So far I've taken my daughter to the doctors four times in her 14-month life and my daughter's the healthiest baby I know. Three out of those four times it was a pointless exercise, in hindsight, because it turned out there was nothing actually wrong. It was me suffering from parental hysteria.
But how many times do other parents take their little ones to the quacks then? I personally have no idea but I would guess there are some parents who make it one of their regular pit stops. It is far too easy to make the door to the doctors' a revolving one.
Every day there is something which potentially could be cause for a doctor's trip. A cough, a snivel, a skin blemish.
It was the emergence of the latter on my daughter's cheek which got me thinking, enough of this doctor's business already. It will lead you to an early grave if you dash off to see the doctor with every single quibble.
It would be so easy to think that this emergence of a tiny patch of dry, red skin on my daughter's cheek was a sign of some terrible internal ailment or just the start of some gruesome, all-over-body rash. But no, I told myself, it is time to be rational about this. Babies get patches of bad skin like this all the time. It's not surprising my daughter's cheeks are a little rashy when she undergoes a full food face pack three times a day followed by a moisturise, cleanse and tone using numerous baby wipes.
I just don't want to be seen as an irrational parent, always at the doctors. I don't want to be the one the receptionists whisper about, “there she is again”.
Of course, if my daughter wakes up one morning covered in angry boils I'm going to do something about it. I'm not going to turn a complete blind eye. But this is leagues away from being sensationalist and running to the doctors over the slightest thing.
It is hard when you care so much and when you can't communicate with your child to ask if something hurts but as parents we have to sit back and give ourselves a good talking to from time to time. Otherwise all this panic and worry will leave us, the parents, needing medical assistance.