Wednesday, January 16, 2008


After being bad parents and missing Clare's 15 month appointment, we finally scheduled her 18 month appt with a doc here in the city. This was just a routine, well-baby visit. But of course a first visit to a new doc means a lot of paperwork and a lot of questions.

Unfortunately, after getting Clare undressed down to her diaper, I realized that she was stinky. Bad stinky. Sick stinky even. And, bad mom that I am, I had left the house with an underprepared diaper bag: one diaper and only 2 wipes. I've watched my sister Ally make a single wipe last a whole diaper change by ingeniously folding it like an origami piece of practical poop art, but not me. Those two wipes barely even made a dent. All the while I'm trying to change this nasty diaper, clean an uncooperative Clare with no supplies, I'm answering questions about this and that. I was totally flustered, felt like an absolute incompetent, and then got an earful from the doc about my inadequate cleaning job ("there's poop in her vagina!" "yes, I see that," I said, "like I mentioned before, I'm out of wipes. Any ideas?"--which finally resulted in a little help. Wet cottonballs work great.)

Routine questions. I'm bad at them, and I was flustered. I did manage to get my own age right, but ethnicity? "Um...generic Anglo-mongrel?" That didn't communicate well. She wrote down "british." And Brent's? "white, I guess," I said. Wrong! "White is race, I asked about ethnicity," said the doc, staring at me like I'd grown another head. "Oh," I said, chastened. "Okay. Texan."

But nothing beats this exchange:

doc: "And Clare is your only child?"
me: "yes."
doc: "And she is her father's only child?"
me: "yes."
doc: "are you sure?"
me: "uh, yes."
doc: "father's occupation?"
me: (taking a semantic shortcut) "he's a priest."
doc: "Catholic?"
me: "um--no--Episcopalian."


Indie Pereira said...

That's hilarious. I can imagine myself trying to answer the ethnicity question:

"Portuguese, Irish, Native American--either Chickasaw or Choctaw, we're not sure. All of a sudden my grandpa has been saying that he's German, but I think he's just old and confused. We do know that his last name is Welsh, but the relatives stopped researching his history when they found out his dad was a murderer. Um, why do you need to know this?"

And the priest thing. That's funny too.

TKP said...

You could have said, "Well, he used to be Catholic, but then the kid came along and that was just a little awkward."

Nevertheless, hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Your doctor is definitely more thorough than our doctor. Although, Tuesday I had to fill out paperwork for Taylor to get her flu shot. One of the questions was if my child was pregnant. Generic questionnaire I'm sure.

And, if you have access to a sink, you can rinse out the wipe and continue to use it. Sounds disgusting I know, but when you're in a tight spot...

JTB said...

That is an excellent mommy tip. Wish I'd thought of it, although I doubt that any attempt on my part to re-use a wipe would have impressed them favorably!

Brian said...

Why does the doc need to know if Brent has other kids in order to take care of Clare?

Just sounds nosy to me.