Today Bowie had to go to the pediatrician for his 5 year check up, which also involved getting shots and tests done so his doctor could fill out this very official looking yellow sheet of paper for the school district.
My first plan of attack when I made the appointment was to stay mum on the subject of shots until the moment of truth, so he wouldn’t get scared and nervous and all of that. But then yesterday during summer preschool circle time, it was announced that a fellow Kindergarten-bound classmate had gotten her shots that very morning, and could everyone please be extra gentle today.
Bowie asked me, “Do I have to get shots too, mom?”
“Well yes, buddy, actually tomorrow.”
And then he commenced to completely freak out for the rest of the afternoon, through the night, and into this morning.
“I’m NOT getting shots!”
“I’m sorry, but you have to.”
“No I DON’T!”
“Well, then I’m sorry, you won’t be able to go to Kindergarten.”
“Ok, fine, I don’t want to go to Kindergarten anymore!”
Over and over. Lather, rinse, repeat.
This morning, after long talks about bravery and camaraderie (all his friends will also be getting shots) and hugs from mom and permission for Fox to accompany us to the doctor, he finally announced about 3 minutes before we had to walk out the door that, “Ok. I will go.”
He did great while getting his blood pressure taken, and getting measured, and getting poked and prodded. He told her he was nervous about the shots, and they talked a bit about it. Up until this point, I thought there were only 2 shots, but he also needed a TB test, which counts as a shot I suppose. So, he was a bit perturbed that there were three pokes and not two.
She’s like, “Oh, I see here he needs some lab work. He hasn’t had any done since he was a baby so I suppose we should take care of that today too.”
We leave her exam room, and she gives him a book as a special reward, and she tells me to sit in the waiting area and the lab technician will call us back in very soon.
So we go back out and he’s on cloud 9, thinking he’s done. But, I say no, we have to wait, hang on. We read his new book, and then they called us back in. And he asks with a very worried look, “Why are we going in here?”
I sat in the chair and put him in my lap, as she requested I do, and then I whispered, “You need one more shot.”
It was an unexpected poke in an unfamiliar room from an unfamiliar (albeit very friendly and sweet) medical professional and suddenly…he was sobbing on my shoulder. “I don’t want this shot mom, I REALLY don’t want this shot.”
Oh my good HEAVENS was my heart breaking for him. (And also secretly I was loving that he was needing me so much in that moment!) But then, she inserted the needle, he sat back, and even had a LOOK at it (something I’ve never been able to do) and he said, “Well, that didn’t hurt so bad. I guess I was really brave!”
He’s sad and sore, but he went to school today. And it’s all over now.
And my brave boy gets to go to Kindergarten.