I am laughing! Why? Because I'm playing several conversations in my head that I have had with my patients recently and how they have misinterpreted what I have said. I must admit, they are teachable moments for me as a pediatrician and a mom.
Once a child is potty trained and if they are having urinary complaints, I will order a urinalysis to check that the child is not having an infection. I will say to the 4 or 5 year old, it is time to pee-pee in the cup. Some children are fairly independent by then and they insist on going to the potty by themselves. This happened recently when a 5 year old little boy insisted that he could do it by myself. His mother and I walked him to the bathroom where I handed him the cup and a wipe and told him to clean himself and get the urine in the sterile cup. He shut the door.
A few minutes later the door opened and there stood a proud little boy, but no urine cup in his hands! Thinking he must have left the cup in the bathroom, his mom and I searched high and low. Still no cup!
After a few minutes I said, I told you to pee-pee in the cup. What happened? He looked at me quite confused (as I was too) and said that he had? He then proceeded to take me back into the bathroom and he walked us through how he had gotten his urine specimen. Not only had he pee-peed in the cup, he washed his hands, poured out the urine and put the cup back on the stack of urine cups! Point being, I had not said get your pee-pee in the cup AND bring it back to us! Bright boy, concrete thinker, and stupid doctor!
Now, I know that it is important to give clear directions to this very capable group of newly independent children. Why would you bring urine back out of the bathroom, right? Of course that makes no sense. Might even get you in trouble at home!
Teachable moment: give your children very clear instructions at any age as they are more than capable of following through when they know the expectations. I think this really goes for children of all ages, seems to work well with my college aged boys too! I need to remember this!
I have a few more teachable moments on their way. Stay tuned!