The House of Crying Babies

Another long weekend is done, which means another of Stinkerbelle’s checkups at the doctor is done. It seems that all our doctor’s appointments have been directly following a long weekend. I think that’s because nobody takes a day off after a long weekend to go to the doctor, so there are always timeslots free first thing in the morning — which is the best time for most kids.

Today we went in and there were no patients waiting. Now, Stinkerbelle’s doctor is very, very busy (and also awesome) so there is always a lineup or a waiting room full of patients. So it was very unusual for there to be an empty waiting room. We were followed in by another couple with a tiny wee baby, and I think they were happy for the lack of lineup as well. And we were ushered straight into an exam room.

Now, as we walked down the hall, we heard children in the other exam rooms. It must have been full up with kids today. We got settled in our exam room and stripped That Baby down to her diaper, and began to wait.

And as we waited, we heard doors opening and closing, and various voices conversing. And then it began.

A plaintive cry went up from one of the exam rooms. It was a baby, crying. Probably a wee one, from the sound of the voice, probably under a year.

Stinkerbelle looked at us. “Baby”, she signed. Yes, we told her, there’s a baby in there. She cocked her head a listened a little, but then she went back to her regularly scheduled faffing.

She was getting bored, and we were getting hot and a bit frustrated trying to keep her busy. More sounds of doors opening and closing and conversations out in the office somewhere filtered in to where we sat. And then we heard another cry from somewhere in anther room. Another child, this one older, began crying for all he was worth. I mean, this child was UN-HAPPY. Sobbing and wailing ensued.

Stinkerbelle looked around again. “Baby,” she signed again.

More doors. More talking. This time, a very tiny baby crying.

“Baby,” signed Stinkerbelle. “Baby, baby, baby.” And we said yes, that’s another baby. It’s a sad baby.

She suddenly began to get squirmy and peevish. “All done,” she signed. She had had enough of being there. Whether it was boredom or the sounds of babies crying, I don’t know.

Just then, the very harried-looking nurse came through the door. She looked just a little upset — just a little. We remarked on how there seemed to be a lot of babies there today. She agreed, they had a lot of babies in today. And none of them were very happy with her right now.

You see, the nurse gives all the shots. And she loves babies, absolutely adores them — so it is hard for her on days like this where every baby sees her as the bad guy.

But she absolutely ADORES Stinkerbelle, and fusses on her and loves her every time she comes in. This time, however, That Baby would NOT be won over. She was NOT going to be happy, dammit. She was NOT going to cooperate.

Well, okay. So the nurse was only going to measure and weigh her. Okay then. She deigned to smile for her public.

The doctor came in and we did a checkup, and he checked on a little problem Stinkerbelle was having on her leg, and pronounced her fit and fine. She’s absolutely perfect, he said, and showed us the growth chart. While she was teeny tiny and well behind for awhile in height and weight, she took off and sprouted and at 22.5 pounds and 31 inches, is now absolutely bang on — a little under 50% for weight and a little over for height. Right where she should be. And her walking and talking will likely do the same. She’s not walking on her own yet, or making fully formed words yet, but true to form, she will just decide to do it one of these days, all on her own thankyouverymuch, and then there will be no stopping her. She does things when she is good and ready and not a SECOND before. It’s that stubborn chin coming into play again, I know it.

But all the while we were talking about these things, That Baby was getting more and more peevish. So, when the time came to check in her ears, she was NOT. HAPPY.  And she let the doctor know it.

And then the doctor left, and the nurse came back.

Before Daddy had even gotten her into The Hold, Stinkerbelle began to cry, adding her voices to the other crying babies in the other rooms. When the first needle went in, she began to sob. Big, unhappy tears. But when Daddy turned her around and the second shot went into her other arm…

The crying became a wail. An angry, full-on, “I-will-kill-you-with-my-own-two-little-hands” kind of howl.

That Baby? Was PISSED.

I managed to get BDH to release his grip on the Angry Baby, who was by this time leading the Angry Baby Doctor’s Office Tabernacle Choir of Crying, and picked her up. I KNEW what this sound meant. I didn’t cuddle her. I didn’t comfort her.

I took her to the mirror and showed her That Baby. Because there is nothing That Baby likes more than to look at That Baby.

She brightened up directly.

As we got our stuff together and headed back down the hall to leave the doctor’s office, we could hear the wails beginning from the other babies in the place. Other babies were having a Very Bad Day.

Not as bad as the nurse, I am guessing, who I bet was beginning to feel like she was stuck in a bit of a horror flick, “The House of Crying Babies”, all morning.

5 thoughts on “The House of Crying Babies

  1. I feel bad for that poor nurse, being the cause of all the unhappy babies. I sure wouldn’t want her job!!

    Stinkerbelle sounds like she is signing up a storm, I laughed when she signed “all done”. That is amazing! I think I may have to read up on baby signing. Did you take a course or read books? It sounds like there is way less frustration when you can understand what That Baby wants.

  2. I have seen That Baby sign and she sure lets you know what she wants. I’m sure she wishes she had a few more signs that you didn’t teach her yet to use at the nurse with her big needles.

  3. Hey Vanilla —

    We started That Baby out with the Baby Einstein “First Signs” video with Marlee Matlin. It’s really good and covers the basics very simply. Along with that, we jump on whatever new signs are shown on the Sesame Street podcasts — they are very good at the inclusive stuff and so we’ve picked up a few there. The rest we have from a signing book that BDH has had for years.

    The good side is that preverbal babies can communicate their wants and needs to you and make themselves understood at a much earlier age. The downside seems to be that you have to really work to parallel the verbal language development so you get them learning both, because it’s easier for very small kids to sign (obviously) than it is to speak.

    It has really been a lot of fun, though, and Stinkerbelle is happy to be able to communicate with people. Even if it’s fairly limited right now, it’s something.

  4. Ok, so I just googled Sesame Street podcasts because I have never heard of such things before and all I can say is WOW!!! I never knew such things existed (and here I thought that I was a computer nerd)! I can’t believe how much Sesame Street has changed since I watched it many, many, many years ago. I’ve book marked it for future reference. Thanks for the tip!

  5. The Sesame Street podcast ROCKS. It’s 5 minutes of fun around a theme word, like “breakfast” or “laundromat” or “swim”, or around a theme like the parts of the body or taking a bath or something. The 5 minutes is a variety pack, so for kids who like songs there’s usually a song, or a muppet skit, or some animation — something for everyone. And at 5 minutes, it’s just the right length for the younger set so they don’t lose interest.

    And the best part is that they are always multicultural and inclusive so there are people of all backgrounds and skin colours, and there are kids with Downs, and people doing sign language… it’s so much better than watching a show full of predominantly white kids or adults. It’s more like real life. Sesame Street is full of WIN.

    We have our travel laptop now on the shelf beside the kitchen table, so I put on a podcast while I prepare breakfast or while That Baby has her bottle and she LOVES it. She has learned so much from them, too.

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