Peasant 2: I don't know. Must be a king.
Peasant 1: Why?
Peasant 2: He hasn't got shit all over him.
-- Monty Python (The Holy Grail)
Our doctor's appointment went well. One thing that absolutely rattles Erik at the clinic is the scale. He clamps his hands tightly over his ears and refuses to step onto the wobbly platform. The clanking the device makes sends him into orbit. The nurse asked him to step up and place his feet on stickers shaped like space ships, but I was required to force him to step forward, resulting in a complete meltdown. As she looked quizzically at us and tried to interpret just what in the dickens was happening, I quickly blurted out that Erik hates noise. There was hardly any noise whatsoever, but I know this particular type of metal-on-metal clanging is the reason Erik freaks out in this situation. It happens every time we visit the doctor. Why I bother explaining this to anyone is beyond me, but I insist on educating people about Erik. It's just awkward, awkward, awkward. Surely there are other children who visit this facility regularly with sensory processing issues. Right?
So after our super-accurate measurement (not) of Erik's weight (34.25 lb with me forcing him forward and supporting most of his weight with the palms of my hands), we waited for Dr. Brown. Erik still had his hands over his ears, despite me assuring him Dr. Brown would likely not be very noisy. It turned out that she was much older and straightforward than I expected. This was a pleasant surprise. She was also very quiet, which pleased Erik greatly.
I explained that after 24 hours of Erik being taken off milk and milk products, I saw the most normal-appearing stool appear in Erik's diaper this morning. Unfortunately, this means that there is a strong possibility Erik is lactose intolerant. She confirmed my fears that Erik has no extra body fat to lose and that eliminating dairy would be a gigantic pain but suggested I do it for the time being. This means no more macaroni and cheese, milk, cheddar, seven-layer burritos, or chocolate. Actually, milk or milk fat seems to be in everything. The nurse then gave me a small plastic bag containing three screw-top vials, some of which were filled with red preservative solution. It was an intimating-looking kit that looked like the components of a biological weapon. Two Smurf-blue latex gloves were thoughtfully folded and placed in the bag, and I chuckled to myself thinking of the messes I have scrubbed out of Erik's bed each morning and from the bathtub. I wish motherhood was as neat as a pair of latex gloves. It's not. Not for any mother I know, anyway.
I am to scrape Erik's diaper with wooden tongue depressors and collect samples of stool for the entities I am certain he doesn't have (ova and parasites, etc.). However, I will do this in the spirit of good sportsmanship and patient compliance and deposit a teaspoon of the nasty material into each vial. I have been instructed to transport them to the hospital within a couple of hours or place the specimens next to my collection of pot roasts and popscicles in the freezer until I am able to get them to the hospital lab. Between the wide feline skid marks resulting from Gracie's thyroid problems and the material that springs forth from Erik's bum, I choose to keep the last space in the house, which happens to be inside a major appliance, completely poop-free. I have to draw the line somewhere. Instead, I plan on driving to the hospital with my sloshing bottles of dung tomorrow.
After our appointment, Erik collected his sticker from the nurses' station and actually seemed to really question me about its purpose for the very first time. I usually stuff stickers in my purse for the nurses' benefit, as Erik formerly cared less about stickers, candy, or toys. This time I handed him the sticker, and he seemed interested in it. I was pleased. He said goodbyes, thank you very muches, and see yous to each nurse and the doctor on the way out. The way he said these things seemed to surprise and thrill each of them. They giggled, which made me giggle. Erik does pour on the charm.
We then took our hemp shopping bag to natural food store and purchased expensive tofu shaped like mozzarella cheese and a carton of soy milk. The faux cheese had a label assuring me that it actually "Melts like real cheese!" Yikes. He drank three glasses of the vanilla-flavored light soy milk when we returned home. I tried it and thought it was the sweat of the devil. I'll stick to skim, thank you. The jury is still out on the cheese.
I plan on making pizza tomorrow night. We'll see if anybody notices the tofu.