Thursday, December 23, 2010

Open letter to overwrought parents

Bringing your perfectly healthy child to the doctor's office this morning was absolutely the right thing to do. What a great example of proactive parenting to believe that a "preventative" visit to the doctor will assure you a healthy holiday. I know this is what you did because the nurse shared with me your conscientious plan. Because she knows me so well after four years and three children, she felt comfortable sharing this with harried exasperation.

Maybe if I had thought of that brilliant plan, I wouldn't be waiting for 40 minutes past my appointment time with a croupy, wheezing, squirmy infant. I wouldn't dare put him down to explore the germ-laden waiting room that your perfectly healthy child wandered around.

Maybe if I had been bringing my child, sick or not, to the doctor once a month, the front desk staff would have known who I was and rushed me back. Instead, I languished in the waiting room for nearly an hour and witnessed the arrival of a sick child whose symptoms were so alarming that she was rushed back to be seen right away. Hopefully, the very air she breathed was not contagious.

Maybe if you had just stayed home with your healthy kid, my doctor's office wouldn't be solidly booked two days before Christmas and they could actually treat sick children in a timely manner. When kids are sick, time is of the essence, as you probably know. I'm sure when your kids actually are sick you do everything short of call an ambulance, right?

I'm sure you left feeling good about yourself and your child. After all, the doctor must have allayed your fears about the miniscule risk of illness that you surely increased tenfold by bringing your perfectly healthy child in at the height of cold and flu season.

I, on the other hand, left the doctor's office an hour and a half after arriving with the knowledge that my son had a 101 degree fever and a virus and that we would be spending the holidays with a nebulizer and a humidifer and even less sleep than normal. But that's okay. At least, we'll know what's important this year--our health. And we'll slow down, enjoy ourselves and each other as much as possible and do only what our sick child can bear and nothing more.

(Oh, and by the way, I may have let your child play with a used boogie wipe from my purse.)

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Cassidy, Lily and Finn's Mom said...

Josie, thanks for the was a nice way to start the day. I was at the doctor's office yesterday too...fortunately it was just an ear infection. Hope Owen feels better soon!