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It’s all fun and games until someone gets pinkeye.

Yes, pinkeye. I don’t know where N got it from, and I don’t know why K doesn’t have it (but I’m thankful), and I’m washing my hands so frequently that the skin on my hands looks a lot like the floor of death valley:

Our family doctor’s office is usually wonderful about fitting us in for urgent concerns, but when N woke up at 2:15 yesterday afternoon with puffy, oozing eyes, there was nothing they could do for us. I called a walk-in clinic and discovered that they were only taking registration for another twenty-five minutes.

Twenty-five minutes. Two of my children were pants-free, we all needed to put on shoes and outerwear, and I’d have to get them all buckled in and over to the clinic. I decided that it would be faster just to take the bike (due to traffic and poorly timed lights, it can take quite a long time to get there by car). Miracle of miracles, everyone cooperated and we made it to the clinic with 6 minutes to spare!

So there I was, at the walk-in clinic inside a large drugstore, waiting with two mobile young children and an infant in her carseat. Getting there in time may sound like an impressive feat, but it was getting through the wait without trashing the place that took some really creative parenting.

For those of you playing along at home, I’m happy to share my strategies. Here we go…

How to occupy young kids at the doctor’s office:

1. Play Simon Says. It doesn’t matter if they’re too young to really understand how the game works – they’ll just be entertained watching you demonstrate each command.

2. Read them the notices that are posted on the wall. Throw in some silly rules and see if they notice. Apparently K knows that the pharmacy wouldn’t post a sign about picking up after your pet rhinoceros. Why not? Because rhinoceroses have to stay outside. Duh.

3. If the floor has any kind of tiles or patterned carpet, use it to your advantage. See who can walk on the line without stepping off it. Play hopscotch using the grid of the tiles. If you don’t know how to play hopscotch, make it up. Remember, we’re going for something fun and something to pass the time. Anything will do.

4. While you wait in the exam room, play “catch the dot”. Most popular with cats and laser pointers, this game can also be played with your kids and an otoscope (that thing the doctor uses to look in the kids’ ears). Take the scope out of its holder on the wall – the light will go on automatically – and point it at the wall. Start moving it all around and see if the kids can “catch” it.

5. Play doctor. Let the kids be the doctors, you be the patient, and see what kind of exam they come up with. K, for example,  has removed many a bird from my ear.

Now you know all my tricks. What are yours?

One thought on “It’s all fun and games until someone gets pinkeye.

  1. I keep a bag of toys that we only pull out to take to the doctor’s office. I keep an eye out for dollar items to add to it and spice it up. We also listen to kids music on my iphone and the kids dance/march to the music.

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