a tale of two children

When my younger son visited the doctor for his potential tick-born illness, he had to have blood drawn. (The result were negative, but they want to do a redo in six weeks.) He sat on my lap for the procedure, and when it came time for the needle stick, he simply looked the other way. Not once did he move, not a flinch nor a whimper.

Afterwards, the nurses told me that they have a lot of kids come through there but they rarely see that sort of complete compliance and calm. They were impressed, they said.

I was tempted to feel proud, to think my son’s behavior was because of something I had done, such as explained everything to him in detail, or acted matter-of-fact, or cuddled him on my lap while oozing lots of my exceptionally potent motherly charm.

But then I remembered my other child. You know, the one who kicks doctors. The one who didn’t get her teeth cleaned until she was seven years old because she refused to open her mouth. The one who cries and screams in rage, not only when a doctor’s appointment looms in the near (or distant) future, but also when we have to stop by the pharmacy for her meds.

I’m that child’s mother, too.

So instead of getting all I’m-such-an-awesome-mom-yay-me happy, I chuckled (but just inside, somewhere behind my sternum—you know the place), stomped down my pride puffs, and settled for basking in feelings of extreme gratefulness for the perspective-enhancing experience.

This same time, years previous: a birthday party, shrimp with coconut milk, the sex talk, alfredo sauce


  • Carol J. Alexander

    I have six children. Although you can tell by looking at them that they all come from the same set of parents, they are all quite different otherwise. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  • Peggy

    I had to chuckle because even though all my children are the mild mannered ones when it comes to the doctor, a dear friend of mine had what she referred to as her "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" child… the child who was mild mannered and sweet tempered in all situations except for the medical profession. The child that kicked, screamed, had held his breath until he passed out… all at the mere mention of going to the doctor. But he is much better about it now as he has gotten older (even though he still HATES going to the doctor)

    So know that you are not alone… and yeah go ahead and boast!

    Aren't kids the greatest!! 🙂 They definitely keep life interesting!

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