Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ella's Day

Ella had the day off of school yesterday. It was a combination teachers' work day/Veteran's Day holiday. I made lots of plans to have it be a special day for her. She's definitely gotten the short end of the one-on-one attention now that Campbell's here, and I wanted to have some special time with her.

We started the day by taking Lily to preschool and saying Hi to Ella's teacher from last year. Then we met some of her preschool friends at a nearby park for a playdate. After that, we went with the girls and their mothers to lunch. All the girls got to sit at their own table at the restaurant, which made them feel very big. When we left lunch, Ella and I, with Campbell in tow, went to our favorite toy store to buy refills for her sticker maker. Unfortunately, they were out. Then we went to James Avery to have two charms that she got for her birthday put on her charm bracelet. After we picked up Lily we all went to Amy's Ice Cream for a treat.

Then all hell broke loose. I had to take Ella for her six-year check-up. Ella has never liked our pediatrician, I don't know why. She refuses to talk to him or even look at him. And even trying to get her to open her mouth for him is a nightmare. Once, when she had strep, it took me and the nurse to hold her down while he pried open her mouth to take a look at her throat. He decided not to even bother with a throat culture because of how traumatic just looking at it was.

Before we went to the doctor's, Ella and I discussed her behavior. I told her that if she didn't cooperate with the doctor and open her mouth when he asked, she'd go to her room when we got home. She still chose not to cooperate. I had to pry her off my leg so that the doctor could weigh and measure her. And when it was time for her actual exam, she sat glued to me on a chair rather than on the exam table. As with previous check-ups, she refused to open her mouth. Lily, however, opened her mouth for the doctor, even though she wasn't there for a check-up. She likes our doctor and chatters away to him at her appointments.

When the doctor left to get the supplies to give the girls their flu shots, Ella wedged herself into this little cut-in between the wall and the window. It was about a foot across and three feet deep. She refused to come out when it was time for her shot, so I had to drag her out. As I was doing it, I told her that I was bigger and stronger than she was and I was going to win. I had a moment of doubt, though, when I began pulling on her; she's freakishly strong for someone her size. At this point I started considering child abuse but decided it wasn't a good idea to do it in front of the doctor. Once I got her out, I had to hold her between my legs and wrap her in a bear hug so the doctor could give her a shot without getting kicked. Through all of this, she hasn't made a peep. All I can figure is that she thinks if she opens her mouth to scream, the doctor will look in it. However, she did start to cry when the doctor gave her the shot. But he was so fast that he finished before she made much noise. When I let her go, she crawled behind me on the chair and wouldn't come out.

Lily was much better about the shot. She climbed in my lap willingly and only let out one little cry when she got poked. But her lovey and a Care Bear bandaid made everything right with the world again.

When we got home, I sent Ella to her room, as promised, and I let Lily watch cartoons. After about an hour, Ella came out with a note tied around her neck that said "soere mama." We had a little chat about what exactly she was sorry about, and then I let her join Lily in watching cartoons.

Ella has forbidden me from telling anyone about her behavior, which I take as a good sign. To me, it means she recognizes that she really did not behave well and is embarassed that she acted that way. I'm writing it down so that someday I can remind her about the incident - like when she has kids who won't behave at the doctor's.

No comments: