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Monday, October 18, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

So how much patience do you have? Think you have what it takes to be a parent? I’ve never considered myself to be a patient person at all, so I have to be proud of myself this morning.

Reid had an appointment with an ENT specialist because of his ear infection and tonsil issue. He’s doing better after a week on antibiotics, but he doesn’t seem to be completely over it. I had to take both boys, so I was dreading this trip to a new doctor. I left early, expecting heavy traffic, plus I’ve never been to this particular doctor and wanted to allow time to find the place. Reid and Dylan were happy to be going somewhere in the car and did their “chair dancing” to music on the radio the whole way there. I was thinking they were in such a good mood, this just might turn out to be an easy doctor visit.

The boys ran toward the building, racing to the big blue button that they’ve figured out opens doors on every building. “C’mon Dylan”, Reid ordered. He’s become quite comfortable with ordering his brother around. We had to take the elevator, and I still have to wonder why every elevator has the alarm button down low enough for a two-year-old to reach. We just can’t ride an elevator without ringing the alarm! But then I was a little boy once, so I understand the fascination with buttons.

Nick had filled out all the paperwork online and printed it out, so all I had to do was sign in and wait. The woman called me over and asked for my ID to make a copy. Then she asked me, “Who are you? We need a relative here for this.” Nick had used his name on the paperwork as the father, but I had noticed my name in there somewhere too. “I’m the father”, I responded. Then she asked me who the other man was on the paper work. “He’s their other father,” I said. “Oh. OOOHHH!”, the lady said. Before I even thought, I told her, “It’s all very ‘Modern Family’”, and she laughed.

The boys found a toy in the corner and I sat down to wait with a magazine. Reid started to play with brochures, and I told him to leave them alone. “NO”, he said. So I took the brochure display and moved it up where he couldn’t reach them. And so it began, 40 minutes of the best kicking and screaming tantrum any two-year-old could muster. People in the waiting room were looking at me like, “OK, my life might really suck, but at least I’m not that guy over there with the screaming kid!” There was nothing I could do but shut my brain off. If I only had one kid, I could have taken him outside the office, but I had to stay with Dylan. I maintained my patience and tried to ignore the screaming, holding Reid the entire time. After about 20 minutes, we were called back to the exam room where he continued screaming. Surprisingly, he settled down for a hearing test (the woman was great with kids) and did fairly well after that. The doctor wants to see if the fluid goes away in his ears on its own in the next week, and if it doesn't, he'll need tubes put in. We'll be back for another round at this doctor's office.

I have no idea what Reid's problem was, or why my taking away brochures set off such a long tantrum, but that’s a two-year-old for you. Once we were done, Dylan decided it was his turn for a tantrum, apparently angry about his choice of stickers they offered him. He fell on the floor, pulled his shoes off and threw them across the waiting room. Luckily, Reid had stabilized by now, so I just put Dylan’s shoes in the diaper bag, picked up Dylan as he kicked and screamed (which isn’t easy because he’s now around 33 pounds) and headed for the elevator. Dylan’s fit was short and sweet, as he settled down to push the alarm in the elevator on the way down.

So the moral of the story is, patience can be learned. And must be learned when you’re the parent of two-year-old twins. Or maybe the moral is, two-year-olds and going out in public don’t mix!


Mark said...

I'm glad that you were able to "play nicely" with the receptionist. Some would be totally offended by her not recognizing you as the 2nd father. I tend to go your route.
I think that I am way past caring if my kids through a fit in public. I think that it ended the day that I gave Johnny a spanking in Wal-Mart. At that moment, I realized, I have finally become pure white-trash. I had arrived. The rest is history.
Your Friend, m.

GayDad said...

lol! If you can't spank your kids at WalMart, where can you? The woman who taught the parenting class I took had a nice thought for these public situations: "I'm not here to create lasting relationships with anyone around me".

Mike and Mike said...

The last time one of our daughters, Rose this time, threw a fit was in Kohls. We had the Teddybear tethers on them and Eva went one way and Rose went the other. As my husband was the direction of Eva, that's the way we went. Rose threw herself on the ground and had a screaming fit.

As the floor was a nicely waxed floor, I calmly dragged my child, kicking and screaming on her belly, down the aisle until Eva met up with daddy and I could release her tether. Meanwhile, two ladies with kids in tow, waved bye to Rose and laughed hysterically.

It's amazing how quickly one learns to become deaf at strategic moments.

GayDad said...

How old are your girls Mike? I'm finding that these "four-alarm tantrums" as I call them are almost a daily occurrence between the two of them. I'm hoping it's just because they're 2 and a half because it's a lot to handle for me.

Mike and Mike said...

18 Months. That being said, I have heard boys can be worse the girls. They don't have tantrum often, but when they do, it's generally because they are over tired. For the most part, they are pretty mellow.

According to my mother, my twin and I rarely had tantrums. Luck of the draw?

GayDad said...

My mom claims I was a perfect toddler too. Since I really don't remember much from my first 3 years, I don't know. I think moms get "selective memory" later in life!