We have a nice little clinic: you walk in through two sets of automatic double doors, and the entryway opens up into a large common waiting room for all the clinics. There is the pediatrician, the family practice clinic, the dental office, the immunization room, a pharmacy and a couple of administrative offices. The waiting room probably holds about 50 people normally, but several hundred can fit in a pinch, like during the great New Year's Eve fire. This morning, there was a normal crowd- maybe a couple dozen people in varying states of distress. Until we arrived, of course. Then the distress level was elevated across the board.
We had to come a little early so I could fill out some forms. The boys played and chatted quietly while I filled out the forms and I felt pretty smug as our appointment time approached. As our appointment time faded into the past, I started to get a little antsy. I'm an experienced parent; I had some healthy snacks and little toys in my bag, but by ten minutes past appointment time, the sunflower seeds were flung all over the floor and the toy interest was exhausted. That's when it got ugly. Shane started running in circles around a pillar right in the center of the check-in desks. As if that wasn't bad enough, he was hollering, 'BUTTON! BUTTON! BUTTON!' in sort of a sing-songy voice. It was a toss-up as to which would be worse: let him continue, or stop him and listen to the screaming instead. I elected to stop him and sure enough, screaming ensued. It didn't last long, though. Just long enough for a loud and heated argument to brew:
Shane: I Spiderman!
Weston: But I'm Spiderman!
Shane: NO! I not Underdog! I Spiderman!
Me: You can both be Spiderman; please use your inside voices.
Clerk: Does anyone mind if we move these kids to the head of the line?
Okay, okay, I made the last part up, but jeez, what a nightmare. Then, once we got into the doctor's office, it was even worse. The room with the elephant table was being cleaned, so we had to go into one without an elephant. CAN YOU IMAGINE? The horror! And the instruments, garbage can, sink and floor were irresistible. Finally, the doctor poked his head in, looked Weston up and down, said, 'He's fine!', threw some papers at me and slammed the door. I don't think he'll be here long.