Today was check-up day for my daughter. I took her to the doctor – which she really enjoys for some reason – and I am pleased to say that she is healthy and strong, except she seems to have shrunk two inches since last December. I think there was just an error in how they measured her.
I knew going into the clinic today that she was going to have to have a shot. I kept going over and over in my head how I would break the news to her using my calm “it’s no big deal” voice. I opted to wait until the very last minute to explain that the needle was going into her leg. The nurse came in with two needles, one for her and one for my son who needed a chicken pox vaccine. My heartbeat quickened as my little girl dutifully climbed up on my lap, I took her hand and explained that she would feel a little poke. Her blue eyes got huge and a look of panic and dread came over her. I told her that she needed to be brave and that we would go out for ice cream later to celebrate her bravery. The nurse asked her to count to three with her, and on a count of one she stuck my baby in the leg. A yelp was all that came out of my daughter! She didn’t cry, she didn’t panic; she was amazing. Of course the Strawberry Shortcake sticker made it all worth it.
My son, who is 16 months old, was next. He was so busy pushing the doctor’s stool around the room that he had no idea what was going on. I picked him up, removed his pants to expose his leg, and held him down. I could hardly look as the nurse stuck him. The boy barely reacted! No cry, no wince, nothing. Sometimes I have to wonder if these kids are related to me because I am 32 years old and I still make faces when I am stabbed by a needle.
As I was getting the kids in the car, my daughter said, “Mmm, that was fun Mom!” All the way home she stared at the silver sparkle bandage on her leg and said that she was proud of herself for being very brave. That just goes to prove these things are always hardest on the parent.