Rumble in the Waiting Room

Today, my intention was to wow you with a happy little blog post about little lady’s first dentist appointment, glossing over the fact that we were left in the in the waiting room for forty minutes, because some eighteen year old boy hadn’t bothered to visit the dentist in eighteen years.  (Come on buddy, it’s time to move on from the ocean filled landscape of the pediatric dentist, and make way for the real children.)  But, today, as in life, things didn’t quite go as planned.

The dentist appointment, made six months ago, was originally for all three of my children, but first son started with an earache last night, so my husband stayed home late this morning, so I wouldn’t have to cancel everybody’s appointment.

In the meantime, I made a doctor’s appointment for first son at 10:45.  Our dentist appointment was scheduled for 9:10.  It never even occurred to me that the two would interfere.  Having already told you about the wait we had to endure, you know I was wrong, which meant I had to rush out of the dentist’s office to go pick first son up so my husband could get to work and we could get to the doctor’s on time. We just made it.

My doctor’s office has never been known for its efficiency, and I have long contemplated switching pediatricians, but it’s a lot of work.  After today, I may be willing to give it a go.

The waiting room is separated into two sides, sick and well.  On the sick side, were my three rowdy children, me, another woman and her two, more mild children.  My kids weren’t angelic, but they weren’t exactly tearing the place apart.  They were just being their usual annoying energetic selves, drinking excessively from the water fountain, squeaking their shoes, rolling super balls (from said dentist appointment) on the floor, and taking turns going into the glass enclosed foyer to make funny faces at each other and hear their voices echo.  Frankly, I was relieved they were behind the glass, it muffled their voices.

I did my best to keep them contained, knowing that two of them had already spent the better half of the morning in the dentist office.  I took the balls away, and in my eyes, finally succeeded in keeping them still, by letting the boys have a fruit ninja playoff on my phone.  Little lady, however, continued to play with the door, but with much less fanfare, since she was no longer getting laughs from her brothers.  By this time, we had been waiting a half hour.

That’s when all hell broke loose.

The nurse walked into the waiting room to call the other woman, who was sitting on the sick side, back, the woman, who had been on the phone the whole time, the one using questionable language, whose daughter sat still and quiet next to her, and whose son, was keeping himself occupied eating from a full bag of pumpkin candy corn (so much for the no food in the waiting room rule).  The little boy, who was intentionally dressed like a European hipster, complete with belted rolled jeans, two sizes too small, black Adidas, and a graphic t, who was gently discouraged from playing near my daughter with the words, “Sit down, or I’m going to beat your ass.”  The only time the woman stopped talking on the phone.

Do you think I’m being judgemental?  Well, you would be wrong.  I might never have thought about this lady, with her slight European accent, dark features, and fearsome eyes, had she not been so judgemental of me.

The nurse, while waiting for the woman to stand up, said to my daughter (though, I know she was really talking to me), “Be careful, sweetie, you don’t want to get your hands caught in the door.”

Before I could even say anything, the other woman announced loudly, “She’s been doing that the whole time,” (talking about my daughter) “while her mother sits there ignoring her.”


I said (and not so nicely), “My daughter’s fine, thank you.  You don’t need to worry about her.  I will take care of my own children.”  Apparently, she didn’t agree.  She proceeded to go off on a tirade about how I let my daughter waste water by playing with the water fountain and how I let my kids run wild while I sat ignoring them.  Just for the record, I, unlike someone else in the room, was not on my phone, texting or otherwise.

The woman wouldn’t stop, never addressing me directly, but referring to me as she.

A few times, during her tirade, I said, “Excuse me!” very indignantly, which was all I really intended to say, not that I had intended to get in a fight with a crazy lady at the doctor’s office this morning.  I’m not one for confrontation.  But then, she crossed the line.  She said, and I quote, “Her children are animals!”

So, I got up and punched her.

Just kidding.  I would never, it’s not my style, but, still, I felt like it.  No, instead, I said, “I don’t think someone who sits on her phone ignoring her children and tells her son she’s going to beat his ass, should be giving me advice.”

Then, the nurse got involved.  Staring at me, she said, “Ladies, I don’t think we really need to act like this!”

Was she kidding?  What the hell was she looking at me for?  Why didn’t she stop this lady three minutes ago, when she began her tirade?  She waits until I finally say something insulting?  And did it even occur to Miss Nurse that she was the one who opened the door for this lunatic to criticize me in the first place?

I had done nothing to this lady, either had my kids.  She hadn’t even made eye contact with me, up until that point.  I didn’t know her, don’t care to know her, and would have never made any remark about her, her cell phone talking ways, strangely stoic (probably scared) daughter, or candy eating hipster son, had she just minded her own business.

Do you think this stopped the crazy lady?  No.  The whole way back to see the doctor, she’s looking at me (because now, she is talking to me), saying, I can talk on the phone and handle my children, blah, blah, blah.

What a mess.

Time now spent in the waiting room, forty minutes.  Patience with children, zero. Patience with office staff, less than zero.

And then, another person, who walked in after all this had happened, got called right to the back to see the doctor.

Now, I was near tears.  I hate that I feel teary eyed when I feel rage, because I was definitely NOT going to cry, especially if I had to face lunatic lady again, a woman, who I got the feeling, might not cry at her own mother’s funeral.

So, I pulled it together.  “Excuse me,” I said.  “Wasn’t my appointment at 10:45?”

The nurse made some lame excuse and said she would go check.  Then, a lot of commotion ensued and I overheard them saying that the doctor that I was scheduled to see (hello, I didn’t request a doctor) wasn’t even there yet.

Ten minutes later, she must have showed up.  The same nurse that had admonished me earlier, cooly called me into the back.  I was tempted to say something to her, like, what was up with that lady?  But, I got the distinct feeling that this woman blamed me. The lunatic had gotten to her first.

Ten minutes later, we were out the door with a prescription for an antibiotic, from a doctor who spent more time admiring my daughter’s outfit, than looking at my sick son’s ear.  Thankfully, we didn’t encounter the crazy lady.

I still can’t believe the nerve of that lady (or the nurse, or the office staff).  You know, those comments, from a mother, whose children were sitting next to her, quietly coloring or reading, without the aid of candy corn and threats, would have embarassed me to no end.  But comments from a woman, who wasn’t exactly mother of the year, just infuriated me.  I wish I had told her to get over herself, or even better, I wish I had done what my husband had advised, and told the kids to bark at her.  That would have fixed her, because nothing I could have said to this woman would have ever made her think she was wrong, but showing her that she didn’t bother me, would have let her know just how proud of those animals I am!


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