This week is well child visit week here at the Skiff’s. Our doctor does not see more than two patients in a family on the same day so today and the next two days are Doctor Days. Doctor Days are approached with the planning and precision of a war campaign in the Kingdom of Skiff. From what time of year, to order the children’s appointments are stacked in, to what time of the day. It is all very thoroughly thought out. I always try to get them in around 10ish; this is prime time in the Skiff universe (after breakfast but before lunch…with five BOYS everything revolves around food ;-). The appointments must be scheduled in the summer, therefore avoiding schooling conflicts. Benny and Paul are always scheduled together, then the twins and Sam gets his very own special day (he isn’t on the spectrum but he has auto immune issues making his appointments take longer)
The morning of the appointments it’s a mad dash to get everyone together and out of the door on time. “Does everyone have clothes on?” “Yes that does include pants!” “What do you mean you can’t find your shoes? You were wearing them last night!” “No somebody did not break in and steal your shoes! Go find them.” “Is everyone dressed? _________, why don’t you have pants on yet?!?” “Everyone in the van now, we only have ten minutes to get there (The doctor’s office is exactly 7 minutes from our house…..yes I’ve timed it. Don’t judge me :)” “You can put your shoes on in the van.” “_______, how did you manage to get ketchup on your clean shirt, we had pancakes for breakfast…..never mind I don’t want to know! Just change your shirt in the van”
After a harrowing 7 minute drive to the doctors, I’ll spare you the scary details, we arrive. As we’re running into the office, I will notice one child still is not wearing shoes but instead has them dangling in his hands, this happens EVERY time without fail and is never the same child twice in a row. I sit the offending child in a chair to finish shoeing his feet as I book it to the sign in desk with .05 seconds to spare. You may be thinking, why don’t you get there earlier? Believe me this is the BEST possible plan. Any earlier would mean an extended waiting room time and that just isn’t fair to the general population. Almost immediately the two with an appointment are called back. The nurses double team the schedulee’s on their vitals as I herd the other three back to the examination room. The view in the examination room becomes comical as my five boys, the doctor, two nurses and I squeeze into the tight space. From the outside I’m sure we look like sardines, all be it very attractive sardines, crammed in a can. Every time one person turns the other have to shift to make room. Yes I’m sure Abbott and Costello would have had all kinds of fun with this situation. The doctor then attempts to ask me the relevant questions to child being examined which I attempt to answer while trying to handle the other four children. By this time at least one is always in a meltdown. It seems this much close physical contact is not preferable for kids on the spectrum. Yes it all kinds of fun. I do believe my doctor deserves combat pay on the days we are scheduled. Finally it is over; everyone gets a sticker and a lollipop and we head home. Wash and repeat the next two days and follow up in a year.