I took the kids for the their yearly check-ups this afternoon. It was a fluke that I even got in today. I called yesterday to make the appointments thinking I'd have to wait a couple weeks to get in when the receptionist says, "We could see them tomorrow at 2:15."
"Um, okay," even though I'm thinking - Crud, that's right in the middle of Noah's nap time. Still, I've been needing to take him in because his eczema has gotten worse and the dermatologist offices I had talked to earlier that afternoon "can't" see any new patients until December. (Crazy, huh? Kids are supposed to just deal with itchy red rashes for 6 months? THAT'S RIDICULOUS!!!)
So I take them in today and have my husband meet me there. I've learned from past experience that if I'm taking both kids to the doctor, I definitely need some back up, especially if shots are involved. Daddy is the designated shot guy. I don't do shots. I get too upset when the kids get upset which does not help the situation. (I know I'm a wimp.)
Abby asked me on the way, "Mommy, do I have to get shots today?"
"I don't know, sweetie." I really didn't know. I was hoping the answer was no, but I told her, "We'll have to ask the doctor."
Lo and behold, the doctor says, "There are actually four shots she can get today."
Abby heard him, of course, and immediately cowered like a scared little puppy dog. My heart sank.
"Can get?" I ask. I thought she may need one or two, but FOUR?
"Well, we can break them up and do two today and two at her 5-year-old check up, but we might as well do them all today so you won't have to worry about it next year," he says.
Booster shots at 4 years old? Then I remembered the immunization sheet the preschool gave me (that I haven't looked at yet) and wondered if those shots were on there. This will be our first year of preschool so I'm thinking maybe I'm supposed to have these for preschool too...I don't know. I go back and forth with the doctor for a couple minutes about splitting them up, and he continues to assure me that it's better to just "get it out of the way."
By that time, Abby has wrapped her arms around Daddy's neck, Noah is still crying from the doctor gagging him with the tongue depressor a few minutes before, and we're pumping Abby up telling her how brave she is. "You'll get TWO lollipops and FOUR cool band-aids(she loves band-aids), and Daddy will hold you."
Then the doctor whisked me off to his office to discuss percentiles, concerns, safety precautions, etc... I know this is important stuff, but meanwhile, Pat is in the hallway with a kid in each arm, Abby's upset, and Noah is still crying and yelling, "Mama! Mama!", but the doctor just keeps on talking. I was hoping he would say, "Go ahead and grab your little boy." But he just ignored him. I wasn't feeling much love for this doctor.
When I'm finally dismissed, Pat has distracted Noah with a lollipop and the nurse is preparing the shots as Abby squirms and clings to Daddy. And you know the rest... Poor thing! She ended up getting two in left leg and one in EACH arm. I'm just glad Daddy was there to hold her. This had to be the most upset I've ever seen her. She cried all the way down to the parking lot and into the car. Luckily, the lollipop eventually kicked in. (Gotta LOVE lollipops!) She was all smiles at home when we made an ice cream sundae. (Dessert makes everything better!) However, she insisted I had to carry her to the kitchen table because "I can't walk very good, Mama." Poor kiddo.
I'm still second guessing myself with this whole thing today. I should have been more prepared and known these shots were coming. I should be more educated about immunizations in general.(I didn't even know there were 2 shots for chicken pox.) I should have stood my ground about splitting up the shots. I should have brought that stupid preschool form with me.
Maybe we should just start eating more apples...
* I did find this parent's guide today with more info on recommended vaccines. Any suggestions for other informative sites on this?
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