I love our doctor, I really do, and I wouldn't stop seeing him or taking the kids to him for anything... But I'm a little annoyed with him today (mostly with myself, to be fair...).
He has a big plastic bucket (the kind you'd put sodas in with ice for a party) full of small toys (pencils, stickers, etc.) for the kids to choose from after their appointments. That's really kind of him, and the gesture is appreciated. But...
One of the prizes when I took MG for her shots on the 11th was a set of purple plastic vampire teeth. MG chose a pencil (after pawing through the bucket that all the sick kids since time immemorial had pawed through, too, while I stood there and cringed). Claire (who didn't even have an appointment) grabbed the teeth. They were not wrapped in plastic or anything - they were just lying there, naked, in the germs. Damn that Oriental Trading Company!!
I told her to keep them FAR away from her mouth, and she did that day. They got mixed in with all the other debris in the back of my car, and by the time we got home I had forgotten about them.
She found them in the back of the car on Friday, stuck them in her mouth before I could stop her, and now she's sick. Runny nose, cough, low grade fever, sore sounding throat... Big surprise.
I need to acknowledge that it is completely my responsibility to keep my kids out of the bucket of germ toys, and to deal with the ensuing tantrums. It is also my responsibility to take the germ toys that they smuggle out away from them.... But I think the blame here can be shared. A doctor who is an expert on germ theory and how illnesses are spread should know better than to put toys that are meant to be put in the mouth in a big communal bucket full of germs that the kids are going to paw though. I mean, our doctor has small kids, too. He knows how they are! And I'd be willing to pay an extra penny or two per item if Oriental Trading would individually wrap their stuff. Wouldn't you?
I suppose it's probably revenue generating. After all, if this goes beyond a cold and turns into something serious, I'm going to be right back to the doctor's office with another co-pay! And it's no coincidence that the play area at the mall (aka. Germ Central) is sponsored by the local network of doctors. It's a tough economy, we've all got to do what we've got to do.
I just wish I'd taken away the damn teeth.
(They did finally get rid of the waiting room toys, after I complained about it, although it had more to do with H1N1 than my complaining. And I really, really do love our doctor. I know he isn't really trying to make the kids sick. I'm just teasing about the revenue generating. Mostly. BJ says that it's entirely my fault and I shouldn't be upset with the doctor or with Oriental Trading Company, but he got a lot more sleep than I did last night, so he can afford to be rational.)