Wednesday, June 21, 2006


It’s official. If a doctor of medicine says so, it’s official: Rowan is a strong-willed child. We’ve been wondering for a while now. Let’s just say the tantrum-throwing has, um, escalated. I suppose it’s possible he could just be passing through an intense two-year-old phase. But then, last night, a certain turn of events brought us together with a man who knows a willful child when he sees one…Rowan’s pediatrician.

Rowan was building a fort with his dad, lost his balance and caught his eyebrow on the corner of a chair. Blood. Panic. Phone calls. The doc told us to meet him at his office.

Before the mending commenced, the doctor mentioned that most kids fall asleep after the shot of novacaine takes effect. I had an inkling that Rowan might prove to be the exception, but hey, our pediatrician has been in practice for thirty years. He has a fabulous reputation and is considered one of the best in our area. Other docs call him The Baby Whisperer. In other words…he’s good. So I was hoping he was right and that Rowan would actually drift off to la-la land while the doctor sewed him up.

It turns out that mom’s intuition holds a lot of sway over even the most proficient medicine man. During the twenty minutes it took to stitch that eyebrow back together, Rowan bucked like a wild bronco hooked on crack and Mountain Dew. Brandon put all his energy into holding Rowan’s head still. I held his hands down and leaned on his legs with my upper torso. Brandon accidentally got punched in the forehead a few times by the doc. Rowan kneed me in the voice box a couple of times. I’m surprised we didn’t all end up needing stitches after that fiasco.

Three times during the whole affair, our doctor commented, “Rowan certainly has a lot of endurance.” That’s the word he used: endurance. I finally replied, “Is that your polite way of saying we have a strong-willed child?!”

As exhausting and unsettling as the evening was, it turned out to be a validating event. Since this all happened after office hours, we were able to spend some time with our pediatrician without feeling rushed. The doc was able to witness Rowan at the pinnacle of a freak-out, and then matter-of-factly reassure us that Rowan’s “endurance” was an inborn (as well as a positive) personality trait and not due to our inadequacies as parents. After the past few weeks we’ve had, Brandon and I really needed to hear that encouragement.

So the doctor did a little mending of Rowan’s head. And God did a little mending of Brandon’s and Jana’s hearts. Always a good thing to have someone give you a little cheer. Helps keep up that endurance.


Blogger jch said...

It helps when a professional affirms what you've been wondering, right? As far as holding down your child while being stuck, I feel you.

6:15 PM  
Blogger mdlg said...

I feel Rowan's pain - I had stitches five times before the age of six. I was 18 months the first time I went to the hospital for the doc to sew me up. I wasn't strong-willed; I just needed glasses. Good luck with the recovery.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Malia said...

Whoa, well at least you can be assured he'll never be a push over!

Boo-boo's been throwing temper tantrums lately. It's kind of funny because after awhile it's totally obvious that he's forgotten what he was mad about and is just throwing the fit for the sake of throwing the fit. Then all of sudden he'll stop, get up, come over to me and start talking like nothing ever happened. Silly boy.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

I know very well how inadequate you can feel as a parent when your child does something totally insane and you just don't know why they would do something like that.

That's another reason why I love blogs and conversations. You really see that your experiences in things are not unique.

Of course, reading this makes me hope Connor will not be as "strong willed," but knowing God's sense of humor and how I was as a child, both he and Kinsey probably will be.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Tony Arnold said...

So the doctor did a little mending of Rowan’s head. And God did a little mending of Brandon’s and Jana’s hearts.

God does indeed work in mysterious ways. His ways are not our ways--for sure!


12:25 PM  
Blogger Chel said...

A little doctor validation is always good. Now that we're in Florida, we're beginning the search for a new pediatrician, which isn't easy after having loved our old one. Hearing other people talk about good doctors, it encourages me that we'll find another one soon.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Heather said...

when I was very young a nurse and doctor had to hold me down just to swab my throat. I had gotten it into my head that it was going to hurt.

I'm glad you got some reassurance.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Jana said...

Heather - I once almost had a fight with a nurse over a throat culture. I was in high school. Sad, huh?

1:20 PM  

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