Sunday, February 11, 2007

Babies Having Babies

I am, it seems, a Grandma.

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.

Not 'purple'.

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?

Oh yes.

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:

21 Comments:

Blogger Mother of Invention said...

An glimpse into the far future for sure!
You'll make a great grandma.

It's wonderful that the women of tomorrow will have the vaccine for HPV. Hopefully it will decrease the incidence of cancer of the cervix.

(WE had Wetsy-Betsy, and Thumbelina dolls!)

10:52 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

Tee hee. Hee. Hee. hee.hee.heehee. heeheeheee. heeeeeeheeeeheeeheeeheeeheee!

I would NEVER judge the fact that you got that lovely dear a doll because she was all brave and got those awful shots...

Especially not since I just bought Squeaker a largish, soft, pink gorilla (holding a rose! because flowers are nice!) for finally pooping. in. the. potty.

Some things require rewards.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Voyager said...

Not knowing the age of your daughter before, I was all set to write "congratulations", until mid-way thru the post. Phew!
V.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You come from a long line of very superb grandmothers. My only advice is not to forget how you "will get her/him someday". I still owe you and your sister something that I have forgotten.

Love, Greatgrandpa, the ole RF-er

3:22 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

I'd rather see a toy given for shots than candy!

4:14 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

What a brave girl and what a brave (grand)mommy for purchasing a noisy toy!

5:46 PM  
Anonymous You know who said...

Perhaps, just perhaps, this will be a nice dose of birthcontrol for the wee one and she'll wait until she's, say, 38 to ever even consider having any type of sex what-so-ever.....

(and sadly, one of my docs is one of the "I think the HPV vax will just encourage people to have premarital sex" type folks.....and now I'm going to remain anonymous 'least the evil beings from above try to track me down....)

8:59 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Ruth- The far distant future, let's hope. We are already telling Colin that he can get married and have kids AFTER grad school. The literature I've read on the vaccine has been quite promising, both as a prevention (yeah!) and as a treatment for earlish disease (Huzzah!). Sara has my old Baby Tenderlove (the one you couldput in the bath with you and feed liquids to and she'd 'pee').

Teri- I think that's the best cyber laugh I've heard. Good thing I NEVER bribed Colin with toy cars and Hershey Kisses and Sara with Jelly Bellys for said pooping. in. the. potty. (Yeah for Squeaker! Yeah for you!!!!!!)

Voyager- Whew, indeed. She's 4. (Colin's 8, I'm 41, Charles is 44, the dog and cat are 1, the matress is 10, ....) Thankfully, she's not quite at the age where I need to worry about her 1) becoming pregnant or 2) giving birth in the loo at the prom. Yet.

Dad- And I'm not reminding you, either.

Cagey- Amen, sistah! (And it seems to work. She spent the afternoon after the shots telling me how nice her doctor was and going through all the things she got. I think we dodged some shot psyche scars.)

Listie- Kids (at least mine, who are the only ones I've had close, continuing relationships with) continue to astound me with their bravery in the face of real pain and their wimpiness in the face of the mild. (And this brave mommy may well be abducting the batteries out of that damned Baby.)

Anonymistie- Can I just fly down there with a fist full of reputable literature and shove it so far up his pecker that it reaches his retinas? Let's all just get over our sex issues once and for all and get to work actually PREVENTING the damn diseases and unwanted pregnancies and all that, which should be what we're all in favor of, no matter what side of the aisle we are on.

(pant, pant)

Sorry. A soap box of mine.

Charles is thinking that the age of 50 is a nice round number for her to shoot for.

(Hey, if the evil beings do track you down, you and the boy can move to the frozen tundra and work with me!)

10:08 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

I didn't know they still made baby dolls. I have to say I never understood their appeal.

Anyway, I'm glad Sara made it through the ordeal.

Locked-In Syndrome! There was a Twilight Zone episode about that once.

Chilling!

11:52 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I am all in favor of prizes for being brave. I usually opt for the small toy. However, after the shots incident in December (5 also) my girl was tired, hungry, and just wanted to go home.
So we headed to Cold Stone Creamery for some ice cream confection to take home.

And I know the dolls of which you speak. We received one last year that would cry if you scared it so of course that is what I try to do. Never works. And this year we got Baby Alive. Yippeeee.....

8:46 AM  
Blogger Sanjay said...

I have trouble getting this picture of you as a grandma. But your girl is very brave and you are one heck of a mommy and a granny to be (some day). :)

10:13 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rozanne- I missed that Twilight Zone episode. Imagine only being able to move your eyes and blink for all your communicating. Beyond horrible.

Lauren- Poor Belle. I knew there'd be more than one shot but didn't realize it was quite so many. Had we a Cold Stone here, Sara'd probably have gone for it, maybe over the doll. (They are creepy, aren't they, those talking dolls.)

Sanjay- I have trouble getting a picture of myself as a Grandma, too. In fact, I still have some trouble with the whole "I'm in my 40s and not my 20s", although I still feel like I should be. Think it will change when I'm in my 60s? 80s? I've heard it doesn't.

11:01 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I would never ever have a doll like that. Yuck. I did have a baby doll once that I scalped. I think. Didn't start playing with Barbies until I was 15, kind of late and half-heartedly. Dolls are boring. I'd rather read. Which is why I received books when I made it through the horrible shots. That's a terrible thing for a kid to go through and it isn't spoiling her. Spoiling would be buying her a toy because she threw a hissy fit in the store. Or blinked.

I think you'd make an awesome grandmother.

What does it say about me that I am suddenly imagining the scrapbook opportunities of Sara's doll? I'm a little frightened.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous You know whowho said...

Tempting as it may be, I'm not sure if the world is ready for you and I in the same clinic....although, many more like today and I'm heading north sister.

And yes, I agree, it's a personal soap box of mine also. We've actually just gotten our first shipment of the vax because it's taken me this long to convince them I'm not damning everyone to hell by giving it. Gotta love professional ignorance in the name of religion.

8:56 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Grandma! yikes! Allie used to play with her doll and pretend to be me. I discovered my signature phrases were "We're late" and "Don't eat that!"

With you on the soap box. I cannot believe people think ignorance=virture. I did get Allie the vaccine- call me an immoral mother, but anything I can do to lower my daughter's risk of cancer I feel compelled to do. It's just my evil, liberal, immoral method of parenting.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dana- For some reason, I figured you as a Barbie kid, what with all the glittery, princessy outfits. Although, come to think of it, back then, the clothes were more of the 'go-go' miniskirts and the orange and gold striped tops of the '70s. Not much glitter or sparkles or crowns. We had several Barbies and made them take care of the horses they had.

Stace- You go, you fabulous, evil, liberal, immoral mom! Anything I can do to protect my kids from what's lurking out there I will do.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Lioness said...

Oh I love my proto-niece - she feigned sleep?? The child is a genius, a genius I tell you! Oh the adorableness of it all, I could gobble her up. And, er, mazel tov! You must be so excited! Does she take after Charles and fall asleep by 3 pm? Oh lucky!

Quite.

At least it's not an egg, yes?

8:01 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

How utterly wonderful! You made me smile and Sara made me giggle. The sleeping, the bravery, and the torture...

Myself? I'd be looking for the batteries.

4:33 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Johnny- Oh, yes. She 'slept' through the whole damn visit, until I made her 'wake up' and hear the bit about the shots. She's such a funny little kid. Must be YOUR side of the family.

Beth- The batteries and a screwdriver, indeed. She's now come down with the flu her brother has had for the past week, so she's limp and febrile on the couch. Baby has been replaced by her Blue Bunny, who is cuddly and quiet. We have peace, well aside from the coughing and moaning.

2:27 PM  
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