Home » Daddy’s A Woozel! And I’m A FAILURE!

Daddy’s A Woozel! And I’m A FAILURE!

So yesterday was Mac’s 3-year well-child visit with the Pediatrician.

And she didn’t disappoint.

I walked out of there feeling like a complete parenting failure.

As we all know, Mac is not fond of the Doctor, so I was initially feeling very fortunate he was just clinging to Chris for dear life and mildly hyperventilating as opposed to thrashing about and screaming violently.

Anyway, the Doc and her medical student came crashing into the exam room apologizing for their delay.  And after a couple of preliminary questions, the Doctor announced she and Mac were going to “play.”

I immediately felt my stomach flip.  There’s no way he’s going to cooperate.  He’s notoriously stubborn, he’s in a mood. . .this has all the makings of a disaster.

I forced myself to remain seated and mute.  I’m finally beginning to realize if there’s one thing this Doctor doesn’t care for, it’s my opinion, about anything.  Ever.

And I completely respect her for that on some sick and demented level.

Mac was seated on the table with Chris.  The Doctor grabbed a copy of Goodnight Moon and held it in front of Mac.

“What color is this?” she asked pointing her pen towards the green curtain.

“It’s Goodnight Moon,” Mac said.

Oh gawd.  He has this book memorized.  He wants to read it.  There’s no WAY he’s going to go along with her line of questioning.  

“Red or green?” The doctor prompted.

Mac remained silent.

Come on kid!  You know what color aubergine is for chrissakes.  Just TELL HER GREEN!

“Ok,” the Doctor said, “What color is this letter?”

“M,” said Mac.

Right.  It’s a letter M.  He knows his letters but he refuses to tell her it’s yellow.  Yellow!  Just say yellow, Mac!

“Yellow or Blue?” the Doctor asked again.

“M,” replied Mac again.

I swear I saw him squint devilishly when he said it.

After what felt like forever, he finally identified a color.

“Good!” Said the doctor.

“He knows all of the colors,” said Chris.

“It’s okay,” the Doctor said, “He only needs to know one.”

Great. . .just great. . .She thinks he knows one color. . .maybe.  

“Let’s draw,” She said, handing Mac a pen.

I’m certain my blood pressure shot through the roof.  Every day, Mac and I use markers or crayons or chalk or paint but he honestly just doesn’t like it that much.

He’s happy to watch me draw things he um orders/asks me to draw but he’s still not in to it.  So I haven’t forced it.

I figure if he decides he likes that sort of thing, he’ll let me know.  Otherwise, I was kinda’ waiting to be all overbearing about scissors and writing implements and fine motor skills until this coming winter in preparation for Pre-K.

I mean, he’s just a few days past his third birthday.  Should I really be freaking out, forcing him to use a marker if he’d rather be jamming a stick in the mud at a park?  Really?

“Can you draw a line?” she said putting the pen in his right hand.

Oh dear.  Sometimes he uses his left hand.

I wanted to tell her to let HIM pick up the pen himself – decide which hand he wanted to use.  Plus?  He’s NEVER seen a pen before.  I don’t allow him to use ball point pens.  

“Line.  Like this.”

Mac couldn’t have cared less.

“Circle.  How about a circle?”

Come on Mac!  A balloon can’t you just draw her a balloon?  Jesus.

Mac refused.

Hey Doc, how about you ask him what those birds are flying around outside?  They’re barn swallows.  He KNOWS that.  He’ll tell you.  He’ll also tell you that logo on your scale features a northern cardinal.  Ask him something else damnit!  He knows every lyric of the National Anthem.

“Ok,” she said, “He’s a little behind.  Start having him draw stick figures.”

“Does he refer to himself as a boy?”

“Um.  No.  Not really.” I stuttered.

Should he?

That’s my fault too.  I’ve never really brought up boys versus girls.  I mean, I just didn’t think it was that important, especially at this age.

I want him seeing all people as PEOPLE.  I don’t need him thinking about gender or race or religion or physical or developmental differences in people prematurely.  He’ll have his entire life to navigate that minefield.

“Hey, Mac,” she said, “Is Daddy a boy or a girl?”

“DADDY’S A WOOZEL!” Mac said laughing hysterically.

“Ok.  Well now he’s just being silly.” She mumbled.

I personally thought it was an awesome response.

There’s no hope for these kids!  I’m a horrible parent!  I’m failing miserably. I could cry!  Right.  Here.  Woozel!  Bahahahaha!

“Hey, Mom start drawing stick figures for this kid will you?  Do it like this,” she exclaimed as she drew curly hair and a triangle skirt on the girl stick figure and left the presumably male one devoid of any decoration.

“Sure thing,” I mumbled.

“And get him potty trained.  It’s likely a control issue at this point.  He’s obviously running this show.  In fact, I’d say perhaps you are guilty of loving him just a little too much.”

“Uh huh.  Right.  Yes.  Perhaps.  We’ll get to work right away on the stick figures. . .Mac, can you please say Thank You to Dr. P for her time and help?”  

BEFORE I CRY OR KNOCK HER TEETH OUT OR I HAVE TO HEAR CHRIS GLOATING ABOUT ALL MY SHORTCOMINGS AS YOUR PRIMARY CARE-GIVER.

But here’s the INTERESTING THING:  I didn’t cry, I didn’t knock her teeth out.

I thought about what she said. . .

Honestly thought about it.

And I have gone through waves of self-doubt and second guessing my choices and. . .it all comes back to this:

I KNOW MY CHILDREN BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE.

BUT

I ABSOLUTELY APPRECIATE THAT SHE MAKES ME EVALUATE MY PARENTING DECISIONS.  I ABSOLUTELY APPRECIATE THAT SHE CHALLENGES ME – even if I’m not being adversarial.

SHE CHALLENGES ME TO STEP UP MY PARENTING GAME.

I hope that perhaps, like any experienced educator or mentor she saw “our” potential. . .and perhaps she knows Mac’s going to be just fine whether I show him how to draw a stick figure or not. . .

But maybe what she also saw was me becoming comfortable and a bit complacent with my role as a Mother. . .especially since Teddy arrived. . .

CAPABLE OF MORE.  FOR ALL OF US.

Or maybe not?

Maybe it’s not about me and she just really wants Mac to draw a female stick figure?  And to say he’s a boy. . .And she really does think I suck. . .

Whatevs.

Daddy is still a woozel. . .