When we moved to Florida, I cried when I said goodbye to my pediatrician and her nurse Karen. Karen was the one who helped me out to the car when I had baby twins even though I insisted, “I am totally fine! I can do it myself.” But she didn’t see why I had to. She would scoop up one of the twins, trudge out to the parking lot and help me buckle them into the car. She’s just that kind of nurse.
Now the time had come to find a new pediatrician in Florida. I had gotten a lot of recommendations and because I like to research these things thoroughly, I just picked the closest one.
And that’s how I ended up in Dr. Groton’s (not his real name) office with my 5 kids on a Thursday afternoon. You see in Florida, you have to have all your kids checked out by a Florida pediatrician or they will be kicked out of school.
Dr. Groton seemed nice enough and told me good doctor stuff like, “Be serious about sunscreen. Make sure your kids get enough iron.”
Just as I thought we were going to wrap things up (about the same time 3-year-old Chase was taking the blood pressure of his own leg), Dr. Groton says, “Let me tell you about me.”
And I’m thinking, “Buddy, I would love to hear that you are a Pisces and you like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain but I’ve got five kids here and it’s almost dinner time.”
But he didn’t seem to get my telepathic pleadings and launched into this whole speech about how some people hate him and some people love him. And how he can come off as pompous, but he’s really just blunt. And he doesn’t have all the answers even though parents always want them. And it’s fine to call him on the weekends but not at Friday at 6 pm when my kid has been sick for 3 days.
I’m thinking, “But I don’t even notice my kids are sick until 6 pm on a Friday so how is that going to work out?!”
And then I start to wish this guy really would just tell me about his love for Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.
Finally, after about 30 minutes, he stops talking. It was right after Dylan did a backbend and Harlowe told me for the 107th time she was hungry. I thanked him for his time and hurried home. And that’s when I received Culturelle Kids Chewables in the mail.
Have you heard of these? I hadn’t. The idea is to support a child’s health by fostering the proper balance between good bacteria and the non-beneficial bacteria that resides in the gastrointestinal tract. Kids take these daily in addition to a multi-vitamin. They are 100% sugar, dairy and gluten free. And according to my kids, taste like those Cascadian Farm Fruitful O’s (AKA natural fruit loops).
Wow. Seems like a lot easier and cheaper than going to some long winded pediatrician.
Dylan is the mighty queen of getting colds and I’m trying them out to see if I notice a difference. Apparently, 70% of your immune system is in your digestive tract so a healthy and balanced digestive system plays a big role in strengthening your child’s health.
Here’s a photo of Dylan and Summer after they took the Culturelle Kids Chewables…
Healthy so far.
Meanwhile, my search for the perfect or almost perfect pediatrician continues. I might start looking on the dunes of the cape.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Culturelle. The opinions and text are all mine.
Yay! My sister came to visit with her family. Which was great because I love her. And them. And because it made me feel like I had friends for a few days.
Finally, I had someone who was willing to join me for a mini wine tasting at 10:30 in the morning at the local grocery store.
You’d be surprised but not everyone is willing to try cheesecake flavored wine right after breakfast.
Of course, she did let Dylan watch the news one night, not realizing that I don’t let my 3rd grader watch Rick on television because news can be so very dark and violent. But on the upside, Dylan now understands the political ramifications of getting involved in Syria.
3 1/2 month old Cash and 6 week old Callum met for the first time.
The mostly ignored each other which must be some kind of baby bonding ritual.
My dad was nice enough to babysit for all seven of the kids one night so Rick and I could go out with Quinn and my brother-in-law Erik.
“So what’s your emergency plan?” we asked my dad.
“If there’s an emergency, I’ll wake up Dylan and Summer first. They will each take a twin. And then I’ll carry the two babies.”
“Great!” We all chimed in. Until my sister pointed out that there was no mention of her 2-year-old son Matej. She is such a perfectionist.
The best part of the weekend was spending early Sunday evening in Ft. Lauderdale on the beach.
Those palm trees are real. You know because if it was a backdrop, there probably wouldn’t be a guy eating chips on the far right.
With my first baby, I obsessed over pacifiers. It didn’t help that when Dylan was about 2 months old, some woman came up to me on the street and said, “I hope you are going to get rid of that.” She meant the pacifier. Not the baby.
Yo, people on random streets – we don’t care what you think!
Except I did.
I talked passionately about the pros and cons of pacifiers with anyone. I mean, why else did I get a graduate degree if not to prepare me for the rigorous debate over how infants soothe themselves?!
At 7 months old, I got rid of Dylan’s pacifier. We were done.
Next came Summer. Summer would not take a pacifier. Damn her.
Then the twins. Chase had mad reflux and a pacifier really calmed him down. Harlowe would take it too when she felt like it. But before a year, the pacifiers were gone. I had watched too many parents struggle to get their 3 and 4 year olds off the things. It’s a tough addiction. I didn’t want to go through it.
So before the twins’ first birthday, I threw every last pacifier in the trash. Except for one that I found in the pocket of a winter coat about a year later. I left it there. To this day, it reminds me of my babies when they were babies.
Then Cash came along. Now and then he’ll take a pacifier but he’s not super jazzed about them.
My relationship with the pacifier has gone from something I feared to something I respect. What I came to love about them is that you can take them away at some point. I was a thumb sucker as a kid and you can’t remove your thumb. At least not easily.
I found it very hard to quit sucking my thumb and didn’t want my kids dealing with that. I wanted them to live in a better America where they didn’t have to fear getting caught sucking their thumb at the bus stop.
But I guess Cash isn’t consulting me.
That kid loves his thumb.
mama bird notes:
Here’s what else I’ve been doing in lieu of unpacking. Did you know that very soon in Germany, new parents won’t have to pick a gender for their child? I weigh in on Lifetime Moms.
And have you liked The Mama Bird Diaries on Facebook? Click here and be happy.
Nursing makes you completely starving. You go from, “Hey, I feel good. It’s a nice day out. Is that a chipmunk? He’s a cute little guy” to “Get me food NOW before I am forced to eat that stupid furry dumb chipmunk.” It all happens very fast.
I was driving to Bed, Bath & Beyond for the 3rd time in a week. I had of course for the third time forgotten those giant size coupons but since it takes me about 20 minutes to get out of my gated community, there was no turning back.
As I made my way to B to the third power, I suddenly realized I was famished. There were no snacks in the car and I cursed myself for having it cleaned before leaving NY because there weren’t even some lingering goldfish I could scrape up from the ground. Cash was sleeping in his infant seat so I didn’t want to drag him out of the car and take the chance of waking the sleeping baby giant before I got to my destination.
But then I saw it – a Burger King drive thru! the last time I was at Burger King, it was 1989. I could only imagine that BK had embraced the health revolution and was now offering a delicious egg white breakfast sandwich with turkey bacon and low fat feta cheese.
I would be mistaken. Not one healthy option on the menu. Of course I didn’t know this until I went through the drive thru line where I refused to order anything because I wasn’t going to waste a bunch of fat calories on breakfast. And then I got stuck in the drive thru lane because there was nowhere to exit. I just sat there, trapped and hungry.
Of course, hunger quickly turns to rage and I mentally began preparing the long email I would send to those Burger King corporate big wigs about the importance of offering healthy options on their menu. Because obviously any girl who has an entire house to unpack plus those lingering thank you notes from a baby born 3 months ago, should spend time writing to a fast food joint about nutrition.
I made my Bed, Bath & Beyond run and on the way back, I had another vision of loveliness. A McDonald’s drive thru! I was pretty sure they had some kind of egg white delight McMuffin and I was very excited. I placed my order and was told…
“Breakfast is over ma’am. You have to order off the lunch menu.”
It was 10:36 a.m. Who the hell eats lunch at 10:30 in the morning?
I mean other than my first grader who seriously has to eat lunch at 10:30 am at her school. But hell, I’m not in first grade. I eat lunch when I want too! Except at McDonald’s apparently.
And at that point, I gave up. I pressed “home’ on my GPS and started driving. I became suspicious when I looked down and the driving time was 20 hours and 52 minutes. Yes, I was following directions back to New York.
As soon as I got home to my Florida address, I emailed Burger King about my breakfast dissatisfaction. I’m sure menu changes are imminent. Plus, next week they start serving the french fry burger so obviously we are on the same page.
Apparently my last post made some of you sad. I’m okay! I mean, I’ve done this before. Remember when I left Manhattan and I could hardly find the kids new preschool in the sea of Lululemon apparel and tennis skirts in the suburbs?! Just a few years later, I was wearing a tennis skirt too! And I survived my kids almost burning down the house and the dead raccoon in my yard that wasn’t “just sleeping a lot.”
And yes, I wore my shirt inside out one day this week and no one told me because I don’t have friends but I will survive this epic move too. I know we will be happy here. It’s just all so new right now.
This first week of school was rough for the girls, especially 8-year-old Dylan. She has been crying a lot and wakes up every morning to inform that she hates school.
I said to her this morning, “I’m so proud of you Dylan for getting through your first week of school! You are doing great.”
“You know what’s weird? When you breathe in through your nose sometimes, whatever was in your nose ends up in your mouth,” she responded.
“Yes, that can happen. Did you hear what I said, honey? I am so proud of you. I know school had been challenging. It’s going to get easier for you.”
“So sometimes when that stuff from my nose ends up in my mouth, I just swallow it. Because it was already in my body anyway. So what’s the difference?”
“That’s true honey. Okay. Good talk.”
Meanwhile, the twins just started preschool for the first time. They are attending a Jewish preschool and the Rabbi called to welcome me and my family which I thought was very nice. And then he said…
“So I was reading your blog. I see you’ve already breastfeed at the grocery store!”
Yes, I’ve now discussed breastfeeding while grocery shopping with a Rabbi.