Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Finn & The Needles

When I graduated high school I had to get a series of vaccinations before I headed to college. I still saw the pediatrician that had been treating me since I was a baby, so this woman knew me and my family pretty well. Dr. Wauters was a tiny little woman who was compassionate, but didn't tolerate fools lightly. (After she was diagnosed with cancer my mom reported seeing her in her yard building a stone wall by hand. She was tough.) For some reason, I was so nervous about getting shots I had worked myself into an anxious frenzy that day, and was crying - actually weeping - over the anticipation of having to get them done. I was 17 years old for Pete's sake, and embarrassed to be crying in front of Dr. Wauters, but I just couldn't get a grip on myself. Drama, much?

I'm not scared of needles themselves, just the anticipation of needles. The knowing you have to endure them and dreading it. Once the needle is in, a wave of relief washes over me. Hey, it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be is the immediate reaction. But, oh the dread! 

So it was with great trepidation I loaded Finn into the car and headed to his Four Year Well-Check at the pediatrician's office this morning. The Four Year, FOUR SHOT, Well-Check. I had been bracing him since yesterday. Finn hates being blind-sighted so I knew he needed time to turn things over in his little head. I told him he could bring his wallet with his Christmas money and buy a prize at the dollar store after the appointment - we chose to focus on that part. 

The nurse weighed him - 39 pounds. (70th percentile)
Measured him - 42 and 3/4 inches. (97th percentile)
Took his blood pressure - 97 over 71.

We talked to Dr. Cartwright about his nutrition (good milk drinker), how his arm is healing (looks good but will have permanent scar), and his social skills (friendly, rambunctious, normal boy). I talked to the doctor about the concerns his teachers have had and the things we're trying to do to address them. I showed him the books I've been reading and got his advice on their subject matter.**

We took a developmental test that had Finn draw a circle, match animals to their sounds, define household objects. 
A ball? ("A round bouncy circle.") 
What is a banana? ("Like an apple, but it's yellow.") 
A house? ("Where me-an-Eli-an-Mommy-an-Daddy live.")
He hopped on one foot, he followed prepositional directions (Put this paper on the chair. Now under. Now behind Mom. Now on top of the counter.) 

Then came what I had been dreading. The needles. 

I told him to be brave like Indiana Jones. He was scared, and said so. I told him we would go fast and it would be over quickly. He said "Okay, Mom" through his tears and lay back. He cried when each needle went in. It was done in less than 10 seconds. 

Thirty seconds later he was done crying and pulling out his wallet. He actually thanked the nurse on our way out. When we got to the store, he chose a bracelet for me first, a toy sword for Eli second, and an airplane glider for himself last. All on his own. 

This past weekend we attended a Kindergarten Open House at a school we wanted to see. And all I can think about is the blur of memories and colors and Finn-isms that Time leaves trailing behind us. 

** The Trouble With Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do by Peg Tyre.
The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life by Michael Gurian.


jenny said...

I can completely relate. My girls are 2.5 and 5.5. Last year with my eldest was TOUGH. We got the big shot trip at 5, to prep for K, which temporarily turned her off of the prospect of going to K. (Which, when your kid LOVES school, stinks in and of itself.) The doctor visit, for us, did not go as well as yours, though. It was brutal.
What you wrote that spoke loudest to me, though, was your lines at the end about the blur of colors and memories. That feeling of "WHERE DID MY BABY GO?" and "How did we get here?" is a very powerful feeling. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I can only think of that phrase, "like the sands through an hour glass..."

Loved the post. :)

Fairybookmother said...

I also went to Dr. Wauters when I was a child & into my teenage years -- she was, indeed, an amazing lady!

Congrats on the success with Fin & needles, and for the generosity that he felt with his "Christmas money" -- what a sweet little dude!

Artist Unplugged said...

What a relief and what a sweetie Finn is. When BigBoy was 10 he had strep and the doctor said he must have a shot. When the doc went out to get the shot, BigBoy told me through clinched teeth he would never forgive me for this! In high school he went through rush allergy treatment and endured 30 shots over the span of a few hours without wincing! Ahhhh, the memories!

Carol said...

Wow he really is like Indiana Jones. So brave! 4 shots? Yuck!

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