Why kids hate me

THE NORMAL reaction of two- or three-year olds at the sight of me is fear. They cry for dear life. They struggle, fling their arms, and run amok.

I can't explain it myself, but they do seem to hate me. I ask for their names in my friendliest tone—the most feminine that my voice can ever get—and they look at me with eyes that pierce like daggers. The silence gets overwhelming. I ask them again, at which point they whine and struggle out of their seats to be somewhere else. I tell them to be quiet, and they do just the opposite.

My peers look at me with fascination, seeing my helplessness and frustration.

Migz, for example, can make a rowdiest kid stand still simply by raising his palm and saying, "Up here!" I've tried that many times myself, but the patients have ignored my social cues entirely. Agnes, too, casts a spell on Little People. She can do chest auscultations without the inconvenience of the crying and whining. How she does it so well escapes me.

Yesterday, though, was a breakthrough. At the Pediatric Cardiology clinic my patients were so well-behaved I didn't encounter any difficulty examining them. I especially liked the one-year old girl who kept grabbing my glasses and stethoscope. Even at the Sick Child Clinic, my patients were cooperative. I met a pretty four-year old girl who complained of joint pains. I diagnosed her to have juvenile idiopathic arthritis. She knew which joints were painful, and she nodded every time I asked her, "Masakit ba ito?" She became the instant favorite at the clinic that morning.

What had changed then? Not my smile nor my voice nor my demeanor. I can't quite explain it, but maybe this sudden change of heart in my patients' attitude towards me heralds good omens for my next two months in Pediatrics. I love Pediatrics even if the Little People—except maybe for a few—don't necessarily love me back.

And I end with this heartwarming video of a 10-month old who shows a variety of emotions as his mother sings him Rod Steward's song. How the video relates to what I've just told you escapes me. I guess it's just too cute not to share.

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