Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Immunizations, Really?

All parents know how awful getting shots for kiddos can be.  We dread it.  We hate to see our little ones in pain of any kind.

Flash forward.  Big kids.  Early to mid teens.  They're at the end of their immunization programs and by this point they should be fully aware of what shots feel like.  Yes, it's still not a pleasant prospect but it must be done.  Immunizations are a mandatory school requirement. 

Most parents get through this process with their older kids with little or no hassle.  Their children may balk about it but when push comes to shove, just a few well placed threats of lost computer privileges should keep their kids in line.  Not so with mine. 

I had the lovely job of taking both my sons in yesterday for their wellness check-ups and immunization updates.  I always prepare myself for the worst and hope for the best.  It's sort of like the annual optometrist appointment but with needles.  Yes, I could probably take the boys in separately but what's the point?  It's going to be miserable no matter how I do it.  The only thing missing would be William antagonizing Austy.  At least with them annoying each other they're not annoying the office staff.  

Austynn was first.  While he was was being examined by the doctor he explained that he couldn't have his shots.  His system had "flushed" itself out last night (diarrhea).  There was something terribly wrong with him.  The medicine wouldn't stick.  He needed some special tests to find out why his system "flushed" so violently.  His mother (yours truly) didn't know what she was talking about and I should not expose him to immunizations at this time (nice).

Will's turn to be examined.  He lost four pounds.  He's really been exercising (yeah, right - he sits in his room from 8:30am until dinner).  He does a lot of housework - a lot more than mom (WHAT?!).  He plans on walking to school in the Autumn (four blocks).  He's not wearing his hearing aide because what's the point, mom just yells at him anyway (wait until you get home and you won't be disappointed).

After the doctor left, we waited for the nurse and the lovely shots to arrive.  I knew Austynn was going to be the hardest so I wanted him to go first.  As he sat on the table, he started to whine and complain about everything.  I knew he was nervous but he was being just awful.  I asked him nicely to stop.  He told me point blank, "NO".  I told him he was being surly (this has become my favorite word lately to describe my children) and if he didn't start behaving he was going to have a consequence. 

"FINE!  Give me a consequence, I DON'T CARE!"  Fine, I took away TV and Wii privileges when we eventually got home.  He didn't like that.  Then the nurse came in...

"My mom is stupid.  She gave me a consequence.  I don't want a shot!"  And, from there his voice became louder and louder and more aggressive.  Eventually the one nurse became two nurses and two nurses became three nurses and the whole time this was going on he was ranting and raving about what an idiot I was.  I was an awful mother.  He hated me and so on and so forth.  All I can say is thank God he's past the biting stage.  Finally the dreaded poke came.  One shot, that's all he needed.  Over.  He didn't even know when he received it because he was too busy screaming his obscenities at me.  Thank God William is past this screaming stage or perhaps he just didn't want his phone taken away so he kept his mouth shut.

By the time Austy hopped off the table he was all sunshine and roses.  "I love you, Mom.  Can I have my Wii and TV privileges back?"  I could have sworn I heard the nurses giggling over my shoulder. 

"No, I think not, Austy.  I know you were nervous but that was some pretty awful stuff you were yelling at me, dude."  

"Awww, I'm sorry."

"I know.  Just try harder next time.  I'm black and blue.  Look at me, I'm a wreck."

Austynn, in a very serious and concerned voice said, "Yeah, you do look pretty bad, mom."

I completely set myself up for that one.    

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