder my ascension to Grandmahood, something that is especially ironic given my work at the local Health Department in the Family Planning Clinic, doing my level best to prevent pregnancy in other people's kids.
I really hope this trend doesn't continue, as I am also Medical Director of the Health Department's STD clinic. If it does, I hope it's something curable, say with that new HPV vaccine.
I'm thinking I should push for her to get it at her Kindergarten physical. And, I'll be damned if I'm getting up with Baby if she cries at night. Sara had the kid, she can have all of that fun. As it is, she keeps trying to pass her off on me while she takes over bedtime reading responsibility.
Grandmas are too old for that shit.
Labels: The Small-Handed Ones