Monday, October 24, 2011

Caution: Backhand!

Dorian had his 15 month check-up/vaccinations today.  I love the kids’ pediatrician.  He is a kind grandfatherly man who has seen Dante grow up and who is now watching Dorian follow along.  His office also hosts a rotation of Med students circulating monthly through in and out so that every time I go, I am met with another fresh face, who has never seen me or my children before, and who is not sure whether or not they are going to go into the field of pediatrics and is just making the required rounds of the different medical disciplines.  The office also has an RN on staff who takes care of the children when the Doctor is not in and she knows me very well also.

Today, the RN was in the office and there was a young Med student as well.  The student examined Dorian and asked me all the routine questions (yes he eats food, no we don’t beat him), then went to get the head nurse for the “complete” exam (meaning, please check my work to make sure I did ok).  I had a few questions for the RN regarding weaning from nursing and some concerns as to why Dorian wasn’t articulating any actual words.  What she told me isn’t what this blog is about, rather what she prefaced with is.

Before answering my questions, the conversation went a little bit like this:

RN: So you’re concerned about weaning and speech?

Me: Yes, not terribly, but yes.

RN: Look, you’re definitely not a bad mom. Probably one of the best that comes through here, but you baby him too much.

Me: That’s true, ha ha, he should be out getting a job already!

RN: Ha Ha, it’s like I told her (points to the Med student) before she came in to meet you, “Don’t judge her on how she looks, she’s a really good mom”.

Me: Ha Ha …..wait….(needle on the record sound).  What did you just say?

RN: Oh nothing, I just warned her (points to Med student) not to worry and that you are a great mom!

Me: Worry?  About what?

RN:  Well, you know, how you look.

Me: So my looks would make me a bad mom?  What part? My hair? My tattoos?  My fat?

RN: Well you know how some people are, ha ha.

Me: Ha Ha, now about the weaning?

I know, I know, in rare form, I decided NOT to pursue the matter and just let it go.  She did, in fact, say I was a great mom (probably one of the best), but it was prefaced with a warning to a complete stranger that I might not “fit the part” of this great mom role I play so well.  Because of course, everyone knows that being a great mother is synonymous with your appearance.  Just ask these “normal” looking moms:


Susan Smith: Strapped her 3 year old and 14 month old into their car seats, then let the car roll into a creek, drowning them because her boyfriend (who she was having an affair with) didn’t want children.  She filed a false carjacking report, claiming a “black man” kidnapped her children.

Marybeth Tinning:  From January 3, 1972, the day her first daughter died, until December 20, 1985, when the last was found dead in her home, all nine of Marybeth Tinning's children died “mysteriously”.  She later confessed to “smothering” them.

Diane Downs: In May 1983, Diane she sped into an emergency room dropoff with her three small children, aged 8, 7, and 3, inside her blood-soaked car, shot at close range. She tried to blame it on a carjacker.

Patricia Blackmon: beat her 28-month old adopted daughter to death so severely that a clear imprint of the sole of her shoe was embedded in the child’s chest. Blackmon claimed the child had “fallen out of bed”.

Debra Milke: Conspired with her husband and his roommate to kill her 4 year old son.  Told him they were going to see Santa Claus.

Darlie Routier: brutally stabbed her 7 year old boys to death, then claimed an “intruder” did it.


So, I guess what I am saying is that if you see a mom who looks like me, chubby with pink hair covered in tattoos, you may want to think twice about ASSuming I am a bad mother.


Misfit said...

Very well put. I hate when people make assumptions based solely on appearance. I have tattoos, does that make me a shitty xray tech? No, but I have to cover them so I don't offend people. *sigh* I think you handled this very well. Better than I might have.

Kristen P. said...

Yikes. And here I was just ranting the other day because our pedi didn't know the difference between vegetarians (which we are) and vegans after implicitly (and erroneously) accusing me of depriving our kid because she assumed we don't do dairy(again, not vegan, lady--we eat cheese, but so what if we didn't?) and then had to listen to two nurses discuss in front of me and my kid about how much they love eating red meat, the bloodier the better, etc. Seriously!!?? Whatever's on their plate has no relevance to my life and I don't care either way, but what if I was Hindu and the cow is sacred? Are they going to carry on about their love for bacon in front of Kosher patients? Now reading what you just went through...well, that's a GAZILLION times worse because it was a subtle yet direct personal attack. In their own way, these kinds of convos are (pre)judgment calls, essentially rooted in personal philosophies, which have no place in pediatrics, if you ask me. Not to mention I cannot believe that she even thought it was OK to mention it to you in the first instance. Bravo to you because you contained yourself WAY better than I would have! And nice touch with the photos...that was very effective. I always like reading your posts :)

Eleanor said...

Good post - as always! Thought provoking and a fair and square social statement.
I think that, for some people we all have to fit in a little box for whatever reason - but mainly because it makes them more comfortable. As an older woman I get it a lot e.g. I must be slow and a bit stupid (I've got a PhD). There is no way I could be technology savvy - well, I am! The list goes on and on.

Sherrie said...

People make we want to become more of a hermit. And to make that comment and giggle as if it was nothing is bull. Idiot. It just shows her issues.