I thought I was doing the right thing by telling my son ahead of time that he was going to the doctor for his check-up, and that, there may in fact be shots. I forgot, the son I was telling is one giant worry-wort.
I told him the day before. As he went to bed, he got emotional, saying, “Mama…I don’t wanna get pokes, can we do it another time?”. I explained that the pokes would be quick, and getting those are a lot better than getting the sickie bugs that could follow if we didn’t get them. A four year old can’t comprehend that..but I tried anyway.
I know it’s cliché, but I really do wish there was a manual out there for parents. It’s too bad every kid, every mom, and dad are so different. What works for one family doesn’t work for all.
Maybe I shouldn’t have told him..maybe I should have blindsided him. Truth be told, I have never liked that approach, so I went with what I thought was best. Which is all we can do as parents sometimes…
So he perseverated….he was quiet, he was teary eyed walking into the office. Mom guilt set in.
“Hey Buddy, once we are done with this, lets go pick out a new monster truck, ok?!”
sniffle. “ok mom”.
Our Dr. came and went, and then the nurse came in. Cal looked at the needles, the band aids, and started crying. I held him close. Jab 1- instant screams, he tried to push the nurse man and his needle away. I had to hold his arms down…and then before he could see the second needle, I pulled his face into my shoulder to look away. Jab 2.
He wailed for about 10 minutes, we walked down the hallway. Empathetic nurses, receptionists, and patients walked by with a “good job buddy!”, “would a sucker help?”, “how about a sticker?!”. All sweet and kind people. Nothing helped. My heart (and leg) hurt for him.
He’s 4. This is only the beginning. Today was a couple jabs….in the years to come there will likely be a bully or two, heartbreaks, fights with friends, feeling inadequate, not good enough. As a mom I don’t want him to ever have those feelings, but I know that I can’t make them go away either….
So instead I hugged him. I held him close, told him how brave he was. I let him cry.
And got him the toy truck I had promised him.
After picking up the truck, we got in the car. Calvin said, “I hope I’m done with those pokes forever “. All I could say was, “Today, we are all done”.
Sorry, sweet boy. Life is going to throw other jabs at you. But I’ll be here….