Some events remind you of the passage of time more acutely than others. Like the yearly visit to the pediatrician for your child’s physical. Somehow every year, the experience is a little different. Different because he is a little more grown – physically, intellectually and emotionally – than the earlier visit and it shows!
Earlier last week, Hari had his eighth annual physical. He burst into giggles when the nurse asked him to dress down to his underwear. “Ayya yo, this is so embarrassing. Will the doctor see me in my underwear?” yelped the child, grinning ear to ear, who otherwise has no qualms running around the house in his birthday suit. All that embarrassment vanished into thin air as the doctor stepped in. So much to catch up on – school, sports and nutrition. “Does ice cream count as third serving of dairy,” he asked with naughtiness glinting in his eyes. Then as the doctor examined his body, part by part, he slipped a sheepish smile, looking at me from the corner of his eye.
As I returned his smile, a flurry of images flitted by. An image of me, sleep deprived and frazzled, holding my new born who had just thrown up following a bout of cough. An image of Da consoling our infant Hari at the doctor’s office as I rushed from work to be there with him for what seemed liked a gazillionth time that first year he went to daycare. Image of toddler Hari, kicking and screaming, requiring two nurses and a mom and a doctor to examine his ears. From then on the images get happier and more pleasant because the visits, for the most part, were well rather than sick visits.
Just as I snapped out of the images, Hari was ready for his blood work. And this time, he had to do something new – pee in a cup! and that amused him to no end. “Yikes! I wouldn’t want to be the person testing someone’s pee”, he commented.
As we wrapped up, the friendly receptionist offered a lollipop and bade good bye with her trademark observation, “Look at you Hari, you are so grown up!” And I couldn’t have agreed more.