Wednesday, March 16, 2011

(I didn't come off so) Well Visit

I took the kids to the pediatrician today for their annual check-ups. These appointments play out the same way each year: first the vision test; then the hearing test; a quick hop onto the scale for the weigh-in; back down and heels against the wall for a height check; wait another ten minutes for the doctor; and then brace for the agonizing attempts by the doctor to establish a dialogue with my children.

My kids are chatty. Like, super chatty. Like, don't-ever-try-to-watch-a-game-show-with-them-because-you-won't-hear-any-answers-or-questions chatty.

They bombard us with questions-- technical, theoretical, and, yes, even rhetorical. They talk each other into fits of rage and fits of giggles. They talk to themselves, inventing fantasy worlds and fantasy shoot-outs. Good grief, they even talk in their sleep (oddly, mostly about food).

But guess where they say nary a word? Yup. Must be something about that exam table, because once their little behinds hit that crinkly paper their lips practically seal.

Today the doctor (who, granted, walks the line between warm and off-putting) hit them with some doozies. My six-year-old was up first. She got through her grade in school and favorite color but then he shut her right up with "What games do you like to play with your friends at school?"

[blink. blink.]

"If your best friend came over for a playdate, what would you play?"

[picture Cindy Brady frozen, transfixed by the "On Air" light on that TV quiz show she was on]

"How do Mommy and Daddy show you they love you?" (What the????? Kind of a creepy question, no?)

Teeny little voice: "They kiss me."

Bolstered, he followed up with "And how do Mommy and Daddy show you they are mad?" (Wait, what???? Definitely creepy, man.)

Looooooooong pause. And then, clear as a bell, "They spank me."

WE HAVE NEVER SPANKED HER. EVER. Listen, I'm not perfect. I'll yell. I'll hold a grudge. I'll give the silent treatment. But I'm just not a spanker. Neither is my husband.

The one bright side to being slandered? It forced my son to speak to the doctor --- in my defense. He practically jumped to his feet to contradict his sister. "Mommy never spanks us, she just takes away the wii."

"I see.... So, how much wii are you playing?" Ruh-roh.

Hey, now! Let's get back to who can be the quietest!

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