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(Teething.)

“I’m a piece of garbage to her, and it makes me want to crawl up next to her like a flea on a tick on a tick on a dog. I just want some of that good good blood—even if it’s my own blood.” –From Jonathan Goldstein’s piece on This American Life episode #245, “Allure of the Mean Friend.

They say that waiters who are less friendly actually get bigger tips. I wasn’t interested in Levi until the night he ignored me. When I asked my pediatrician if he had any advice on introducing a bottle since I’d be going back to work in a couple of months, he said:

“Not your problem.”

“Excuse me?”

“Not your problem. Are you going to be the one giving her the bottle when you go to work? Not your problem.”

He didn’t even make eye contact while he said it. Just filled out her growth chart and then dismissed me. The thing is, I still go to him. When people ask me if I like my pediatrician I say yes. I refer my friends to him. My pediatrician is a total jerk and I CAN’T GET ENOUGH.

What is that anyway? Mark Waters made a movie about it and called it “Mean Girls.” Why are we so often drawn to the people who are lame to us? I spent fifteen of my dollar-an-hour babysitting money on a Mariah Carey CD for Teresa Gemeke’s birthday in eighth grade just so I could be closer to her while she treated me like dirt.

I’m thinking about this because the baby has another appointment soon. I was going to write a post called “Things my Pediatrician actually said to me.” But then I read your imaginary comments, demanding to know why I still go to him (ouch) and realized there was more.

At her three-month checkup I asked the doctor if he thought I should be doing other things to stimulate her. “Listen,” he said, “we’re just glad you laid off the heroine and intravenous drugs while you were pregnant. You’ve done enough.” And then he told his secretary to schedule her six month (and slowly started dusting the frame on one of his awards with his index finger).

“Can I come back sooner?” I begged. Last time I asked him for advice on helping the baby through teething.

“I’m not convinced it hurts them,” he said.

“What?”

“That’s what I said. I’m not convinced it hurts them. That’s all.”

I thought about the fevers and the drool. I thought about the screams while she clutched her mouth. 

“I know, right?” I said. (And rolled my eyes for good measure.)

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