Waiting Room Parenting

27 Jan

The pediatrician’s waiting room is a public behavioral laboratory whereby a guardian’s everyday interactions with his or her child and applicable partner is either histrionically magnified or suspiciously downplayed due to their audience (read: the other poor captive parents and guardians in said waiting room). The Waiting Room Mother wants you to know how much she loves her children. She wants you to understand that she is very serious about punishment and consequences. She wants to dog and pony it up. She wants *you* to see her in action. She wants to you revere her superior parenting style (come on, seriously, it probably is). She wants you to know that she cares about the incessant application of Tyler’s antibacterial gel and reinforcing Bella’s gifted placement technique of the train table accoutrement.

Here are some tips to avoid the pitfalls of Waiting Room Parenting:

Train table
Keep your piehole shut when your kid is occupied here. Don’t prod them to do all the right crap with the helicopter. If they want to crash it into the train station and make bomb noises, let them do it. If they want to score their own Apocolypse Now redux scene to a cat meowing rather than the whir of chopper blades: step aside. Also, you don’t need to validate EVERY move your kid makes with a play piece. Yes, Henry is doing a lovely job keeping the train on the track, and he knows that the lake is blue. Call Ripley’s, but do it outside.

Books
Don’t hog them. There are probably only four that are intact and available for perusal: keep them in circulation. And if you are showboating your 3-year-old “reader,” I will ignore you.
Ignoring the Waiting Room Mother = one of the worst things you can do to her.

Schrödinger’s Pantry
Waiting Room Mothers feel compelled to only bring socially-acceptable, low-sugar, artistically-packaged, nutritious snacks for their children to eat when they are in public. Don’t believe that it is always this way. Personal home pantries DO NOT exist when you are in the waiting room. Waiting Room Mothers are going to try to make you feel like crap, yes, and they might succeed. Just be prepared. When you pull out a bag of mini-marshmallows (three colors!) at the doctor’s–you will get looks. Work through them. Be strong. Brush your kids teeth later. Tell HER kids to get out of your face. Most importantly, find solace in the fact that those judging you may very well be washing down their supper later with some Valium and a magnum of Riesling.

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