The other day we took our daughter to the doctor for her 18 months examination. It is quite different this time around as she has grown up enough to know her surroundings and exert resistance wherever she is made uncomfortable. Personalities develop as they grow. It was so much easier for us to tackle her when she was younger, but now we have to be at war with her for making her sit through the procedure.
First comes the deception. Our daughter is fond of going out, she loves to go out, anywhere, doesn’t matter, just out of the house and she is a happy camper. She just doesn’t want to get back home. So obviously we told her that we are going bye bye and she was pretty happy to accompany us and was really jolly. She had no idea what was coming though.
Stripping is usually easy at home, whenever we have to change her dress. But when you are in the hospital she gets suspicious, “Hey why the hell are you stripping me off here in a strange little room. This is not good at all, something is wrong”. Still, she is happy to be in a different surrounding, something to give her a feeling that she is outside her home at some fun place. She doesn’t mind being in just the diaper and hangs around the exam room, tries to pull open the “child proofed” cupboard, skates the wheeled doctor’s chair … whee … whee…all that.
But when it comes to the Nurse and the doctor trying to perform a certain simple procedure like examining the eyes, ears, vitals she is done. She cries and yells out loud and gives the best of abilities in resisting the inevitable. The doctor promises it will be just a few easy steps and reassures her that she will get a reward in the end. What seems like an easy few steps is an ordeal for the babies as they are not used to it (only 18 months old, duh!). All through these, she threw her hands up and around so much that she would have saved quite a few baskets in a basket ball game. I guess she was feeling it like a roller coaster ride. Thankfully there were no shots(Vaccination) that day.
When all was done, it was time for the reward. I didn’t even remember that there was going to be a reward until the doctor reached for the cupboard saying “ok, now its reward time”. He pulled out a small pink plastic duck and handed it to my daughter who was still sobbing. She stopped sobbing but now gave a strange look. I guess this is what she should have been thinking:
“A duck? I sit through all your peeking around and poking over my body and all I get is a plastic pink duck. Come on dude? you don’t have anything else, how about a cell phone or an iPod? or atleast a toy phone? oh, what a rip off! I mean look, this thing can’t even make some squeeky duck noise …. I have to make quack quack quack noise on my own!”.
But for some strange reasons we only heard “Quack Quack Quack” and not the rest of the words. I imagined advising my daughter “Honey! It is not the reward that matters, It is the experience, the journey that is the reward”
She must have said “Oh, yeah you mean the car ride from home to here? yeah that was fun! better than this lame duck”
I imagined “See, you get the hang of it already. It is that easy!”
“Quack quack” said my daughter and we drove back home merrily expecting the rest of the day.