Play Therapy

Elizabeth has always been terrified of the doctor. She’s a slow to warm up kid and very high energy and tightly wound. So a doctor’s office is a nightmare for us. She screams. A lot.

A couple of weeks ago, we bought her a real stethoscope. (She has been watching that Disney Junior show with the six year old doctor who takes care of her toys.) She was delighted and has been doctoring everyone. I’ve been slowly trying to put together a doctor’s kit for her, but she wants everything to be real. (Um, anyone got any real blood pressure cuffs lying around? The kind with the hand pump and the little dial?)

Well, today, I had the occasion to take her to the doctor. (Don’t panic and call me on the phone-she’s fine. Her diagnosis, which I already knew, was stubbornness. And I am 100% serious.) And I packed up all the doctoring tools I could find and took them with us, along with her doll, Doda.

It worked soooooo well. She wore her stethoscope around her neck and we pretended we were there for Doda’s appointment. The nurse and the doctor were reassuring and took their time (almost completely to my satisfaction) and were willing to check out Doda first. (Though you could have played along a bit more, PEDIATRICS PRACTICE TREATING A THREE YEAR OLD. Know your audience.)

Elizabeth still got agitated multiple times and almost cried and screamed. But only almost. It was our best doctor’s visit of all time.

And on the way home, I bought her an otoscope. Yes, a real one.