Set your calendar back to July 19, 2010. We're in Guangzhou, and it's time for the Pipsqueak's medical exam. There were no injections, no invasive tests, no painful positioning of limbs... just a small number of friendly, smiling medical personnel carrying out the most cursory of exams.
And yet AJ and the doctor trying to give her a final report had to lean within inches of each other and shout into each other's ears to be heard over the Pipsqueak's crying.
Fast-forward to later that year, when the Pipsqueak has her first "Well Baby" checkup -- and screams almost all the way through. I can understand not liking an injection, but from what I heard you would've thought my niece was being harpooned with a dull spear almost from the first moment she was in the office. During one exam, the doctor actually left the room through one door, then came in another door wearing his sport coat instead of the usual white jacket -- and Miri barely skipped a beat with her loud yowling. The kid just does not like medical personnel!
Well, since those first visits to pediatricians & opthalmologists, my niece has morphed from almost-baby to active, involved little girl. You'd think that maybe -- just maybe -- she would have outgrown some of her unreasoning fear of all things medical.
Thursday morning was the Pipsqueaks' latest Well Baby exam. AJ told me that as soon as she pulled into the parking lot, the Pipsqueak recognized where she was and began a litany of, "I no like this. I want to go. We go daycare, I not want to go here," and so on. Entering the doctor's office proper didn't help things much; my increasingly tearful niece kept saying she wanted to leave. There were a few moments when it looked like Miri would get through the exam with only sniffles once AJ assured her no one would hurt her, but it proved to be a false hope when it became obvious a booster shot had come due.
Apparently, the strange noise I thought I heard outside my window this morning was my niece at the doctor's office a couple of miles away. <sigh>
Luckily, the story has a happy ending; the exam was a relatively short one and -- in case the incredible volume of sound this tiny little girl was able to generate wasn't indicator enough -- she was pronounced about as healthy as any kidling her age. As a bonus, AJ was able to spend a few extra minutes with the Pipsqueak while dropping her off at daycare (still half-sobbing at first), so it took only a few minutes for Miri to return to her usual playful self.
AJ told me that as she carried her still-sobbing daughter out of the pediatrician's office, one of the nurses told her that most children begin to lose their fear of doctor visits around the age of three.
My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅-- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!