Adventures In Country Living: The Mall and the Doctor

Monday was the last day of standardized testing, so to celebrate we went to the mall for soft pretzels.  This would be the mall that is pseudo-anchored by The Dollar Tree.  I guess you could call this mall quaint. 

It does have a J.C. Penny and a Sears, so it’s not totally un-mall-like.  Heck, we discovered on Monday that it even has a small contingent of Goths who like to hang out in it.  I think that officially makes it a real mall, right?  Sears, Pennys, Bath and Body Works, and a couple of Goths.

And I do mean a couple.  As in two.  One male, one female.  One with teeth.  One without.  One about a decade younger than my mom (that would be the toothless one).  One about a decade younger than my dad.  Both dressed in all black, with jet black hair, uber white faces, and heavy black eye makeup.  Yeah, I hope I’m that cool when I’m that old. (You did catch that sarcasm there, right?)

I’m not sure where they shop in the Radiator Springs Mall since it doesn’t have a Hot Topic.

While I’m on the subject, have any of you ever taken your children into a Hot Topic?  Mine are scared of it.  Even the older two.  It creeps them out.  Not that I shop there a lot, but, you know, for a while?  They did have the best selection of superfluous Twilight merchandise.  Not that I bought any for myself.  Seriously.  I didn’t.

Which isn’t to say I didn’t buy several Twilight Godiva Chocolate bars at Barnes and Noble, but geesh, I buy chocolate anyway.  And?  Barnes and Noble doesn’t scare my children.  Of course, the closest Barnes and Noble is over 30 minutes away and it is not a Wi-Fi hot spot, so I don’t think it should really count as a real Barnes and Noble, but whatever.  It has chocolate.

On to more adventures in country living:

Today we went to the pediatrician for a two-year well check.  Well, actually?  It was the nurse practitioner.  Again.  You may or may not remember that I wasn’t particularly fond of her the last time.  I told her I thought Quinn might have a sinus infection because he’d had a cold and, instead of it clearing up like everyone else’s did, it just hung on and turned into this thick, green, gooey gunk.  So?  She sent us home with two weeks worth of children’s Claritin and told me to give him that first because it was probably allergies. 

Yeah, right.  For the record, the Claritin is on the shelf with the aspirin and the Tylenol.  I never gave it to him, and the gunk cleared up on its own a few weeks later.

She also got rather snippy with me when I told her I didn’t want him to get the chicken pox vaccine or the flu vaccine.  And?  She referred me to the county health department to get his hearing tested.  That was an utter fiasco and waste of my time.

So today I started off by telling her she is never to refer us to the county health department again.  We have insurance, we have a little money in the bank, we can afford to go to a specialist if need be.  I then had to inform her that, yes, he does need vaccinations today, actually.  You see (no she and the nurse didn’t see, because they didn’t actually check his records until I started telling them what’s what) he was adopted internationally and started all his vaccinations late, so he is behind and undoubtedly needs caught up still.

He got some vaccinations.  Just some.  Not all.  Because?  They were out of Hib.  Seriously.  This is not the first time this office has been out of a vaccine one of my children needed.  And?  They also only have DTap.  I want to skip the p (pertussis).  I won’t bore you with my reasons for skipping the pertussis vaccine, but really?  They don’t have just the plain old Td (or whatever you call it when it’s just a vaccine for tetanus and diphtheria)?  Is this normal?  For a pediatrician’s office to be out of routine vaccinations?  On at least a semi-regular basis?  This never happened to us before we moved up to cow country.

*Snort*  There are actually fewer cows around here than there were back home.  This part of the country is even too boring for cows.

The nurse practitioner didn’t get all snippy when I said I still wanted to skip the Varicella and the flu vaccines, so that was nice.  But?  She told me I’d need to take Quinn to . . . drum roll please . . .  the county health department! for the Hib and the Td (and there was great rejoicing throughout the land).


She did refer me to an actual hearing center to have Quinn’s hearing tested, since he still isn’t talking much, but she wanted me to wait at least 10 days before we go so that . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . the antibiotics she is prescribing him for his latest round of think, green, gooey gunk can take effect and clear up the fluid in his ears.  Of course, before giving us the prescription for antibiotics she had to ask me a thousand times if I thought it was allergy related at all, and I had to tell her a thousand times that this happens every stinking time he gets a cold, and we all had this cold, like, a month ago, and we’re all fine now, but he isn’t.

Then she gave us a referral to an outpatient rehabilitation service for a speech evaluation and therapy if needed.  I’m not sure what the difference is between this place and the county early intervention people, so I need to make a few calls and ask a few questions to determine what is what and which I’d rather use.  I’m leaning towards the NOT county early intervention people since I am all for doing whatever I can to not make the government feel like it needs to be bigger, but if their program is better . . . I want what’s best for my kid (no matter how much it galls me).  So, any input on what types of questions would be appropriate to ask before making an actual appointment with the rehab services or early intervention services would be appreciated.

She told me I could take him in for that evaluation at any time; I don’t need to wait for the antibiotics to kick in and his ears to be fluid-free.  Umm . . . all right then.  Maybe I’m just, you know, WHACKY, but it makes more sense to me to have the hearing tested before doing any kind of speech evaluation and/or therapy.  I mean, I really don’t think there is a hearing issue (the kid can distinguish between the f, s, h, k, d, & p sounds), but if there is, wouldn’t that be important to know going into the whole therapy thing?  Wouldn’t it????

And speaking of distinguishing between all of those sounds, Quinn was occupying himself with his new letter/tractor book while we waited for the nurse practitioner to come into the exam room.  This means she got to hear him say letter sounds as he pointed to the letters for just a few seconds before he realized some stranger was listening to him and he clammed up.

I thought she was going to fall out of her chair.  Except, you know, she wasn’t actually sitting at the time.  So I guess I should say I could have knocked her over with a feather, which actually would have been quite fun and somewhat satisfying, but, of course, I didn’t have a feather with me.  At any rate, she kept saying how she just couldn’t get over it, how lots of three and four-year-olds can’t distinguish between some of those sounds, let alone know what letters they go with, blah, blah, blah.  Since that is apparently so impressive (umm, all my kids have been able to do this at this age, so I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal, especially since he still doesn’t have the whole alphabet down yet like the rest of them did), and since he won’t do it in front of strangers, I have decided to make a video of him saying his letter sounds to take to whatever speech evaluation he does wind up having.

What else . . . ? (because this isn’t long enough) . . . Oh, the np made some vague comment about usually asking about problem solving skills at this age, but after seeing him with the letter book she figured he had those.  I said, “Yeah, he has problem solving skills.  If he can’t do something he wants done, he comes and drags me or one of his siblings over to where he was so we will do it for him.”  She seemed rather satisfied with that answer.

I guess now my plan is to do the 10 days of antibiotics, try to figure out the pros and cons of early intervention services vs. outpatient rehab services (makes it sound like my two-year-old is a crack addict), and then get his hearing and speech evaluated.  And really?  How do you evaluate speech if the kid refuses to talk?  Because it’s really not that he can’t talk, it’s that he won’t talk.  Every now and then he slips and says a word, so we know he can talk.  And?  Could it still be the second-language acquisition silent period?  I don’t know.

So, that sums up my son at two years:  a freaking alphabet genius who’d rather die of thirst than say or sign “milk.”

Overall I’d say this visit to the Pediatricians’ office went much better than the last.  The nurse practitioner wasn’t even snippy this time around.

Wait, I take that back.  She did get a bit snippy at one point.  You see, Midge was sitting there in the exam room reading.  Reading loudly.  Unlike Quinn who clams up even more in front of strangers, Midge seizes the opportunity to show off (a behavior I truly abhor in most instances).  I knew she was showing off, fishing for a compliment on her reading, so I calmly said, “Hey Midge, please don’t read so loudly.  We’re trying to talk over here.”

The nurse practitioner shook her head and maybe even, ever so slightly, clucked her tongue at me.  “She’s fine, she’s fine.  You should never say anything to discourage a child from reading!”

Yes, because obviously I do that oh so often, as my barely six-year-old child sits there yelling out a book waaaayyyy above her grade level.

Oh well.  At least she didn’t send us home with more Claritin.

And George, Tewt the Newt is hiding from all the toads in the pond.

4 thoughts on “Adventures In Country Living: The Mall and the Doctor

  1. Christina

    I’m scared of Hot Topic. Unfortunately K discovered they have *the best* 90’s band t-shirts so she wants to go there often. I make Hubby go with her. That place is f.r.e.a.k.y.
    Glad things went a little better today. I hate taking my kids for a check-up and feeling like I have to tell the dr/nurse how to do their job. Like, hello, read the stinkin’ chart!!


  2. Sounds…interesting. 🙂 I have never been in a Hot Topic, and hopefully never will. And, there actually was an H.T. in the mall I grew up with. Of course, it was the mall everyone for 100+ mile radius came to, being the only decent one for nearly 200 miles.

    As for the speech therapy, A.J. did that at about Quinn’s age. We scheduled his hearing test and speech eval the same day, and then he showed up with an ear infection. He never complained about them, so it was a surprise. So, we did the speech eval that day, even though they didn’t have the hearing to go with it. It turned out that it was clearly a speech/language problem, and both of them have quite good (although VERY selective) hearing. So, my opinion is that yes, it would certainly be helpful to know about any hearing issues, but it is not exactly necessary, especially since you have experience saying his hearing is not the problem. Good luck with that.


  3. I wish I’d educated myself better about DTaP before last week. Sam and Eli just had DTaP, Hib, and HVB and within 12 hours Sam was running 104.6 fever. I’ve never had a child run that high of a temp. Scary. We battled for 3 days to keep it under 105. After doing some research, we suspect it was the pertussis (if not a heavy metal mercury overdose). I also wonder if Eli had a reaction. His behavior for those 3 days was beyond atrocious. I’m not a crier and he had me in tears several times each day. Of course, my pediatrician is defensive of the vaccination program, so no help there. They have one more dose to catch up, but we, too, have decided to leave out the Pertussis for that round.

    Good luck with Quinn’s evals. And I agree – clear up the infection, then test hearing, and follow it up with the speech eval. It’s ridiculous to discount the impact of a cold on hearing and hearing on speech. You are a saint to be so kind to that woman.


  4. Oh, you never fail to crack me up! Though I think I might have nightmares tonight about goth folks who are in their… shall we say 50’s or so? Yikes! And such an adventure with the NP – good grief. Hope things go well with getting the evals – sounds like Quinn will sure make it a challenge but it will be good to have a better idea (hopefully) of what is up. I actually think taking a video of what he CAN do when he’s not choosing not to share it is a really good idea.


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