Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hundreds of Doctors, Thousands of Doctors, Millions, and Billions, and Trillions of Doctors (and some bugs)


I'm feeling just a bit giddy over the number of appointments we have this month with various medical professionals...pediatricians, orthodontists, dentists, opthamalogists, etc. It is a result of having put off various appointments because we were a little distracted earlier this summer, the appointments we already had, plus the new child who needs to be checked out. And since I want to get them all done in August so we can avoid September's own unique nuttiness, it makes one feel slightly light-headed. I will admit that keeping track of and going to all of the necessary doctor's appointments is a downside to a large family. There is something to be said, though, for office staff knowing who one is. Visiting often makes one a real person and not just a name on a file, which is particularly nice if one needs to phone in a question. On the other hand, each visit seems to offer the doctors a new opportunity to squeeze a bit more income from the Currys. And, although we're quite a healthy crew, our children show a tendency toward near-sightedness and crooked, crowded teeth... inherited from both parents. We'll see if Minh manages to break this trend... or if the environment exerts an overriding influence.

In other homefront news, our pet tally has risen by two frogs since our trip to Lake Geneva. That brings us to 3 frogs (one aquatic and two Northern Leopard Frogs, or so I'm told), 5 gerbils (until Monday when 3 of them go home), and 1 turtle. As you can see our children favor the reptile and amphibian varieties. For the most part this isn't a bad thing. Turtles and frogs require no house-training, never chew shoes left lying around, and the kennel fees during vacations are whatever you pay the parents of unsuspecting friends who agree to watch them. But what most people don't realize is that your children get "two for the price of one" when dealing with these cold-blooded creatures. You see, unlike your garden-variety labrador who eats whatever kibble is poured into his dog dish, these lovable pets eat insects... and depending on the creature, the insect has to be moving or else it is snubbed and ignored by the discriminating frog. This leads to interesting situations in parenting. Senario 1: Eldest daughter schemes how to earn money to pay for the crickets and cricket food and cricket house that are required to feed the pet frogs. At 10 cents a cricket and the frogs eating 2-4 crickets a day, this adds up for a 13 year olds meager earnings. Which leads to senario 2: because of the high cost of crickets, other insects are actively sought to feed the insatiable froggy appetites. But digging and searching and catching insects is only half the fun. The best part comes when the newly found insects are brought into the house to proudly show Mother. I can't tell you how many times I have turned around today because M. has said, "Mommy, look at this!" only to have a container of live insects shoved into my face. My least favorite insects are the ones who jump.

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