I was lucky in that I found a wonderful, kind, empathetic and knowledgeable pediatrician for my son. My pediatrician was unlucky in that, well, she ended up with me. As a new mother without any family remotely close to her, I was every pediatrician's worse nightmare. I was insecure, constantly hovering, never prepared and calling every day, multiple times a day, for months. I learned, rather quickly,
how to lose a pediatrician in 10 days and before my son was six months old, I had scared my pediatrician back to Spain (true story).
It's not like I meant to drive her away with my crazy questions and erratic behavior. I guess, just like a new-to-the-dating-scene single who has no idea how to "play it cool," I was unable to
hide my overwhelming co-dependency. I was brand new at this whole mom thing and I had no idea what I was doing and I needed my pediatrician to tell me that I was not only OK at this thing called motherhood, I was the damn best new mom she had ever seen. I would like to blame sleep deprivation, but I was scared and my poor pediatrician became my source of validation.
Sadly, I was a little, um, much, and I pushed my pediatrician away like that one guy I tried to date in high school. I was overbearing, needy and annoying. I was calling way too much and I was asking my pediatrician if she liked me (again, true story) and I was doing everything you really shouldn't do
if you want to get in good with your kid's doctor. Learn from my mistakes, dear reader, and don't do the following things (unless you want to find yourself a new pediatrician, that is).
Call Them At Least Twice A Day, Every Day, For Months
I spent the majority of
my time as a brand new mother with a child attached to my boob and a phone attached to my ear. I had no idea what I was doing and I didn't have any family around, so I called my son's pediatrician on a far-too-frequent basis. I called for the most ridiculous reasons (I blame Google) always way more afraid than I needed to be (again, I blame Google) and always in need of the pediatrician talking me off the ledge and away from the nearest emergency room (seriously, Google is the worst).
I know she hated it. She hated me calling all the time and she hated being my pseudo-mother, having to tell me that everything was OK and I could handle motherhood and my inadequacies were all in my head. Bless her.
Demand They Share Their Credentials With You, Up To And Including Their Middle School Grades
I had a very difficult pregnancy that included losing one of my twin sons at 19 weeks. I was so aware of the "worst case scenario" and how it feels to actually experience it, so to say I was hyper-vigilant would be a severe understatement.
This is a true story, my friends: I made my son's pediatrician give me all of her credentials. I mean
all of them. Not only did I want to know where she went to medical school or where she did her residency or even where she received her undergraduate degree; I wanted to know where she went to high school and whether or not she graduated at the top of her class. She hated me. I mean, I could almost see the steam coming out of her ears as she gritted her teeth and kindly answered all of my obscene questions.
Linger Behind Him Or Her When They're Examining Your Kid As If You're Donald Trump At A Presidential Debate
I didn't give my pediatrician any space when she was examining my son. Like, ever. I would stand directly behind her, watching every movement and demanding she walk me through everything she was doing (which can be annoying because, well, it's pretty obvious when a doctor is listening to someone's heart).
My pediatrician had to ask me to back up a time or twelve, but I
lost all sense of social decency the moment I stepped into that doctor's office and the appointment began. After all, she was touching my baby and I wanted to be right there, front and center, to make sure she was doing it "right" (like I would even know what that "right" looks like. Man, I'm the worst.).
Start A Sentence With, "Well, Google Says..."
I made the mistake of saying this once and the look my son's pediatrician shot me was enough to keep me from ever,
ever, saying it again.
Seriously, you guys. Unless you don't want to ever have your son or daughter seen by their pediatrician again, avoid referencing Google. Pediatrician > Google.
Forget To Ask Questions During Your Visit And Call Directly After Your Visit To Ask Every Question You've Suddenly Remembered
I would take a "mental note" of
every question I wanted and/or planned on asking my pediatrician, only to forget every single freakin' question the moment I stepped into my son's pediatrician's office. It was uncanny.
Of course, I would remember the moment I strapped my son into his carseat, so I would end up calling her (again) to ask her all 58 questions I had forgotten (again) and have her repeat her answers numerous times so I could write them down (again). I think this was around the time she started screening my calls and passing me off to the other doctors she shared a practice with.
Forget To Bring Diapers And Take Some From Their Office. Again.
Yeah, I wasn't the best at packing that diaper bag, so I just "stole" all the diapers that were made available to us. Whatever,
I was a new mom and babies are expensive.
Ask Them, "Are You Sure?" Numerous Times While Simultaneously Reminding Them You're A New Mom And You've Never Done This Before
I don't know why I felt like I was
in any sort of position to question my pediatrician, but I did. Like, constantly. I was always asking, "Are you sure?" even though it was clear that I didn't have an alternative answer or suggestion or even knew what in the world I was remotely talking about.
I can only imagine what it's like to be constantly questioned by someone who isn't remotely qualified as you are (although, I'm sure
I could ask Hillary Clinton and get a pretty solid answer).
Become Territorial And Demand They Prove To You That They Like Your Kid The Best
Maybe it was because
I was a new mom and somewhat insecure or maybe it was because I just wanted to make a new friend. Either way, I wanted (read: needed) my pediatrician to like me. Like, really, really like me. Of course, the only way to know if she liked me or not was to know that she absolutely loved my son. If she liked my son then, by proxy, she must love me and think I'm just the best parent ever because I'm the one who is raising that perfect little boy she can't wait to see every time he has an appointment.
Yeah, this is when my pediatrician told me that she was thinking of heading back overseas to practice in Spain. I'm dead serious.
Ask Them The Same Question Over And Over Again
I'm just going to go ahead and
blame mom brain for this one. It's not my fault that I was completely incapable of retaining information. I'm sure it was super annoying to have me ask the same question over and over and over again (and it was always about a fever and what body temperature warranted a trip to the emergency room). However, again, I stand by the fact that it wasn't my fault. Mommy brain. It's a thing and it's my out.
Tell Them You Think Vaccinations Cause Autism
If this doesn't do it, nothing will.
On the one hand, yes; you are entitled to your own opinion and if you don't want to vaccinate your kid, I will wildly and wholeheartedly disagree with you but, you know, your kid isn't my kid. On the other hand,
science. Science is cool and it's pretty awesome when we listen to it and eradicating deadly diseases is always nice and I think most pediatricians would agree. Nothing will piss off a pediatrician more (I'm assuming) than telling them you don't want to vaccinate.
This is the one and only annoying thing I didn't do to my poor, dear pediatrician because, again,
science. I. Like. Science.