How do you manage medical appointments?

Our Run-at-home mom has discovered the one task that’s even less fun than grocery shopping with kids in tow - doctor checkups

When I was still pregnant with our daughter, our son was hauled to all of my prenatal appointments. Being curious, he asked my OB/GYN all sorts of questions and appropriately relayed all of the information back to whoever asked. Everyone knew that there was a heartbeat in my tummy and how big my stomach was. He also knew what fallopian tubes looked like and how they worked, because while we were waiting for my doctor, I’d explain all of the medical diagrams to him. The shocked looks on the faces of our relatives when Isaac relayed his new found fallopian tube knowledge was priceless. Remember, I like to turn everything into a teachable moment.
 
While things like a salary and extended health benefits are all things I miss from my days as a working parent, I’d have to say that being able to go to a medical appointment without my children is what I miss the most. Over the last two years my children have come along to dental, doctor and dermatologist appointments. And being children, it is hard for them to sit still quietly. Very rarely have these appointments have gone well, but I am thankful to have a team of doctors that either have kids of their own, or a well stocked waiting room that helps keep them occupied, so meltdowns are kept to a minimum.
 
I do try hard to avoid booking appointments on days where both kids are home, or during times when I know kids will be at their worst (30 minutes before meal time or anytime around Gillian’s afternoon nap). Most of the time the appointments go very well because between scheduling them properly and being prepared with snacks and games. Worst appointments include when I need to have breast exams. Our still nursing daughter acts like she hasn’t nursed in days and goes ballistic, clambering to latch on. It’s absolutely horrifying. Sometimes (OK, rarely) there are funny stories to share. For example, at a routine checkup with our family doctor, he asked about my period. Isaac, who was playing quietly in the corner and I thought oblivious to the conversation I was having, all of a sudden piped up: “I know what periods are! We are learning about them in school!” Um, I didn’t bother explaining the difference. 
 
If you are a stay-at-home mom, how do you manage medical appointments? Any tips for me?
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