I remember the first time I took my son to his first pediatrician’s visit. He was a tiny thing at only seven days old. He weighed no more than a healthy sack of fruits and veggies fit for feeding a preschool class. That feeling of holding my baby fresh cherub was pure delight, I tell you! Now in a strange occurrence of quantum leaping that seven day old baby is a seventeen year old teenager who meets me at the same pediatrician’s office equipped with lanky arms, long legs, his iphone and earbuds.
You would think something as mundane as going to the doctor would be just another task to check off a long list of must do’s. However, now that my son has his own life which includes a circle of friends that I’m excluded from (the nerve!), waiting for his name to be called gives us an opportunity to chat and reminisce. Generally conversation with your teenager is half question asking:
Did you do your homework?
Did you brush your teeth?
Did you call Grandma and thank her (Grandma’s a superhero in our world.)?.
The other half is lecture driven:
You should think of volunteering- it looks good on your college application.
You should always be polite- you want the best recommendation for your college application.
You should wear your new sneakers- you never know what college rep you may bump into who can help you with your college application.
Notice a running theme anyone? A doctor’s visit, surprisingly, allows you to talk with your kid about how he’s really doing without him feeling the pressure of having to respond the “right way”. He’s bored and on the low, when he’s around all those babies, toddlers and toys in the waiting room, he too remembers (and misses!) when he was that young, still able to sit in your lap.
This last time around on our visit to make sure allergies don’t turn into seasonal asthma (a whole other convo moms!) I used the time in the waiting room to convince my son to attend an art opening with me. He said absolutely not! I told him Jay-Z would be there and he would be sorry he missed out. He was not convinced. My attempt to give him a bit of culture was indeed an epic fail. What he did though, unbeknownst to me, was record our conversation while chuckling and shared it with his friends on Snapchat. It was an embarrassing Mom moment yet cute and fun.
You don’t need tickets to Hamilton to make time spent with your kid legit. And while I wouldn’t scoff at going to see Hamilton, I also understand that what’s most important. It’s a steady interest in your teen’s emotional well being and a sense of humor to savor those truly precious moments. So don’t leave the house without a little lip gloss because you never know when you’ll be that kinda cool mom starring in your kids’ random Snapchat vid!