I was completely intimidated by my pediatrician, Dr. Schwartz. We picked the practice based on many recommendations, an interview and our gut. Her no-nonsense, down to earth approach made me determined to dazzle her with my parenting skills.
When my son was born, we sailed through appointments with nary a concern. I didn’t make panicked late night phone calls to the doctor on call. Feeding was a breeze. I was owning this!
Shortly after finishing up our 4-month appointment, I was gathering up the Sherpa-worthy bags and necessities that accompanied me on every outing and congratulating myself on another worry-free appointment.
I turned, bags balancing on my shoulder and wrists, to grab the infant carrier handle and somehow the baby fell out.
Onto the floor.
Just like a scene in the PSA “Portable Car Seats: Convenience Or Killer?”
I dropped the bags, scooped him up and rocked him as he wailed. I examined every square inch of him and he looked no worse for the wear.
Me? Not so much, I was a wreck.
Fortunately, it was winter and he landed in a sea of blankets that were nesting in the carrier. Although there were no scrapes or bruises, I knew what I had to do. And it made me cry all the big cries.
You have not experienced the real walk of shame until you have padded down the hallway of your pediatrician’s office and announced to the front office and the adjacent waiting room,
“I dropped my baby and I think someone should check him out.”
There was no noise at all for a full 30 seconds before the medical office training kicked in and they returned to a non-judgmental stance as they paged the doctor. They were saving all their cackles and tsk’s until I had paid and bolted, I’m sure.
The parents in the waiting room did nothing to hide their horror and glared at me. Trying, no doubt, to decide whether to call CPS now or confer amongst themselves after I left.
I shuffled back to Room 3 and sweated it out until Dr. Schwartz returned. The baby checked out just fine and the doctor's bedside manner was no different than it had been thirty minutes before.
I suspect it’s because she knew what I figured out the hard way: Just when you get cocky and start thinking you have all the answers, motherhood reaches up and slaps some sense into you.