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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Hartgrove Mahoney

Sitting Still for doctor appointments

I've discussed in some of my mommy posts about the torturous 4 hour CF clinic visits. The appointments are absolutely necessary but it's ridiculously challenging to get my toddler to sit still and be quiet so I can hear and absorb what the doctors are saying.

This makes the appointments doubly stress-inducing. Not only am I wringing my hands about where Avie's weight and overall health stands, but I'm wondering how I'm going to manage her for all those hours in that boring room.

Oh, and by the way, Kid... you can't crawl on the dirty floor here.

So, I think it's about time to post some of my most recent "finds". I'm not guaranteeing these are going to work, because they don't work 100% of the time with Avie. But, anything helps!

-Super addictive. Sometimes I do these when I'm bored at home. The awesome thing about this is that you don't have to worry about a testy toddler taking their markers to the walls! It's water in those little pens so it won't hurt anything. My only note is that I have to fill these with clean water because Avalyn likes to put the pen in her mouth and suck the water out sometimes. *eye-roll*

eWriters- Boogie Board

-Bravo, eWriter inventor... bravo. I happened upon this gem at Barnes and Noble. Avie was right by my side and then suddenly she was stopped in front of the display, doodling and playing- for TEN MINUTES! They aren't that expensive but it's like having a little iPad that's not actually a screen. Avie has the scribble and play version.

-There are a ton of variations of this, too. In fact, we don't even have this particular one (yet). Threading is a skill, right? I mean if your child has never put a string through a hole before then it's going to be challenging. That's the beautiful thing about this though- your kid's brain is going to be challenged and they are going to focus on the task. In all honesty, Avalyn gets frustrated quickly so this doesn't hold her attention as long as I would like it to- BUT she isn't even 2 yrs old yet. An older kid will eventually get the hang of it and enjoy putting the smaller pieces (on this particular toy) together.


Now, I just have a couple tips, below, outside of these things listed above:

-My number one thing is not to let your kiddo see the awesome toys you are packing. I'm not saying to go out and buy new toys before you go- just don't let your kid watch what you're putting in the bag. Don't make it a big deal though... just quietly pack up your goodies while your kiddo eats breakfast or plays with other toys. Then when you're in the appointment, just remove one item and let them play. When they get bored, hand them a different one.

-Sometimes all the gadgets in the world won't compare to the waiting room magazine or medical advertising pamphlet. Fine. If they want to sit and flip through a People magazine, just let them do it.... in fact, hand them a pen and let them scribble away.

-Similarly, sometimes just a nice handful of your kid's favorite story books will keep them occupied for awhile without having to go out and purchase new stuff.

-Avie is a performer.... in between doctors, we like to play games. I will tell her to make an angry face, or jump up and down three times, blink her eyes four times, or spin in a circle. She loves it and it provides a some intermediate entertainment if your goodie bag is getting bare and you still have the dietitian and GI doctor to see.

-Snacks. This is hard for CFers, but if you're in the appointment for 4 hours- your kid is going to need to eat. Drag that snack on as long as you can. I know it sounds strange. but hear me out: pack a lot of little snack bags of their favorite finger foods and let is play out similarly to your bag O' tricks.... "Oh! You're done with your olives? Well, here's some cheese! Now the cheese is gone too?? What a good eater you are today! Good thing I brought some blueberries for you." Boom- 20 minutes occupied.

The biggest thing?? Remain calm. Good luck!

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