The quickest way to cure a kid is to take them to the doctor. 9 times out of 10, they will be miraculously healed between the waiting room and the exam room. “And you say ‘Suzy’ was unconscious, just moments ago?” the doctor asks, while writing sarcastic remarks in Suzy’s chart.
I’ve seen them start breathing, stop bleeding and vomiting, rashes disappearing while their temperatures drop. The pediatrician smiles reassuringly at me, ME who has sat by the bedside of more than one brain surgery and countless seizures. “Might have been a virus,” they say. Listen, it’s not like I want them to be sick. I just want them to be unsick at my house. Oh, and if I don’t take them in? They get really, really sick.
Most recently, we started taking R2 to a
psychologist developmental/behavioral specialist, because of all these self-injury episodes. We sat in his office for almost 2 hours, waiting for R2 to pinch his arms or hit himself in the spine, like he was doing hundreds of times a day at home, and had been for weeks. Nothing. He calmly looked through books and moseyed through the toys. We got sent home with a stack of handouts and no real advice.
From about a week after that visit, he’s just stopped. No more injurious behaviors. All we did was REPORT him. We had our follow-up visit today, and basically decided he’s cured.
So maybe I’ll just start calling “the doctor”, like some of you have called Elmo or Santa to assist with potty-training or whatever. “Doctor!” I’ll say. “Toby is puking his guts out! Mmm-hmm. Hmm? Okay, okay, we’ll do that.” and then see if that fixes ’em.