Being the first born in a family has got to suck. I wouldn’t know since I am an only child. But as my son says, it has its benefits and drawbacks. For one, you get to stay up later, you get to watch different programs than the younger kids and you can go places by yourself without a parent. As a young kid, you are practically glued to your parents, wishing desperately that you could do what your older sibling is doing.
As a parent, I know the first child getts stuck with the ugly end of being the oldest. More chores, more expected from you. And of course, you’re the test dummy for your parents as together you reach milestones in life that neither of you have had to deal with before. Here’s one good example: Yesterday.
At what age do you need to leave the room when you child is having a physical?
I have discovered the age is DEFINITELY six-teen! I have four children, two boys, two girls. For years I have scheduled their yearly physicals by the sexes, the girls together on one day and the boys on another. It just makes life easier, two appointments instead of four individual ones. Two weeks ago I took the girls, no problem. They’re ages are fourteen and nine. Of course they had to strip down to wearing those over sized paper towels they call disposable gowns. No problem for me since hey, we have the same equipment. Plus the girls feel more comfortable with me being in the room, even though the doctor is a female.
But with the guys…..oh boy. My son’s are sixteen and ten. In the beginning, the appointment was the normal talk to the doctor and question and answer about recent illnesses, family medical history, etc. Then came the disposable gowns. At this point I new it would be a while before the doctor came in so I tuned out, pulled out my writing notebook and proceeded to work on my chapter outline for the book I’m currently working on. Hey, making every moment count here. Maybe, just maybe if I hadn’t been so sidetracked, a warning bell would have gone off in my head, saying ‘Warning: your teen-ager is not a baby any more!’
Before I get to that part of the story, I must share this:
Of course I would have stayed for the exam for my ten-year-old son, he’s still young enough to need a parent in the room. But I should have known to check my son BEFORE we went to the doctor’s office. What do I mean by that? Last year when we went for a physical exam, my son informed me once the nurse left instructions to take off all their clothes, that he had gone commando that morning….he was wearing no underwear. So when he wore the extra large paper towel he would be completely naked.
*holds head down on keyboard*
Talk about embarrassing! But did he learn from that experience? Did either of us learn????? Apparently not. I was so wrapped up in other things I had on my to-do-list that I forgot to make sure the boy was wearing underwear. Yep, he was commando again….and had on no socks. My son was wearing nothing but an outer shell of shirt (he had on two of those since it was cold that morning…go figure!), pants and shoes. That’s it. For a moment I felt like the worlds worst mom. I mean, you’d think the boy had no clean clothes at home. I just washed clothes on SUNDAY!!!!
*sigh* I chalk that up to my son being himself. My husband and I have a constant battle with him on a daily bases of putting on underwear. Maybe I’ve given birth to a kid that will one day live in a nudest colony. Hmmmm…
But that aside, I still wasn’t thinking about my sixteen-year-old son and whether or not I needed to be in the room as the doctor examined his body parts. Okay, sure, this day and age, you have to be aware of who puts their hands on your children. But next time I’m gonna be sure to face the opposite direction. I was once again, looking down at my writing when my son got a case of the giggles. That got my attention so I looked up….and got an eye full that I had no need to see ever again.
I thought it was enough seeing my son in his tighty-whities when he was in the hospital for a week fighting double pneumonia last year. This was worse.
The last time I saw my son completely nude was when he was eight. Uh, that was eight years ago and a lot has changed. I swear I have been traumatized.
The only thing I could do was sit there, put my head in my hands and laugh. I laughed at my own embarrassment, laughed at the fact that he was giggling like a little kid as the doctor did the whole exam, and laughed at my younger son who was falling out of the chair, cracking up because the doctor said testicles. I’m laughing right now, tears rolling down my face as I type.
So, what have I learned this year??? Next year, I’m doing separate appointments. Next year I will ask my son if he’s comfortable with me being in the room (honestly, I don’t think he cared. After all, he asked to hold my hands when he got three shots!). But most of all, if I am present, I will definitely stare at the ceiling or at least turn my back!