Sitting in the pristine white room filled with exact corners and freshly mopped linoleum flooring. The walls adorned with child safety and wellness posters. Don’t forget “First Tooth First Dentist Appointment”. Cool air pours into the room from a vent in the ceiling. It was a quiet, stale place, until we arrived.
The boys being 17 months apart, enables me to schedule their well-child check-ups together. The efficiency and reduction in driving compels me to this insanity. In our waiting room are all the things I described above but now with the bustle of four tiny hands and feet running, climbing and exploring. Hank asking for a tongue depresser because he thinks it is the same stick he used to feed birds at the zoo last summer. He wants to keep it until we go back. He believes he will keep it handy for just that occasion. For a few minutes he is delighted with the small piece of timber, it has significance to him. Gideon is a very tall 19 month old and just the right height to press most of the buttons in the room with ease. The doctor, I presume, stands outside the room collecting handouts while her medical assistant readies our boy’s immunizations.
The once pristine room is now quite busy and crowded by the three of us. I think to myself, “When will they come back?” After only ten eternal minutes, I know I should have packed more snacks. A lot more snacks. Perhaps a full picnic basket. Nevermind the part about it being 9am and the full breakfast we ate before we left the house. I am raising boys. The seemingly endless hunger starts early, this early. What is that smell? Oh, dear Gideon. I collect the diapering paraphernalia and change poopy diaper number 329,438 in under 23 seconds with one eye on my three-year old and one arm on Gideon. Come on doc!
I have come to like this chaos. Afterall, this is not the first well-child check-up I scheduled back-to-back. Part of me laughs at the fact that things in the life of small children are so exciting and random. We can enter an otherwise orderly room and bring clamor and laughter. The sounds of buttons clicking and lights on the exam bed going on and off. I pray, “Lord, please don’t let them break anything while we’re here.” I doubt we have enough money aside to cover a replacement ‘light scopey thingy’ that hooks up to a medical exam table.
The doctor comes in. It’s clear she is accustomed to the calm of her office and here we are to give variety to her day. The appointment goes well. I learn the boys are growing like weeds and that we should be flossing their teeth. I think to myself, “Hehehe flossing. Yikes, I hope they don’t lose their teeth. Wait they have baby teeth. I hope they do. I hope they grow healthy adult teeth.” Then my mind quickly returns to the conversation. The doctor doesn’t seem to notice my internal conversation. “How many blocks can each boy stack?” I visualize play at home trying to see the number of blocks each boy rests atop another. I’m not really sure about blocks. I want to say,
“They stack trucks.”
After the doctor leaves the medical assistant enters the room with vaccines for Gideon. The sweet unsuspecting and smallest love of my life. I hold him down and 1-2-3-4 all the pricks are over and he wails. I tell him he did good and soon after resting him in my lap he seems to have forgotten while we embrace. I love my boys so much!
Dear Jesus, thank you for being in control. Thank you for giving me two boys to enjoy and the wisdom to know this time in our lives will zoom by. I will try to take in the chaotic and fun moments so they might always live in my heart. Amen.