By Sarah Bradley
When local mother Jane Forman brought her preschooler, Duncan, to the pediatrician’s office for his annual checkup, she expected the usual questions about his diet, sleep, letter identification, and activity levels. She had even braced herself for Duncan’s refusal to sit still during the examination and his high-pitched, irrational screaming during immunizations.
What she hadn’t prepared for was the time it would take her three-year-old to pick out a reward sticker at the end of the appointment.
“I knew it would take a while, because he has a hard time making up his mind. It takes him almost an hour to pick out socks in the morning,” Forman said. “But I had no idea he would deliberate so long between the Batman and Paw Patrol stickers. I mean…I didn’t even think he liked Batman.”
Forman swears she didn’t realize how much time had passed until she looked outside the office window and saw that it was snowing. “I realized then that we had been there for months,” she said. “Our appointment was in July.”
By the time Duncan finally made a decision, the seasons had changed from winter to spring and back to summer again. Forman says that as they were preparing to leave the office, Batman sticker in hand, their pediatrician suggested they simply stay and perform Duncan’s four-year checkup.
“She said to us, ‘You’re already here, and you still have your shoes off. You might as well stay!’” Forman recalled. “That made sense to us.”
Duncan had grown two inches and gained five pounds since his last appointment. Though the checkup went smoothly, Forman did not allow her son to choose another reward sticker once it was over.
“He seemed very happy with his choice, so we just bypassed the sticker station on our way out to the car. I distracted him by promising he could have ice cream when we got home.”
Though Duncan was seen smiling as he left the doctor’s office, witnesses say he began crying when his mother started buckling him into his car seat.
“He was saying that he wanted the Paw Patrol sticker instead,” a bystander explained. “He was begging his mother to go back inside and switch stickers. When she said no, he screamed ‘I HATE Batman!’ and threw the sticker onto the floor of the car.”
“I don’t know why she wouldn’t just let him go back for the other sticker,” said the bystander, an elderly woman carrying a key ring full of wallet-sized photos of her grandchildren. “How long could it possibly take?”
About the Author
Sarah Bradley is a freelance writer from Connecticut. She is mother to three wild and wonderful boys, and wife to one extremely patient husband. In her so-called “free time,” she is also a homeschooler, an amateur baker, and a lover of all things DIY. You can find her documenting her attempts at balancing the mother/writer life on Instagram.