Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'll cover that one

Dear Doctor,

I brought my daughter in for a check-up. She turned 11 and there were shots to be had, which I expected. What I didn’t expect was a lecture from you about Facebook, websites, helmets, guns, drugs, tobacco, alcohol and sex.

Last time I checked, I’m the mom. Remember me? I was the one sitting there in the room, the person you kept saying, “You can talk to your mom about all of this, right?”

I let you go too long. I should have stopped you at Facebook, but I thought you’d move along. Move along you did, right to the internet and how important it is to only email and chat with people she knows. I sat there, shell-shocked, which is why I didn’t say anything when you started talking about drugs. And alcohol. And cigarettes.  By the time you’d moved to “reproductive health,” I’d gotten my wits about me and said, “I’ll take care of that conversation. Thank you.”

Dear, dear doctor, I am so appreciative of you. I come to you and pay a lot of money for you to diagnose physical problems. I do not come to you to talk to my children about drugs and sex and internet usage. Are they teaching that in med schools these days?

Surely I cannot be alone in wanting you to simply be a doctor and not a school counselor. I have to believe kids get this kind of stuff at school – after all, the drug and alcohol portion of our program was sponsored by the DARE program according to you. “You know, they talk about this in middle school. Since you’re homeschooled I wasn’t sure your mom had talked with you about this.” Yes, that’s right, Dr. Doctor; we homeschoolers live under rocks and are immune to the cultural influences of Budweiser and Marlboro.

I usually cut people some slack if they have misconceptions of homeschoolers, but we’ve gone to your practice for five years. In all those five years you have never, ever seen my hair in a bun or my body in a jean jumper. I am not that kind of homeschooler.

When I took Michael for his 15 year old physical, you started to talk about birth control and I ended that conversation. I never in a million years thought that would come up at an 11 year old’s check-up.

Dr. Doctor, I am thankful for you. I am in awe of all you’ve had to memorize. I know you had long, sleepless nights on call. I am grateful for all your training. But I’m grateful for your medical training. I do not want you to discuss social issues with my children. Please leave that to me, the mom, and I’ll leave the diagnostics to you.