Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Princess Pusher

We made it to Massachusetts. And, well, I've been afraid to blog. At times it feels like I have too much to say and at other times I have nothing to say. Plus, I'm certain I've lost the ability to write anything worth reading. Yup. Pretty certain. So, instead of telling you all that has happened and not happened, I am going to tell you about The Princess Pusher.

Less than 48 hours after Zoey set foot on Yankee soil, we needed to take her to the doctor (swollen adenoids, snoring, baaaaaad sleep). And, as there is only one pediatric group in the town, we took Zoey in. We met with Dr. S. Right away I got a bad feeling -- the man has an oddly shaped head. Think upside down eggplant. With a puff of fluffy hair on top. Yes, I know one shouldn't judge a doctor based on the shape of his head but . . . but . . . I did. I am a terrible human being. Okay? Happy?


Dr. S initially seemed nice enough. He said hi to Zoey and her baby. Then he asked Zoey, "Are you a silly girl? I bet you are a silly girl!" He proceeded to ask her that exact same question exactly 576 times during the appointment. And in the tone one uses to speak to small animals. Small, caged animals.

Then things really started to go downhill. Zoey let the doctor look in her mouth which earned her a sticker. Dr. S ran out of the room and came back with a (. . . wait for it) DISNEY PRINCESS STICKER. Dr. S hands Zoey the sticker and says, "Oh! You're a princess aren't you? A silly, silly princess! This princess looks just like you!" Now, to be fair, Zoey was wearing a tutu over a pink skirt, and, for some, this conjures images of princesses. But this was the princess on the sticker:

And this is a picture of my daughter:

Um . . . notice anything? Anything at all? Like, oh, say, Belle is WHITE and my daughter is OF COLOR. As in NOT WHITE. As in BIRACIAL that doesn't include Caucasian. And Belle has STRAIGHT HAIR and Zoey has VERY VERY CURLY HAIR. Zoey does not know that she does not look like Belle. But in the next year or two, she will. And I know it's my job to make sure that those differences are just that -- differences. Not bad. Not good. But here's the thing, I don't want Zoey to think she is supposed to look like Belle. Or Cinderella. Or Jazmin. So, I don't appreciate a doctor telling my daughter that she does look like Belle and/or insinuating that she should want to look that way.

And maybe if Dr. S had let the princess thing go, maybe I could have left without thinking more unkind things about his unfortunately shaped head. But no. That's not what happened. Dr. S continued to push the princesses: : Oh, you're a silly princess! Oh, you look just like Snow White! Oh, you're Sleeping Beauty aren't you? Oh, you silly, silly princess you!

So clearly I have some "feelings" about Dr. S, his silly, silly princesses and his silly, silly shaped head. I miss our old pediatrician. And I miss the safe familiarity of a place called home.


  1. Sad thing is that the doctor probably does this all day long and thinks nothing of it. I know he's just trying to make a connection with the kids, but come on! Hopefully you can find another doctor.

    And, BTW, I'm totally bummed that you moved up north. It will make visiting you all that much harder... :(

  2. Oh, Jos, you're breaking my heart, but I totally understand! I wish we were in a position to offer you and your fam more support right now, but we will get there. In the meanwhile, I hope Dr. S takes his silly princess and shoves her! Sending love to you and everyone...

  3. Dr. S...well, is a DR. and somewhere in the training process (back OFF other Dr.s) they lose sight of the humanness of illness and the people (big or small) associated with it. A patient becomes a symptom or a condition and the communication becomes hollow rhetoric. I agree with Laura, and I have witnessed it with Dr.s who are friends and family as well.

    To my child who would aspire to become a Dr. I would say,"Be that valuable...don't be that stupid!"

    Just saying.

    Glad you're back and love ya,
    Be well,

  4. Oh good lord. Has that doctor ever had a kid? Or a daughter? I totally agree with Ron in that the doctor isn't even really seeing Zoey as a person beyond her symptoms.

    I would recommend not wasting the energy being offended or annoyed and just chalk it up to stupidity. I wonder if he would have been so cavalier about racial identity if Zozo's parents were of color.

    Suddenly Franklin doesn't seem so racially insensitive and bad for Zoey's racial identity, does it? Just kidding. I know I can't generalize about an entire state based on one stupid doctor.

  5. You haven't lost any skills, humor or friends with your move. By the way, I used to hate eggplant. Now with the right recipe, it's ok!