It started last night.
"Mommy, I'm not getting a shot at the doctor tomorrow, am I?"
"Yeah baby...you are gonna get a shot."
"No Mommy...I don't want to get a shot. That really, really hurt me last time and I don't want to have to do it again..."
And on and on it went. I had to talk to him for 30 minutes about how we were going to handle it (turn our heads away, hold hands and count to three), and the entire plan for the day tomorrow. And most importantly about how that plan included a trip to his favorite restaurant for lunch and then to his favorite little toy store. We talked about how first Gigi was going to come over, then Mommy was leaving to go to his school to have a talk with his teacher (parent teacher conference), and then when Mommy got back we were going to go to the doctor. Then a little exam...a even littler, teeny-tiny even, shot in the arm and then OFF TO LUNCH. AND FUN THINGS. AND JOY!! Many, many times we went over it. And then he told me that if I was a good Mommy tomorrow (like he is going to be a good boy), then he would tell me a story. And it was gonna be a great story, so I better be good cause I was gonna want to hear it. And that he and I were gonna be a team. A team of good boy and good Mommy and we were gonna have a GREAT day tomorrow. And we hugged and said goodnight.
I'll write about the parent teacher conference later (which mostly was talking about his recently discovered OT issues) but I did that, went home and picked him up and went to the doctor. He had had a good morning talking a lot about the toy, but not so much about the appointment. Until we got in there. Then he started talking about it. The shots that is. But he was still dealing pretty well.
Weight and height taken (34 pounds and 40 inches...and I actually hesitated posting that because it really shows how very tiny my boy is...but I guess my long time readers all know that...) Then hearing test (flying colors), eye test (did great on that as well). Then off to the potty for the pee in a cup. Even did well on that. :) Then into the room for the exam. The nurse had warned me in the hall: 5 pokes today.
Holy crap!! I had no idea it was THAT many... "What are they?" I asked her. "TB test, blood test (finger prick), and then three booster shots in his arms."
Damn. This wasn't going to be pretty.
Turns out it wasn't so much. The first part was the TB test. In my day it was a little 4 prong thing that they poked on your arm to see if you got a reaction. This was an actual needle injecting something into his arm! The nurse drew a happy face on his arm in pen (he kinda freaked out for that because he didn't trust that it was really only a pen) and then used the needle to make the "nose." He didn't buy it. He screamed but sat relatively still and let it happen. Then came the "blood draw." Clue to cute nurse: Don't mention the word blood. My kid had vision of his veins exploding. And he freaked the eff out. Like writhing around in Gigi's arms, me holding onto his arms trying to make it happen... Like a scene out of a movie. His face turned red, he was all snotty and coughing because he was forgetting to breathe... It was crazy.
And then it was over. And he calmed down, but he knew the shots were still coming.
The exam with the doctor was a time for him to calm down and read a book in my mom's arms while I talked to his doctor. We talked about the recent OT evaluation and some issues surrounding that.... It's a hard conversation to have really. I spent a lot of it trying not to cry. The blood draw had been REALLY hard to watch and my emotions were frayed from that and then I have to sit down and have a conversation with his doctor about the areas where my kid needs serious help. And where he is really far behind. And we talked about using his school district in Kindergarten for possible OT services. And I gave that look like, he'll never qualify. He's never bad enough to qualify for school services. Just bad enough to really need services... And he gave me that look back like, "This time he might be bad enough."
I got a little croaky and emotional and he told me that I hadn't done anything wrong. That I was a great mother, and that I was doing now what needed to be done. And that I shouldn't feel bad about anything.... And that made me feel better...but then even having to have this conversation with his doctor...again...about something he needs help in... Well that just made me sad all over again.
It's hard. This whole thing is hard.
And then he did his physical exam and he passed everything. He gave him the standard test he gives to all incoming kindergartners and he could do everything. And he said to me, "Based on this evaluation, I wouldn't say anything was wrong either...he did great." So there's that. He smiled at me and patted me on the shoulder...told me about how his kid could not hang on the bars before kindergarten either and he got him into this program...and now he is swinging like a champ. Very sweet. And easy to relate to. His son is on the autism spectrum and he talks openly about that. I really do love my pediatrician. So he chatted a bit with The Boy again and headed out.
Then The Boy knew that all that was left was the shots. They were coming. He cried, he talked about it...we practiced breathing...he went back and forth between me and Gigi...he paced...he begged me to put his shirt back on... Where the HELL was the nurse? (She was outside preparing the needles away from him so that it was fast and easy when she came in...) She finally came in and he was in Gigi's arms and lap. We talked about it for a minute and he decided he was going to face into Gigi's chest and look up at me away from everything. While we were deciding this she did the first two shots into his right arm. He didn't even notice it was happening. When she came around to the other arm he really had no clue the shots were even done. He realized it at that point, looked at me, and we counted to three and she was done. Just like that. SHE RULED!! Major props to her. All of a sudden he takes a big deep breath and goes, "Well that wasn't so bad."
And he's been fine ever since.
For the record, he did get lunch at his favorite restaurant AFTER the toy store because that was of more importance (the toy store was far more important than lunch). He picked a ball like thing that expands into a bigger ball like thing... and a pretend clock because he wants to learn to tell time. He was stoked. Got a yummy lunch and then headed home. He took like an hour little nap and then Gigi came back and picked him up for a sleepover at her house.
Minus a few little shots...it's been a damn good day for my son. A really rough day for his Mommy.Doing what he loves: Examining his lady bug larvae transforming into...whatever the hell the next stage is.
Edited to add: I just spoke to my mom on the phone and she said they went BACK to the toy store on the way to her house and he got two more treats to keep at Gigi's house... He must have laid it on thick...
And more: I just realized he never told me my story. I *think* I was a "good" Mommy today...