We are sitting in the doctor’s office at 12:15. I tap my heels, anxious to get out as soon as possible. When I am alone, I can sit in a doctor’s office in peace. When I have all the kiddos with me, the passage of time can be excruciating. We read what seems like all the books in the waiting rom, and Sylvia looks up at me. “I got to go potty.” We all get up, and run to the bathroom. We use the potty, wash our hands, and go back to our seat. One minute has passed. I hear “I got to go potty.” “Again, Sylvia? We just went, are you sure?” She hunches over and grabs her crotch. “Yes, Yes, Mommy.” This time, I just tell the lady at the desk we will be right back. I scoop Sylvia up and dash the to the bathroom, leaving Danielle and Melanie in the waiting room. Sylvia toots. We wash our hands, and go back to the waiting room. I once again settle into my seat. “Mom, they called Sylvia. She said she would come back since you took her potty.” “Thanks, Melanie.” Fantastic…I missed our turn. I shrug my shoulders and continue to pretend I am paying attention to the book Melanie is reading me. “I got to go potty.” “Seriously, Sylvia? You have to go again?!” She insists “again” while grabbing her crotch and taking baby steps towards the bathroom. I put her under my arm like a football and jog off towards the restroom. I strip her clothes off and toss her on the toilet. “Hurry up, baby.” I just know we are going to miss our turn again. She somehow produces an insubstantial amount of pee and toots a few times. “See, I pee pee.” “Very good, Sylvie.” I pick her up to pull up her pants, and a lady walks into the room. I forgot to lock the door. “So sorry. I was in a rush.” We wash our hands and move out to the lobby. Sure enough, the nurse is standing there, waiting for use to emerge. “Mommy, it’s our turn. You need to stop going potty.” I just smile.
We are now in the exam room, also known as purgatory number two. Sylvia’s urge to use the bathroom has been satiated, and she stands in the corner, silently trying to meld with the wall. Finally, the doctor appears in the door like a kindly mad scientist, complete with Einstein hair and bright spectacled eyes. He moves through the room with frantic energy. He picks Sylvia up and places her on the bench. She stares away at the wall and tries to have an out-of-body experience. It’s okay. It’s okay. He looks in her eyes, ears, nose, feels her tummy, and listens to her lungs. Then he has to look in her throat. He lays her down on the bench and prys his way in quickly. She gags and starts to cry. “We are done,” says Einstein. He scoops her up and places her on the ground. She is taken aback for a moment, and then she suddenly throws both of her hands up into the air. Jumping up and down, she yells, “I did it! I did it! Yeah, I did it!” I look at her and smile. “Yes, you did it.”