Dear Well-Meaning People At Our Vet's Office,
I know. I KNOW. He LOOKS CUTE. He's all blondish and be-dimpled, dressed up exactly like a real live human being with the polo and the shorts and the sandals. He'll tell you his name and his dog's name and his baby brother's name (though probably not in the same order you asked the questions). In other words, he LOOKS like the kind of kid you can win over with stickers and small plastic dog figurines...and inviting him into the back while you administer our dog's Bordetella vaccine sounds like a great idea, except for the part where you can't and it totally fucking isn't.
I don't know. I DON'T KNOW. He loves stickers! Especially circle stickers! Small plastic choking hazards are his FAVORITE! I don't know why today he's decided that stickers are the equivalent of putting dirty Band-Aids on his shirt and small plastic dog figurines are like, beneath him or something, God, and why his only true love in the world is your ceramic business card holder. Wait. That one I know. Because it is 1) Breakable, and 2) FULL OF A MILLION AND ONE FUCKING BUSINESS CARDS.
I do know a little more. See? He's three-and-a-half. Probably closer to four than I ever let myself admit, because FOUR. That's a PERSON. That's...not this kid right here, who is shrieking that I DON'T NEED TO LIKE TO READ A BOOK NO THANK YOU when I offer him something from your dog-eared collection of dog-themed children's books as an alternative to the business card holder. He is both acting his age and totally NOT acting his age, and I hope and pray this is just kind of part being this age. Dear God. He also, for the record, loves books, although today has been one of those fucking days where I would secretly like to fashion some kind of helmet that beams Yo Gabba Gabba directly into his brain if it would make him sit still and stop rolling around on the fur-covered floor like the Incredible Human Swiffer With Extra Whining Power.
(You're welcome for the clean floors, though. Don't mention it, we're just happy to help.)
I must admit to bullshitting you when I was all, "Noah, be GENTLE with Ceiba's leash, remember how I showed you? Don't pull on her, be GENTLE. You know better." Confession: I've never shown him how to walk the dog on her leash because he refuses to even acknowledge her waffle-stealing existence 99% of the time, like, I'm not even sure he's aware that we have a dog. I think he considers her more on par with an annoying battery-powered blinky-bloopy toy, and he has never ONCE been so fascinated with her leash and walking her around in circles as he is today and honestly I'm starting to wonder if maybe another mother and I got our children mixed up in the parking lot.
Please don't offer to let him go in the back with you please don't offer to let him go in the back with you please don't, oh crap. You did. Okay, watch this; it's really cool. I'll try to say "No, let's stay out here and wait together, okay?" and see how many words I can get out of my mouth before the screaming starts.
Three words! It's a personal best!
Fine. We'll go in the back -- path of least resistance and all, and a fierce desire to GET OUT OF HERE ALIVE -- and oh, look. There's dogs and cats in cages! He would like to stick his hand in those cages, and then he would like to run around and collide into pricey medical equipment. This is a TERRIFIC IDEA. You can tell that the vet thinks so too! Hi, Doctor. Yeah. It's us. There's an olde ancient Internet acronym for your facial expression. Double You Tee Eff, I believe it is called.
Okay! The vaccine took all of 30 seconds, which TOTALLY made this entire transition to the back room necessary and time to go back out front, Noah! Noah? Get...git...over here...now...hiss...gah...I will PUT YOU in the cone of shame, child, I KNOW they make them for your neck measurement I swear to...
Okay! Time to pay, make follow-up appointments at which I will feel deathly guilty over the state of my pets' dental hygeine, yep, I'd love a reminder card, something to look forward to! This! All over again! And oh God, please let the sticker thing go, I don't know WHY he's being such an ass about the sticker and I'm just all around mortified by this entire excursion and...wait...what are you asking him about?
Are we going to the bea...SHIT SHIT DON'T SAY IT DON'T SAY THAT WORD STOP.
Oh, hell. Yes, we needed the Bordetella because we're going to the b-e-a-c-h. On Friday. Which means it's totally not something we've mentioned to the c-h-i-l-d yet, because...well, never mind. I'm just going to crumble a couple of your business cards into earplugs for the ride home when he realizes we're NOT going to the beach right now and thinks that he's being punished for not being a good boy and perhaps I'll let him think that. Or not. I haven't had time to process my remaining patience level.
In summary, Well-Meaning People At Our Vet's Office, please accept my official and heartfelt apology for bringing an unhinged class five tornado onto your premises. Especially without a leash. He's really not usually like this, except for whenever it matters. THEN HE IS PRECISELY LIKE THIS. Thank you for maintaining that you found him utterly adorable, right up until the moment we left. Though I also wouldn't blame you if you're totally blogging about us right now.
PS. I am also sorry that my dog has such a weird, unpronouncable name. Before her next visit I'll train her to respond to Sheba or Sayiba or something like that.
PPS. He really did cry the whole way home about the beach. It was kind of sad, since I do still like him a whole lot, in spite of everything. I wasn't mean about it and tried to explain that we're still going, just not today, but it didn't really do any good. Turns out he mostly just needed a nap. This has since been rectified. Within 30 seconds of getting back home. With extreme prejudice. And door locks.
PPPS. The little one sure was cute, right? HE liked your stickers.
PPPPS. Though for future reference, eight-month-old babies should not be given stickers. Particularly eight-month-old babies who belong to harebrained, distracted mothers who are trying to wrangle a sobbing preschooler and a freaked-out hamsterdog who just wanted to wind her leash around everybody's fucking legs, because she might not notice until much later that the sticker has mysteriously vanished. He's going to poop it out momentarily, I just know it. I wonder if we'll still be able tell what brand of heartworm pills provided the stickers! Oooh, suspense!