From around the corner, I heard a baby crying. As I gazed at my son, utterly lost in the land of the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, I remembered sitting in that other room with an inconsolable baby - pacing and cuddling and talking and singing to him and desperate to see the doctor because I was so afraid that something was really, really wrong - or that I had somehow caused him to have an ear infection or swollen tonsils.
He was always sick when he was little. Ear infections plagued us on a regular basis. And once he started pre-school, strep throat made a regular appearance too - often the two would alternate so that the pediatrician was getting a copay every two weeks from us and prescibing antibiotics that my boy never seemed to be off of. Finally, we were sent to an ear, nose, and throat doctor who scheduled an operation to put in ear tubes and remove his adnoids and tonsils. After that there were no more ear infections, no more strep throat. In fact, he almost never got sick at all.
But he's not a fan of going to the doctor. They were always telling him he was too heavy or sticking needles in him or peeking at things we always said should stay covered if you weren't at home.
Today, he had his annual checkup. Between growing taller and being more active and being a bit more conscientious about what he eats, his weight is almost in their "normal" category - almost without trying. He was very pleased to hear that. His heart is good; his lungs are good; in spite of the slouch, his back is straight and strong. He was still uncomfortable when it came to the quick peek down there but got through it without too much trouble (he was NOT pleased when I told him that the older he got, the more invasive that part of the examination would get).
The boy was pronounced a healthy young man.
The final part was getting two shots. His last HPV vaccination and this year's flu shot. I asked the nurse if they had Hello Kitty bandaids (joking with Z) but he got Silver Surfer on one side and Captain America on the other. On his last visit, he finally learned how to take a shot. The secret is relaxing! If you get all tense, your muscles do too - and that hurts! Relax, keep talking about stuff and laugh - it won't hurt (well, a pinch like they always say).
Afterwards, we went and got a donut and some hot chocolate before I took him to school. All done for another year!