Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My No Good Very Bad Day

Today was one of those days where nothing seems to go right.  It started off ok.  Leo and I had a lovely breakfast together, pee and poo in the potty, nice playtime, and he went down for his nap without a fight.  I got him up with just enough time to get ready and go to his doctor's appointment.  This is when things began to unravel.

1.  As we were leaving I noticed the dog had thrown up.  Ew.  Poor puppy.  No time to clean it up.  She seems ok.  Out the door.  No biggie.

2.  I get distracted making "chugachugachugachuga - toot toot" train noises with Leo and miss our stop on the subway.  Need to switch directions, back track - and now hustle because my perfectly timed commute is messed up.  Eh.  Poo happens.

3.  On my walk (still running a bit behind) a nice woman engages Leo and is gushing about how beautiful he is and how his blond highlights sparkle in the sun.  On and on.  I'm a sucker for hearing about how cute my kid is, so I pause to let him charm her for a moment.  Then.. "Are you the nanny?"  Really?  I realize I'm Latina and the past two weekends at the Beach have given my usually medium complexion an even darker hue.  I also realize my son is rather fair and I made sure to slather on the sunscreen in the sun, so he didn't get more than a touch of glow.  But really?  Ugh.  I mostly find it funny - and think perhaps, just perhaps, it's because I look so young and svelte, rather than less complimentary assumptions.  Yeah, that must be it.

4.  We arrive (barely on time) and Leo isn't coming up on the insurance for jb's new job.  Argh.  Ok.  Deep breath.  Pay out of pocket for the visit.  Call jb so she can work on fixing it for next time.  At this point I'm losing it a little.  Also during this snafu there was a brief "You are coming up on the insurance, but Leo isn't.  Wait you aren't jb?  So you aren't the mother?  You ARE the mother.  Then who is jb?" - which normally wouldn't have irked me, but I wasn't at my most patient.  And, honestly - a same-sex couple doesn't enter into your mind as a possibility?  At an office in Center City Philadelphia?  Deep breath.  The office is usually fantastic about LGBT stuff - one moment of confusion is no reason to get upset.

5.  Our usual pediatrician moved to California last month so our appointment is with her replacement.  Not a fan.

     5A.  Her general demeanor rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning.  I tried to remind myself that I'm having a bad day and I should keep an open mind.
     5B.  We had worked out a delayed vaccination schedule with our former pediatrician.  She never made a big deal about it.  Was always willing to share info, and gave gentle and respectful push back when we disagreed, but ultimately was super accommodating.   This doctor was rather aggressive when I mentioned that I wanted to wait on the varicella vax (not even skip it!  just wait for spacing purposes!) and kept telling me to "think" about it - like I was just randomly picking vaccines out of thin air to make nonsensical decisions about.  (Aside: I'm SO open to discussion about vaccinations.  I feel like it's one of the few topics that I've done a ton of research on, but still am not 100% sure about where I stand.  With most parenting decisions I easily form my stance and feel very strongly that I'm making the right choice; but with this, I feel like you are darned if you do, darned if you don't - so I've gone with what my gut, partner, and research have best guided me to, but am always looking for new info and opinions.  Just don't jump down my throat about it.) In the end, she printed out a "refusal" statement and had me sign it, stating that I was refusing to allow them to give my son the chickenpox vaccine. 
     5C.  She seemed VERY concerned that he wasn't drinking milk.  I assured her that he gets plenty of calcium and I was open to Vitamin D drops.  He eats lots of yogurt and a fair amount of cheese - he just doesn't like milk.  She asked if I'd tried chocolate milk.  WHAT?  That was a huge red flag for me.  I try not to be too extreme about the sugar thing - but really?  Besides what if he was lactose intolerant - or we were choosing to raise him vegan?  Milk is not an absolute must for a healthy diet.  I reminded her that he was still nursing 3-5 times a day and she was like, "Oh!  Right!  I see that on your chart.  Nevermind."
     5D.  She asked a lot of questions about the same-sex parent thing - which in and of itself isn't a bad thing.  The way she asked was just a little off to me.  Not homophobic...just...I don't to the subject matter.   Normally, I try to give a lot of leeway about that kind of thing and always do my best to make potential allies feel comfortable about talking about LGBT issues and asking questions without worrying about putting their foot in their mouth - but sometimes (like with your doctor) you just don't want to have to have teaching moment after teaching moment. 

This was definitely enough to ruin my day.  I hate pediatrician shopping.  Luckily, we do like the practice, so we will try other doctors within the practice before totally jumping ship - but still.  Ugh.

So I'd officially had it with today.  Rather than go back home and start dinner and clean up dog throw-up we headed to jb's office and suggested she cut out early (whoa - 4:50 - what a rebel) and take us to dinner.  jb and I both have August birthdays  - and I'd had the amazing foresight to sign us up for the Benihana birthday club recently which means we each got a $30 gift certificate to use in the month of August.  So we went there, got a free meal (just paid tip!) and Leo was riveted by the chef, food and singing.  So ending the day with this face made it seem not so bad:


  1. We have followed our vax schedule without delay or skipping however had Sasie not had the Chicken Pox, we absolutely would have refused the Varicella Vax. That's one where I believe getting it the "natural" way is better off in the long run!!

  2. Anonymous8/18/2011

    He is just unbelievably adorable and you two are the greatest parents.

    Kathy C.

  3. I'm sorry about the pediatrician. I've had a similar experience with an obstetrician--when what I really needed was reassurance and good advice. Actually, it happened with my PCP, too, where I had to explain why a lesbian couple would choose to do IVF instead of doing it "the normal way." ULGH.

  4. I hate days when you have moments after moments like thing isn't a big deal...2 things? No problem but when it all piles on...blargh!

    And I had to laugh at the question from the woman about you being Leo's nanny - a friend of mine who is white and her daughter is Korean gets that question all of the time and when she explains that she is Kaylie's mom people look at her like she's crazy. Adoption -- it's such a new fangled thing!

  5. Thank you for your kind words! Today is shaping up to be much better :)

  6. Anonymous8/19/2011

    I know nothing about vaccines. Nothing. Any good resources you can point me to?

  7. Baby center has a group about selected/delayed/no vax and it's a great place to ask questions and they have a lot of resources listed in the "getting started" post:

    Of course it's pretty one sided, so I'd encourage you to read from lots of sources, talk with your pediatrician and ask moms you trust about what they decided. Good luck!