After spending roughly eleventy-hundred hours in pediatrician’s waiting room over the last eight years of my life, I have made several observations that could make the experience more pleasant for everyone involved. Here is a complete list of the problems and my ingenious solutions.
Problem: Toddlers logrolling on the waiting room floor.
Solution: Install carseats with 5-point harnesses instead of chairs. All children not capable of sitting still must be strapped in.
Problem: Other people’s obnoxious children screaming, whining and throwing a fit.
Solution: Instead of a well child and sick child waiting areas at the doctors office I propose a different solution– Well Behaved Kids Waiting Room and Kids That Need an Exorcist Waiting Room. I will be the first to admit that occasionally my own children need to go to the latter room. I’d willingly take the walk of shame to take them there to save everyone else from having to deal with them.
My children have finally graduated from the rolling in the floor stage and thanks, in no small part to Steve Jobs and my iPhone, we are now capable of waiting for hours on end without me losing my mind.
But at this point I’ve discovered something even more annoying than listening to my kids screaming. That’d be listening to somebody else’s kid screaming. The screams of a known toddler are maddening. The screams of unknown toddler are enough to make you beat your head against the waiting room wall until you blissfully lose consciousness making your wait much shorter.
Last week I learned two very effective methods to stop the screaming. The first is simple, but possibly illegal— but desperate times, desperate measures. To stop the screams of an unknown toddler, simply flip the fire alarm, because apparently the antidote to high-pitched screaming and crying is more high pitched squealing. Win, win. Right? The fire alarm went off and suddenly the obnoxious kid who had been screaming for hours was silent.
The second way to stop kids from screaming at the doctor’s office is to threaten to punish them by counting. It’s a little known fact that children are terrified of numbers. Specifically the numbers, “One, two, and three.” Nothing is more terrifying to a toddler than hearing their parent say while never looking up from their cell phone, “Junior if you don’t sit down and stop screaming you are going to be in big trouble! Do you hear me! Stop. One…two…three…”
Cue hysterical laughter from unknown toddler.
Installing a few of these in the waiting room couldn’t hurt anything.