And then a few weeks ago, I thought I had hit a new low during a babysitter interview when my daughter pulled off her diaper, grabbed the poop, tried to throw it, and then launched into an epic tantrum involving windmill arms, helicopter legs and bloodcurdling cries of "BOOBS!"
However, as with all things maternal, the nadir can always drop down a few notches. In fact, sometimes all it takes is a trip to the gynecologist. A trip with child. An actual child, not one in your belly. (Ah, to return to those delusional pregnant days when a fuzzy ultrasound image set off a cascade of greeting card visions of the kind of mother I was going to be. Somehow drool, poop, and cursing never figured prominently into those fantasies.)
It seemed like a bad idea from the start, this bringing along a child who is really more like a walking time-bomb, or a grenade - or whatever explosive device has the shortest and most unpredictable fuse. But sometimes babysitters don't work out and doctors' offices have ridiculous multi-month waitlists and partners/spouses have inconveniently scheduled meetings (damn them!) and you find yourself wondering if you should try to explain to your toddler what is going to happen in the next hour or whether it might just be better to sit back and watch the trainwreck unfold.
My parenting style, like electricity, always takes the path of least resistance. So armed with an iPad, olives, and a sippy cup of tequila, we embarked on our joint obstetric adventure.
There are not many things I'd like to do less with an afternoon than visit the gynecologist. Although I can now say definitively that even lower on my list is making the trip with a super-active, over-tired two year old. Because if nothing says "awkward and uncomfortable" like having your legs up in stirrups while a stranger pokes around your lady parts, having it done while your terrorized child stands next to you waving her arms and frantically yelling "no, no, no!" while trying to drag you off the examining table is infinitely worse.
She also tried to escape from the room - twice - while I was naked, and when it became clear she wasn't going to calm down, we eventually finished the appointment with me holding her, sobbing, on my chest, on the examining table, still naked. I wish I hadn't been lying about that sippy cup of tequila, because I really could have used it.
I also had to get a flu shot and some blood drawn and not to get all "Blind Side" on you, but I'm betting from the stink she raised that my kid would test pretty high on protective instincts, too, judging from the way I thought she was going to tackle the nurse and pulled out the aforementioned windmills and helicopter kicks for the phlebotomist.
I'm so proud.
Eventually a combination of stickers, Stuart Little, and carte blanche on the elevator buttons calmed her down. But I still stuck another hundred in the therapy jar just in case. She's going to need it. Possibly even more than me.