Yesterday I took the boys in to see the doctor. N needed his 1 year checkup (complete with 3 shots and a blood draw, poor thing!), and Z needed to have blood drawn to check for celiac antibodies since there has got to be SOMETHING going on with that child.
In both cases the staff needed to get the standard measurements of height, weight, temperature, head circumference (N), and blood pressure (Z). So when they called us in, we headed to the...nurses' station?...to take care of those pesky details. Z, being the old pro that he is, immediately wanted to go in the opposite direction, anywhere but that room. I, being the new amateur that I am, asked him to come sit in the chair and help N feel better while he got weighed and measured. That actually worked! He watched the numbers change on the scale (23 lbs, 1.5 oz), then watched the slider on the baby-measurer-thingy (30.5"), then did I don't know what during the head circumference and temperature because I was holding a screaming child and didn't see. N was done, and Z hadn't skipped town yet, but I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how to get him to cooperate with his own measurements. The nurse, a fellow whose first day I remember as being...difficult...has apparently learned some tricks, because he got Z to do all the measurements without any help from me! Well, I helped a little on the blood pressure, but he got Z's weight (34 lbs) and height (38") by stepping on the scale himself and measuring himself on the wall ruler-thingy. Both times Z stepped right up after watching the nurse perform. Then the nurse showed him the thermometer probe and "tickled" my arm with it, to show him that it was no big deal, then did the temperature on Z with minimal squirming. Then I told Z that he was going to get an "arm hug" and there wasn't a big deal over that (which is good, because he'll be getting that test at every visit for the rest of his life, I'm sure!).
The rest of the doctor portion of the visit was pretty uneventful...the doc did N's exam first, so when it was Z's turn he didn't fuss too much since he'd seen that N was fine (isn't it supposed to be the other way around??). In an amusing turn of events, he actually taught the doc a new trick! There are three questions that he is supposed to be able to answer at his age (3): how old are you, what's your name, and are you a boy or a girl. Well, Z didn't answer those questions when asked straight out. But a little while later he was playing with the translator telephone...it has two handsets, so that a non-English-speaking patient can talk to the doc through an off-site translator (and the first thing I do when I enter the room is unplug it!). In the course of his play, he handed one of those handsets to the doc. Doc played along, then got the bright idea to ask those three questions in the context of his "phone call," and darned if that child didn't answer all three right off the bat! It was really quite funny, especially how impressed Doc was with the new technique.
Other than that, N got three shots, which sent Z running for the hills, then we had to do the blood draws. Which involved me holding Z while one lab tech held his arm straight, one drew the blood, and one pushed N around in a stroller out in the hallway so he wouldn't have a heart attack. And then I got to hold N while they "milked" blood from his finger and Z tried to leave Dodge with my iPod.
I got home and told M in no uncertain terms that next time he IS coming with me.