Is there anything so wonderful as taking your small child in to the doctor for shots? Wait, let me rephrase that because maybe you didn’t pick up on my sarcasm. Is there anything so horrifically sucky as taking your child in to the doctor for shots? What an ordeal!
It starts with the primary objections, when you mention it to them a couple days in advance. ”I don’t want to get a shot!” Well of course you don’t. I don’t. They don’t seem to fully grasp the idea that by getting stabbed in the arm by a needle, they are hopefully going to miss the boat on a few days of vomiting, diarrhea and pain!
Then, when the day arrives, the treat demands surface. “I better get ice cream!” Or “I’m not getting a shot unless you buy me a toy!” When kids are 2 or 3, I’m all about gifting the horror of getting a shot. But Noble is 6 now. I can go for a treat, but I just can’t be buying legos for every unpleasant thing in his life. Some things in life require good ol fashioned, “Suck it up!”
And the tears, oh my gosh those tears after a shot are the worst! As a parent, we are supposed to protect our children. But there are these times when we have to literally watch them get stabbed by a stranger and do nothing about it. The parental instinct is to smash the assailant in the head with a blunt object. Denying that instinct while your kid looks at you like, “What are you letting them do to me?!” just isn’t easy. But that’s the way it goes.
I managed to document Noble’s flu shot. The experience was unlike any shot he has ever received. He actually began the process with total optimism and acceptance…
Were there tears? Did he freak out? NO! As soon as the needle left his arm, he looked over at me and did his signature shoulder shrug, no big deal, that didn’t hurt face. As I peered deep into his eyes I could see that he was putting on a brave face. But it wasn’t for me. He was doing it for him. I think he wanted to prove to himself that getting a shot wasn’t a big deal. And he succeeded. Noble rules! And I don’t feel like a horrible parent…today.