To say that pediatrics has altered my outlook on life is the understatement of the last general election. Take my children, for example. Most of my parenting decisions come from 1) gut response 2) experience from pediatric residency 3) pediatric practice or distant #4) indoctrination from my own parental units.
For several years William and Harry have requested some type of reptile coming to reside at our house. I have a difficult time calling a reptile a pet since they are neither cute nor cuddly.
Gut response says “Hell, No. No slithering critters with tails who can escape from minimally-lidded glass aquariums.”
The joint Pediatric camp says “Are you crazy? Turtles, lizards, geckos, etc. carry salmonella and shigella and can give you bloody diarrhea just to start.” Flashback to PICU patient seizing with generalized shigella infection.
Finally the Parental/Growing up experience has no comment because I grew up in a house full of girls who had nothing to do with reptiles.
The issue of “heelies” has also come up with the two boys in my life.
“They’re fun.” Says Harry
“We won’t get hurt.” Says William
“What about the classmate with the two broken elbows from last week?” The Pediatric Camp volleys.
“We’ll wear pads.” H and W say simultaneously.
“Yeah, right.” We’ve already paid a small fortune or at least a couple of house payments to our friend the orthopedist. Let’s not add our friend the ED doc to the family payroll. Another flashback to PICU patient with head injury seizing in the unit – maybe I just have Pediatric Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
And then there are the video games which are heavily regulated by the Homeland Parental Unit (HPU). E rated and the occasional T rated games only. Every now and then the HPU catches Harry sneaking next door to play M rated games with the neighbors. Gut response wants to know how long it will be before William or Harry go postal and wind up on E! television as a True Hollywood Story about serial killers. The Pediatric camp wants to know how much weight they’ll gain from playing 2 hours a day instead of being outside. The Growing up response again has no comment because I’m a girl and too old to have dealt with this issue in my own childhood.
Ok, I’ll admit it. My career has warped me into an overly neurotic, lizard-hating, heelie-avoiding, E-rated un-fun (but safe)parent that I am today.