Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Peanut and the Paediatrician

Since Peanut is a month old now, it was time to take her for her vaccination today. This was a slightly less pleasant experience than taking her out for Rakhi.

Getting there was easy enough, despite a bad traffic jam that got us 10 minutes late. But Peanut slept peacefully in her car seat, and we found the place despite the silly receptionist's warped directions, obtained on the phone by my mother.

I had been worried about reaching late for the appointment - and therefore, it was really irritating to have to wait for a whole hour before the doctor finally saw us. Of course, his dumbass receptionist could have told us he was running an hour late when my mother called for directions but clearly it did not occur to her. We were the only people there with an infant - there were a couple of other families in the waiting room with us - with their totally ghastly children.

Now, before you accuse me of bad-mouthing other people's kids - let me tell you, it's not that I think only my baby is cute - I think plenty of other babies are cute -but the specimen in the doctor's office were just NOT CUTE.

One was a female of about 6 years who wailed like a banshee everytime something was denied her - such as climbing up the stairs to the exit. To top it off, it was a completely strange wail - it didn't even seem to emanate from her, but came at you from all directions in a strange, disembodied manner. I fervently wished they would let her run up the stairs and just leave. Especially because I was afraid her constant screaming would wake up Peanut, who would be sure to be hungry and cranky - I shuddered at the thought of the resultant cacophony of wails that would surely ensue - but Peanut has become immune to such disturbances (she is used to ignoring Vijay's attempts to wake her up). I only softened towards the banshee for a milisecond when she pointed at Peanut, and delightedly shrieked 'Baba'. But then she started tantrumming loudly again and my heart hardened, and I was back to wishing she would run up the stairs and vanish forever.

The other kid was a squealing bratty boy of around 3, who was being carried around by his doting bespectacled potbellied middle-aged Papa. They had devised an interesting game together. The Papa would indulgently hand the little boy a ball, and the kid would toss it immediately onto the floor. It would then be picked up and handed back to him, to be thrown back down again - ad nauseum. The most interesting thing about this game was that the doting Papa obviously thought that since he was performing the task of carrying his own son, everyone else in the room should pick up the ball from the floor and hand it over to him, every single time - so that he could pass it on to his son to throw down again, and so on. Strangely, the other people in the room were complying each time with dull and listless expressions on their faces, bending over to retrieve the ball from under their seats, while doting Papa watched with a patient yet smug expression on his face. By this time, I was so irritated that I was waiting for the ball to roll my way just so that I could kick it straight to the moon - but it didn't happen.

Finally, it was time for us to go in and see the doctor. Now, we have met this doctor before, at the time of Peanut's birth and ten days after, and he's an oldish man with some strange quirks. First of all, it seems that these doctors are a little too used to babies and have a slightly nonchalant attitude towards them, flipping them over and patting them up and down a little too roughly ( for my taste, anyway). Second of all, he insists on referring to Peanut as a 'he' despite my interjecting many times to tell him its a girl, and pointedly calling her 'Bitiya' and 'Baby girl' many times in front of him. Finally, he keeps calling me Vasundhara despite my correcting him the first few times 'Doc, it's Yashodhara'. Eventually, I just gave up on both counts, dully responding to his 'Vasundhara, hold the baby like this, now' and agreed that 'He' is gaining weight pretty decently.

Anyway, we had asked him all the relevant questions, Peanut was duly weighed and height-ed and then it was time to get on with the business of the injection. I watched, horrified, as the doctor jabbed her in the thigh and her face turned the bright red colour of a ripe tomato and she wailed in pain, so much that actual tears fell from her eyes for the first time ever. She was quite inconsolable, the momentary pain of the injection turning into the realisation that she was hungry and cranky. We left in an even more hurried manner than we had come in, and brought the baby home quickly.

Now, I'm sure this is no big deal for more experienced moms out there, but it really wasn't a nice experience for a new Mom. Vijay is in Bombay and couldn't be there today, much to his chagrin. However, I am personally glad he wasn't around, because I had visions of him jumping to her defense in a mad frenzy, grabbing the needle from the doctor and jabbing him with it.

Just to end this with two rather telling pictures:

Before: In the waiting room, comfortable in her young Mashi's arms.

After: Back at home, with a very hurt expression on her face. She seems to be asking 'Why me?'


  1. Dear little Peanut, life is difficult.
    Loved the before and after pics!

  2. hmmm, let's see:
    1. i'm glad to see that peanut has not made you 'completely maternal' - you continue to dislike children in general.
    2. i'm a little surprised you didn't bop the doctor on the head. are you sure you're telling us the whole story? are you sure there isn't a dazed looking doctor somewhere in delhi muttering away "that sinister vasundhara, just wait until she brings her son here."?
    3. vasundhara isn't a bad name. maybe you should consider it for peanut. then not only would your names rhyme but it would be very amusing when you go back to the doctor!

  3. Poor baby. I exclusively breastfed as well (barring a couple of emergencies) for the first 4 months. (Then began juice etc.) But for doc visits I learnt to keep some formula handy. Of course, thanks to Murphy's Law, once I started carrying formula I never needed it.

  4. i have to say sue's comment cracked me up. it's so true. murphy's law comes into existance rather forcefully once the baby arrives, in my experience too.
    this was her second set of shots, or her first?
    i remember crying when hana was administered hers. she turned blue from screaming and not taking a breath. the nurse was so casual about it. i could have killed her that minute, i could have.

  5. Been lurking around your blog for a while now, but I absolutely need to leave a comment on this post. You should see the family that lives on our floor. Gah!!! The parents allow the 2 small boys to shriek and run up and down the corridor at all odd hours of the day and night. And watch lovingly as they use our door as their goalpost. Our protests fall on deaf ears of course. One of these days..I swear Im gonna throw them off the balcony..along with their parents!!

    Having said that, poor Peanut. I remember going with my mom for my sisters vaccination and wanting to clobber the doctor for making her wail like that.

  6. "Especially because I was afraid her constant screaming would wake up Peanut, who would be sure to be hungry and cranky "
    This used to happen with me too. Kiddo is a very light sleeper. I used to get very irritated when there used to be noise around when he sleeps. But kiddo is quite difficult, even a "pin drop" wakes him up...I know its quite difficult during shots. I just stay away from kiddo those times, and allow G to accompany him.

  7. Hi yashodhara,

    Have been reading your blog for a while now and never delurked...just thought I'll say hi!

    Looking at the last pic, one can easily says she looks a lot like least she has ur nose :D

    *runs away quickly to avoid peanut's papa's anger that is sure to follow this observation :D*

  8. PS: Loved the graphic account of the waiting room specimens!

  9. PS: I'd wear sarees when I was breast-feeding my kids. Very convenient.

  10. Y, can you pl take another appointment with the doc for this weekend. I know you havent paid him fully for his services and I would love to settle the dues.

    On a separate note, just cant wait to be there !

  11. Very, Very "Awww", that last pic :) ... if more of those pics mean she has to get a few more shots, Please Y - take her to the Doc (please dont hate me). Very Very "Awww".

    What have you named her, by the way? if you have already, that is.

  12. Dipali: yes, well, life is difficult - but for me, managing an infant along with a sari will make it even more difficult :-) - we don't want to flash kids in the paediatrician's office - no matter how ghastly they are...

    Ganju: I think I have been a little unfair on the doc. See reply to Vijay below.

    Sue: A solution needs to be found. A breast pump will be purchased. Let's see if it works.

    Mona: This was her second set of shots, first set was at birth - thankfully, we missed those as callous nurses administered them.

    Ron: Indulgent parents, bah!!

    Aargee: I think I spoke too soon. Peanut is refusing to sleep today and the slightest noise is making her get up, all wide eyed and 'hey, why the hell am I not in someone's lap??'
    - followed by wailing...

    Chandni: run, run like the wind...

    Vijay: At least the doc gives us time, unlike the one in Bombay - I think that's why we were made to wait an hour...but still, its' better than being rushed out with half your questions unanswered. And it's his JOB to administer the vaccination, you can't dislike him for THAT. Don't be so aggressive. What happened to my mild mannered husband?!

    Stuti: You better run away too or Vijay will come after you with a cricket bat in his hand - get her shots to get some cute pics, it seems! Run, run...

    Her name is Anoushka.

  13. Nice name. Go for an electric pump, they are less painful and work better. I like the Pigeon and Avent pumps.

  14. Very pretty name, sounds intelligent too ... but atleast as long as she doesn't grow as big as her name, hope she'll continue to be called Peanut :)

    And i am bringing out a white flag for Vijay, please don't kill me, please don't hate me - blame your wife, she took that pic... it's just so.. so.. irresistable .. yummy... aww.. cho chweet (can't believe i wrote that last bit)

    love your posts Y, rock on.

  15. The dinosaur was talking of 'the good old days'.

  16. I like your style :). Poor peanut. Squiggles was miserable too after her shots. Reading your posts reminds me of early days with her though that was only a couple of months ago.

    Your other post on an action packed weekend reminded me so much of how DD used (and still does to a certain extent) to try different things. Once he got drunk wiht his BIL and insisted on waking Squiggles up, had to drag him away by his shorts which is no easy task if you see how big he is. Kept trying to make her comfortable with disastrous results!


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