Usually, I don't tell my kids that they are going to get shots when we go for our yearly check-ups. Honestly, because I'm not really sure of the shot schedule (which I should be) and also because I don't want them freaking out the whole way to the doctor's office.
Today, however, I knew that most likely Noah would be getting those dreaded Kindergarten shots - the same ones that I didn't know Abby would get at her four-year-old appointment until the doctor came in and said, "She'll need to get four shots today." Nice.
But today, I expected that may be the case so I thought maybe if I prepped Noah a little bit and told him that he might have to get a shot today and that if he was brave we would go to the dollar store and he could pick out TWO toys, maybe it would help to lessen the drama.
Um...nope. It didn't help one bit. He freaked out. He did calm down finally and was fine during the drive to the office and for the first part of the appointment. He was so cute with those headphones on during the hearing test, pointing to his ears. But as soon as the nurse mentioned, actually spelled the word S-H-O-T-S in the doctor's office, the boy went ballistic.
Abby needed to get one too (surprise!) so she immediately cowered behind me, gripping the tail of my shirt, tears streaming down her face.Usually, Daddy comes to these check-up appointments with us for this VERY reason. I've only held Abby for shots once when she was a baby, and that was it for me. I feel so bad that they are upset that I want to cry right along with them. (A wimp, I know.) But for today's appointment, I thought I'd be able to handle it. The kids are older. I can reason with them better. I can bribe them with dollar store toys and ice cream. It should be fine.
Abby went first. I had to coax her out of the corner and wrap myself around her like a pretzel. She screamed when the needle went in, but then it was done. So much for putting on a brave face for little brother. Then with Noah....it was awful. He's scrambling to hide under the chair. He's flailing his arms. He knocks me over as I'm bending down to pick him up. He was inconsolable. Poor kid. I wanted to bawl my eyes out too. I tried to laugh instead, but I could feel the lump in my throat. Why, oh why, did I not have Pat come with us? What was I thinking?
But I forced myself to stay strong. These are booster shots for heaven's sake, it's not like he's losing an arm! Get yourself together, woman!
So I did. It took three of us to hold him down, but I laid over Noah and kept telling him "It's okay. We're almost done." I even started to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". His favorite. I barely got to "Cracker Jacks", and it was over.
It took us a few minutes to recoup. Poor Abby was watching the whole thing and feeling major sympathy pains along with the sting in her arm. But it was nothing that two lollipops, a Barbie and Mega truck sticker, a trip to the Dollar Store, and baby cone with "sprinkles and candy eyes" couldn't cure.
I even got a scoop of Oreo ice cream for myself.
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