We've had two Monday mornings in a row that have involved medical care for Maybelle. Because she has Down syndrome, it's a good idea for us to have various parts of her checked on a regular basis, so last Monday we did an audiology visit, and this morning we had her eyes checked.
Here's what I'd like to say: MUSC is a solid, reputable medical facility. They do a great deal of excellent work, I'm sure. But some of their pediatric clinicians aren't exactly what you'd hope for, in terms of their interactions with patients and parents. Let's just say that as we biked home from today's visit, we taught Maybelle to say the word "asshole." She did a good job with it.
Some quick tips for clinicians:
- You're dealing with a child who's almost three. Let's expect that she's going to be wiggly and not want you messing with her ears or eyes. If you make us wait a long time, she's going to start unfastening her shoes, or trying to slide down and play Ring Around a Rosie. This is not a surprise, something that you get to be visibly irritated by, or something that allows you to characterize her as "difficult." Her behavior made perfect sense to both parents, since we, too, were feeling bored and fidgety.
- If you identify a child as "difficult" to her obviously doting mother, you should expect the mother's smiling face to suddenly stiffen. Your resident was visibly uncomfortable. Thank you, resident, for looking shocked and stating immediately, "Most three year olds could be characterized as 'difficult.'"
- Talk to the parents. Explain to us what you're doing and why. If you can manage to do so with even a vaguely cheerful affect, that would be a plus.