I’ll let Dad take it from here
Our son James strutted into the living room with a look that meant he had something very important to share.
“Do you want to see my Band Aid,” he asked, tugging at his pant leg.
My husband Jason told James that he did, but I had seen enough of it for one day. I had the misfortune of taking both of our children to get their flu shots earlier that day.
Dropping his pants to the floor, James pointed to the Spiderman Band Aid on his thigh. He was proud of his wound and wanted the world to see it.
“You know what,” he asked. “It really didn’t hurt that bad.”
I almost spit the water I was drinking out of my mouth.
It didn’t hurt that bad?
This is the same kid who had to be restrained at the doctor’s office. This is the same child who broke a nurse’s ear drum with his screams of anguish. This is the same little angel who attempted to escape the office by clawing his way through me earlier.
It took another glass of water and an Aspirin to settle my nerves down again after he gave Jason his “battle” story with his Band Aid.
It all began at 8 a.m. that morning. I decided to leave the kids out of school for the morning since our doctor’s appointment was at 9:30 a.m. in Jackson.
After hearing the horror story of James’ production at a local doctor’s office during his strep throat test, I decided to get out of town for this one.
The kids have a regular pediatrician in Jackson, and our daughter Elsie had to go in for her 18-month check-up. I decided to bring them both in to get their flu shots as well.
What was I thinking?
I can tell you that at the time I thought I was Super Mom. I would take both the babies in to get their shots with no complaints. I had this under control. I expected a few tears but nothing outrageous. I even told Jason I was going to show him how it was done since he lost control of the situation the last time he took James to the doctor.
Those were my famous last words.
I went ahead and broke the news to James that he would more than likely have to get a shot. There was no sense in misleading him, right?
I began to promise presents and gifts for good behavior. When that didn’t work, I vowed to take his hunting game away if he misbehaved.
And during the ride to the big city, I never heard another word about “the shot.”
Until we got to the doctor’s office, all was well.
After they called our names, James slowly made his way back to the check-up room. He kept twirling his thumbs, looking around every corner and jerking with every noise he heard.
This kid was onto everybody.
Once we made it to the back room, he planted himself down in the chair and didn’t make a sound. I could see his eyes scanning across the room. He was on the lookout for that dreaded shot.
When the doctor came into the room, James remained calm. He even laughed a little when Elsie was poked with every gadget out of the doctor’s pocket.
“Now, are we ready to get our flu shots,” the doctor asked, with a smile.
“Nooooo,” James yelled at the top of his lungs. “No shot!!”
The same kid who had remained seated and quiet was now up in the corner trying to claw his way out of the room. He even took a swing.
Poor Elsie stared at her brother in confusion. She had never seen such a tantrum.
I told James that Elsie would go first to prove it wasn’t that bad. She would cry a little, but it would be over in seconds.
James stood in full attention as he watched Elsie get the shot in her chubby little leg. She cried and quivered her lip for a second, but she handled it quite well.
And then James went back into “flight” mode, barricading himself against the wall.
“Do you want me to go grab another nurse to help,” the nurse asked.
Defeated and embarrassed, I agreed that it was time to call in help.
Within seconds, these two nurses had James on the table. It was clear that these two ladies were in charge and had done this before.
Before I knew it, one nurse had James hands behind his head. The whole time she was trying to calm him down with sweet, soothing sounds.
James continued to scream at the top of his lungs. Elsie was so upset that she thought they were hurting her big brother. She even hurled her pacifier at them and began to scream too.
When the other nurse let go of James’ leg to prepare the shot, he began to kick them around like a crazed Ninja. At one point, I thought he was going to kick the window out.
But the “stick” happened.
And would you believe that as James watched the needle go into his skinny leg, he quit hollering.
The spectacle was over. Elsie grabbed her pacifier back. James had two stickers and a red sucker.
And two wonderful nurses went back to work like nothing happened.
By the time we got back into the car, I was at the end of my rope. I was more stressed than the kids.
We will have to do this every year, I said to myself.
Well, I hope Jason can handle it.