Flu shots provoke so much drama and controversy that it drives me absolutely bananas. Every year it’s the same thing:
“MOMMY NO! IF YOU LOVE ME YOU WON’T DO THIS TO ME! I DON’T NEED FLU SHOTS! YOU MUST HATE ME IF YOU’RE WILLING TO LET THEM HUUUUUUURT MEEEEEE!”
Which drama and controversy did you think I was talking about?
I got Darling Girl and Sweet Girl into the car easily enough since we had to pick up Eldest Girl from school after they got off the bus.
Mommy “We have a couple of errands to run, girls! The second errand is to stop at Price Chopper. I might even let you pick out a treat at Price Chopper today.”
Eldest Girl “Why? What’s so special about today?”
Mommy “Well, we have another errand to run first. It’s the 14th.”
Darling Girl “Oh. Are we getting a shot?”
Mommy “Great guess! Yes, today is your flu shot. I warned
you last week about it.”
Sweet Girl “SHOTS? NOOOO! I HOPE YOU GO THE WRONG WAY AND GET LOST AND THEN WE DON’T HAVE TO GET SHOTS BECAUSE YOU WON’T KNOW THE WAY! AND THEN I WON’T NEED THE SHOT! CAN YOU GET LOST NOW???”
That was the gist of things the entire ride to the pediatrician.
Eldest Girl “Mommy, I don’t need the shot. It’s going to HURT! I won’t get the flu, I promise! I’ll take all the precautions and everything! Or I’ll get the one that gets shoved up my nose!”
Darling Girl “I don’t want a shot. It’s going to hurt, right? I don’t want it to hurt.”
Sweet Girl “ARE WE LOST YET? I NOT GETTING A SHOT! I WANT YOU TO GO THE WRONG! WAY! RIGHT! NOW!”
I explained the purpose of the vaccination and how it works, as well as the fact that it protects not only them but newborns like their baby cousin and older relatives, and friends and family that might not get the shot at all. That was all fine and dandy, and they seemed to understand. Then we pulled into the parking lot.
Eldest Girl ::whimpers::
Darling Girl ::silence::
Sweet Girl “YOU DIDN’T GET LOST! I NOT GETTING A SHOT! I NOT! YOU TOOK THE RIGHT TURN!”
Mommy “So who’s going to be my bravest girl?”
Sweet Girl “NOOOOOOO! I STAYING IN THE CAR! NO! NO!”
Mommy “How about you just take my hand? I’ll stay with you the whole time and I’ll give you a piece of gum for sensory. Does that sound good?”
In we went. Directly into an exam room. Darling Girl went in like the good little girl she always is without complaint, but with a small and precious pout. Eldest Girl… well… she waited for the bathroom to open up. And then she locked herself in.
Darling Girl, quietly… “I went first last time. Can I be brave but last this time?”
So Sweet Girl went first, not happy about it, but she relaxed enough so that the arm didn’t hurt when she got the shot. She was so shocked that it didn’t hurt that she stopped crying. She was fascinated by the tiny dot of blood and the tiny bandage, but then she got the hell out of Dodge in case there any further ideas of more vaccinations and left to wait in the waiting room.
I had to threaten getting the doctor’s key to get Eldest Girl out of the bathroom.
Eldest Girl “It’s going to HURT!”
Mommy “G got hers already. Do you hear her crying any more?”
Eldest Girl peeked out and saw Sweet Girl holding her arm and not crying. She then sat on my lap as she hasn’t done in years and she actually followed directions.
Eldest Girl “It didn’t hurt! HEY! It DIDN’T HURT! I can stop crying now! But are you sure it didn’t hit my bones? I think the needle poked my bones. It might have hurt and damaged me.”
Mommy “It didn’t hit your bone. You’re fine.”
Doctor “I’m pretty sure I didn’t hit your bones.”
Darling Girl was last, as promised. I held her hand, and her legs were shaky. She was trying so hard to be brave. Her lips were trying to pull down in a frown, and tears were forming in her chocolate brown eyes. She whispered, “I need to sit on your lap and hold your hand. I’m not so brave. But can you do that trick where you pinch my other arm?”
And then in surprise, she said, “That didn’t hurt at all! Wow! I love shots! I want to get them all the time!”
Sure, kiddo. Let’s tell the world.