10) We force our kids to learn correct anatomical names by age two. “No, Billy, that’s your scrotum with two testes tucked inside at the appropriate temperature for eventual spermatogenesis.”
9) Doctors’ work schedules uniformly suck. I suggest a life-size cardboard model of the physician parent to stand in for holiday photos, birthday parties, and school plays.
8) Physicians have a ridiculous double standard around food. We made it through residency on a hospital diet of peanut M&Ms and deep-fried processed “chicken” product, yet we won’t allow our own children to eat at McDonald’s for fear of having our medical licenses revoked.
7) We are trained to be able to sleep in high-stress environments, with people literally dying all around us. When our son was a couple weeks old, I awakened my husband: “There’s a gas leak! I SMELL NATURAL GAS!” He did not care. Like, at all. (Yes, there was a leak, and yes, I dealt with it. Alone.)
6) Physicians are terrible hypochondriacs. Often we develop hypochondriasis by proxy, where we become convinced that our children have every single pediatric affliction know to humans. A couple years ago I dragged my son to the ER at 0300, convinced he had meningococcemia. (Of course he had a cold. Of course hubby slept through it.)
5) Doctors are terrible hypochondriacs yet they refuse to seek medical attention. Me: “You know, Ace, you’ve mentioned that searing shoulder discomfort at least 756 times in the last two weeks. Perhaps you should see your doctor.” Ace: “What’s he gonna do about it? Nothin’.”
4) Buoyed by germ theory, we force our children into elaborate handwashing rituals bordering on OCD.
3) We over-react (see #5) AND under-react. I recently tossed my son and his friend into the backyard, saying, “I don’t want to hear from you unless there are bones protruding from your skin.”
2) Playdate screening is a lengthy process. Me to The Big E’s friend’s parents: “So is your ACLS up to date? What about CPR? Heimlich maneuver? Anything?”
And finally –
1) Sex ed talks with physician parents are excruciating. “You want to know what trichomonas smells like? I’ll tell you what trichomonas smells like!”