I have the nicest pediatrician in the world. His name is Dr. Blinderman and he works in Hewlett, NY here on Long Island. He is happy, sweet, patient and kind, the kind of doctor any kid would be lucky to have. And my daughter is a beast to him.
It all started well. As a baby, Sofia would smile and giggle and practically flirt with Dr. B. She genuinely liked him and would cry for a few seconds after the shot at the end of the appointment but would forget all about it by the next one. At about 12 months she started to ‘get it’. This nice man was going to stick a needle in her at the end of the appointment and she decided she no longer liked him. From then on, doctor appointments have been pure hell for everyone involved.
It begins like this – Sofia happily runs into the waiting room, happy to play with toys while I sign in at the front desk. All is well as we walk down the hallway to the examining room, until we get into the door. Then the fear hits her, and it hits her hard. She very dramatically covers her eyes and starts to cry ‘Ok! Ok!’ This little gem is due to the fact that anytime she cries, I scoop her up and tell her she’s ok. It used to be pretty funny, now it’s just sad to see her so afraid.
Now the nurse walks in and asks questions about how things are going with her and what we’re in the office for. Although she doesn’t calm down, she’s not in full hysterics yet. When jolly old Dr. B walks in, the meltdown commences. Full tears, snot and screaming. She tries to practically climb up my torso as if the exit is over my back, and I’m forced to hold her and keep her from vaulting over me while I calmly talk to her sweet doctor.
As he looks in her ears, her mouth, her eyes, and listens to her heart, she screams as if someone is running her over with a car. My only response to her is to pet her hair and tell her it’s ok, which clearly, to her, it’s not. I have read every article online and have asked everyone I know what I’m supposed to do about this, including her doctor, and the consensus is that it’s a phase she’ll grow out of. WHEN?
The articles online suggest reading her stories about the doctor. Done. No help.
Buy her a doctor kit to play with. Done. No help.
Talk to her about what will happen at the doctor. Done. No help.
Bring her to the doctor for a visit with the baby where she is not the focus. More screaming.
This has been going on for almost a year now, and although her appointments are not as frequent as they were for the first year of her life, they are frequent enough for this to be a big problem for us. What is a mom to do?