Saturday, September 4, 2010
The Professional Mother
Fourteen days into motherhood and I was already a professional. I knew which cry sounded hungry, which cry sounded sleepy and which cry sounded like my own. I was a professional with a slight hormone imbalance.
So, when the day arrived for my son’s first pediatric appointment, I did not doubt my ability to handle the situation. I packed two bottles of formula incase we were away from home base for longer than four hours. Since I was not familiar with the temperature of the office, I brought three changes of clothes: summertime, mid-autumn and dead of winter. Rather than chance a miscalculation of diaper changes, I took the whole bag of Pampers as well as a new container of wet wipes. I also grabbed the two folders of paperwork I obtained from the hospital nursery. I was not going to be caught unprepared!
Loaded down with my purse, two full diaper bags and a baby carrier, I approached the front desk.
“Garrett McGrevy for his two week checkup, “I panted to the extremely young receptionist.
“Do you have an insurance card?” she asked me in between pops of her bubble gum.
“Of course,” I replied.
She handed me a form to fill out while she left to make of copy of my card. I finished the form, in record time, and looked around the unseasonably cool waiting room. I saw a woman flipping through a magazine while her baby sat in his car seat on the germ infested carpet. He was directly in front of her and she was propping up a bottle with her foot.
Appalled, I turned away just in time to see another mom pick a pacifier up off the floor, wipe it on her sleeve and pop it back into a tooth filled mouth.
“Amateurs,” I gasped and handed the form back to the receptionist.
“Wait!” she said as I turned to find an empty seat. “You handed me the wrong card.”
“Um, I don’t think so,” I answered, “we only have one insurance card.”
“The information does not match,” she told me and pointed towards the form. I noticed little heart stickers on her fingernails. She was pointing to the section regarding information about the patient’s mother and father.
I looked closer. Suddenly, I realized that on the line reading “mother’s name and father’s name” I had not written my husband and myself.
Instead, I had printed the names of my parents!
That was when my career as a professional, intelligent mother ended. I had the job two whole weeks before a wet finger tip became as good as a wash cloth and tepid formula was warm enough.
I had a good run.