I *could* have left them at home with the older kids, but I dislike doing that if I'm going to be more than 20-30 minutes away from home. (The Dr's is about 40 minutes away.) I also figured the little kids would just watch TV the entire time I was gone; that's no good. I also see them coming along as quality time and life experience for them. On the way there and back we talk, listen to music, and play car games. (Yellow cars are 5 points, red cars are 2 points, all others 1 point)
In the waiting room we learn about signing in, inside voices, sharing the office toys with the other children, waiting, and politeness. The office was running behind and my kids got restless, but that's life. There was mini football in the basket of toys in the waiting room -who provides a ball to kids inside a waiting room?? So that produced exhausting challenges of it's own!
Other advantages to them coming is that in the examining room they see their mom comfortable, chatting, talking about health concerns, discussing medications, asking questions, being polite, and standing her ground (if necessary). They see their mom get examined, have her ears looked at, Etc. so they know it's ok and not scary if/when they need to have it done. And finally they see mom get blood drawn painlessly and calmly and learn about blood, tests, Etc.
I find it interesting and sad our society is so adult focused. It can be pretty extreme. It's too the point that I have to sometimes stop myself from apologizing for bringing my kids someplace with me.
The kids did end up bickering and fighting a little and it distracted me. If the office had been running on time they might have not felt so 'done' by the time we met with my care provider. So it was definitely more stressful than I thought it would be. But we managed. The kids liked watching me get my blood drawn the most. The nurse who draws my blood is super nice and I always have 1-2 kids in the room with me when I see her (this time I had 3). It's a tiny room, but she happily welcomes us like it's no big deal. When Everett was smaller he'd sit on my lap while she did it. This time he sat on a chair and was happy watching. I'm very appreciative of her carefree attitude.
In most day-to-day situations I don't think any parent should ever feel awkward or apologetic for having to bring their child someplace they need to be. Sometimes kids act up and misbehave, they may be over stimulated, or maybe they are just plain bratty, but it's still part of life. Kids are people too. Sometimes doing day-to-day things with kids is easy, but sometimes it's hard. Sometimes you have to take kids outside because they are not acting calm, appropriate, or having the patience to deal with the adult themed outing. If my kids had been having a melt down at the office and I felt like I needed to apologize for the disruption I absolutely would have. Not because I brought them though, but because they had not acted as I thought they would or should. But to simply walk into a place and apologize because I'm a mother with children who need nurtured and cared for? Never.