b Papa Dog's Blog: Paediatrician, Haemoglobin, Plaeground

Papa Dog's Blog

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Paediatrician, Haemoglobin, Plaeground

I stayed home today on account of medical appointments, none of them mine. In the morning Mama Dog had to go to the dentist so I had to stay home with Baby Dog. That worked out nicely because little girl went down for a nap shortly after Mama Dog left and while she slumbered I was able to get through a stack of freelance work that I had expected to plague me through the weekend. In the afternoon Baby Dog had her ten-month appointment with the paediatrician. She’s reached a bunch of developmental milestones since her eight-month appointment, so we were eager to show off her new maturity. She sat up unassisted on the examination table and babbled a blue streak. She even got to play with the stethoscope. What she didn’t do is stand up, which is a tad behind schedule but not real cause for alarm. In fact, Dr. Chuckmorris managed to get Baby Dog to plant her feet properly by setting her on the floor and dangling the stethoscope just out of reach. It won’t be long. Baby Dog also had a couple of immunisation shots and a blood test, which showed that her haemoglobin is so plentiful that she can probably burst through steel doors and leap tall buildings in single bounds. Assuming she manages to stand up first to do it.

As she was leaving the examination room, Dr. Chuckmorris waved goodbye to Baby Dog. “She’s knows how to wave now,” I volunteered, proud papically. Dr. Chuckmorris waited, all expectation. Baby Dog stared blankly at her. “Well, I guess she’s not going to do it now,” I admitted. Then Baby Dog waved, and seeing the positive reaction from all the big people, grinned hugely and waved some more. My little contrarian. So she misses her cues. I said she knew how to wave and she proved I knew what I was talking about. It’s amazing what being a parent does to your sense of proportion of achievements. I felt like she was graduating summa cum laude in something or other. Do they offer advanced degrees in hand waving? Possibly at UC Santa Cruz. Barefoot in overalls, Baby Dog picked at the Band-Aid on her toe from the blood sample as we wheeled her away in the stroller. The nurse had pointed out to her that it was a Garfield Band-Aid, but Baby Dog was unimpressed. I had similarly drawn her attention to the picture of Big Bird on the disposable diaper we were forced to use because we had forgotten to bring any of the cloth ones with us. “So far she’s had a branded-character-free life,” Mama Dog said.

An outing that consists of getting prodded, probed, and stuck with needles probably isn’t much of a treat for anyone, let along a ten-month-old. To make it up to her, we walked over to a nearby park where all the Southeast Asian nannies in Elmwood were gathered, taking in the sun and letting their charges burn off energy. The baby swings were occupied, but there was a very tempting slide – tempting at least to Daddy. I scooped Baby Dog out of her stroller, set her on the slide, and held her as she scooted down the ramp. She seemed kind of baffled at first, but we repeated the exercise a bunch of times and she quickly got into it. It was her first time on a slide. “That’s the sort of thing that daddies like to do,” Mama Dog observed. It was hardly a reckless game, but I guess a little scarier one than this particular mummy was prepared to play. Baby Dog seemed to like it. When one of the baby swings opened up, we switched that. Baby Dog had already tried swings several times, so it was less scary for everybody. Mama Dog pushed from the front, I pushed from the back. After that seemed a bit routine, we started stopping the swing suddenly, grabbing it when it had reached the apex. Baby Dog squealed and laughed at each little surprise. She had only cried a little bit after the vaccinations, and by now she seemed to have forgotten all about it.

Other obligations beckoned. We surrendered the swing to the next baby and headed back to the car. “I wish,” I said to Mama Dog on the way home, “I got to spend every day this way.”

2 Comments:

Anonymous Chien de Maman Duvalier said...

Actually, I had said that Baby Dog has led a "licensed character free existence" so far. No Elmo or Teletubby onesies for our New-Yorker-reading girl!

One thing I did today while Papa Dog stayed home was visit a new Sally Ann (Salvation Army) store in Berkeley, after my dentist appointment. While there, I found this petite-sized faux brown vinyl Superfly coat -- with big lapels and everything -- that would probably fit Baby Dog in a few months. It was dirt cheap and I thought about buying it, but then thought it would probably never get worn -- that merely telling this anecdote would be funny enough. Baby Superfly. I love it!

9:18 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

What a WONDERFUL day (minus the pokes!)!!!!

8:54 AM  

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