"Go a-docdah a-day. Bye Town. Bye Docdahs. See you a-morrow."
"No baby, we don't have to go back tomorrow."
"See you ext eek!"
"Yeah sweetie, we'll see them next week."
Then she started talking in a very quiet serious voice, it was mostly unintelligible gook, but then I heard "Da IV. (pointing to her hand booboo) Hab da IV. Bye nurse!"
I don't know if it counts as relating as an experience. I told her several times yesterday that we were "going to the doctor today". And she always continues to say "Bye docdahs! Bye Town!" for hours, sometimes days after her appointments. I think saying the words help calm her when she starts thinking about it, like saying "Bye!" to the doctors will keep them at bay. However, we weren't discussing the doctor or our day when she stopped to tell us "Go a-docdah a-day." It was really a spontaneous statement, a window into her day and her mind. While we we laughing and playing, internally she was still dwelling on the day's events, and she was able to let us know.
It was really exciting, hearing her share her thoughts for the first time, but it was crushing at the same time. How I wish she could have crossed this milestone in a way that didn't reinforce how doctored her life is, that her first related experience might have been, "See cat a-day." or "Go playground a-day." or "Go wimming a-day." I wish her thought life wasn't full of reenactments of her somewhat frightening day, that she didn't have to will the doctors away by repeating "Bye docdahs!" the nights and days after our appointments. I wish she didn't have the freeways and exits on the way to our pediatrician and hospital memorized. I wish she didn't visit enough to recognize our pediatrician's office building from the street and call out, "Bye Docdah (Ped's Name)!" as we pass it. But she does and part of me knows it is a positive thing. She understands enough to know what is happening, to know that even when things are a little scary, eventually we go home and everything is okay. She knows how to calm herself. She knows how to peptalk herself through procedures. She used to be completely terrified of all doctors and nurses, she would scream through entire visits, hysterical, inconsolable, but now she knows that doctors aren't all bad. She has a good enough time in run of the mill appointments, talking to and playing with the doctors. I know that her mental rehearsal of the appointments, the power she feels in the word, "Bye.", her awareness of where we are and where we are going, all work together to help her feel some control over the situation. I know that is a good thing. I just wish she didn't have need of it all.
She's been playing next to me while I write. She just looked up and said, "MomMom. Hab IV. (pointing to her hand again) Bye docdahs. See you a-morrow. See you ext eek."
That girl. She makes and breaks my heart.