Being a parent is a humbling experience, something that I was reminded of (again) while my daughter was fighting a losing battle with the stomach flu. This was on top of having to receive 3(!) shots on Monday at her 4-year old check-up. It is times like these where you truly feel powerless.
There is nothing quite as amusing and saddening (at the same time) as watching the face of a little girl who doesn’t understand why vomit is flying out of her mouth. You can see the confusion on her face as it works its way up from her tummy, burns through the throat, and then seeks freedom to the couch and carpet below. And of course, it has to be a pretty yet ugly pink color that lands on the white carpet, an everlasting reminder of the joy that was the stomach flu. At times like these, what do you do? Do you stick out your hands to catch it? Do you pick her up and carry her to the bathroom? And if you do pick her up, which way do you hold her? Facing you so you receive the brunt of the pyrotechnics or facing away from you so that it lands on the floor and then you have to jump over it?
Well friends, it is at those times that I consider that perhaps becoming an attorney was not the best thing for my family. When I was 3 years old I wanted to be a doctor, specifically, a pediatrician. My pediatrician was terrific, partly because he never gave me the shots, it was those mean nurses who did it. Being a doctor means always being able to get nurses to do the dirty work.
No, being a doctor means never feeling powerless, always knowing the right answer and never having to worry if the information in the “Baby 411” books is accurate. Is it colic or is it upset stomach or is it gas? A doctor knows. Is it an ear infection, a headache, or just a fever? A doctor knows. Is it the flu or is it an allergic reaction? A doctor knows. And if the doctor doesn’t know, he/she gets to use the standard lines: “We have seen a lot of this lately. It seems to be going around.” A completely evasive answer, yet we completely eat it up. Just like my previous analogy to flight attendants, if the doctor is calm and unconcerned, there is nothing to worry about.
And you get to play with all of those cool toys! Seriously, why are they called instruments if they don’t make noise? Haven’t you ever wondered what the doctor sees when he uses that thingee to look in your ear and up your nose? On Monday he said he saw Snow White in Brooklyn’s ear… kids put all kinds of things in their ears, don’t they?
To complete the story, though, my desire to become a doctor ended when I turned 14 and had to dissect a frog. I really had some problems with that and I was off the medical school track. So, since it is too late to go to medical school, I will request that for the holidays my family and friends purchase DVDs for St. Elsewhere, ER, Grey’s Anatomy, Chicago Hope, and any other medical themed shows. I have a lot to learn…
Of course, if I had it to do over again and could not be a doctor, then I would absolutely become a hairdresser. I can’t make a pony tail to save my life… And everyone knows, cute hair is the key to success.
Although, I just watched “Taken” again with Liam Neeson. In order to protect my daughter, do I need to learn 8 different ways to kill a man with a spork? Could come in handy. Anyone want to give me lessons?