Just 14 short days ago this little person had a birthday. And birthdays always mean a trip to the doctor for the annual check-up.
I picked Keegan up early today from school. He was reallly excited because his brother had to stay at school and because he got to have alone time with me. After all, I am “the most beautifulest mommy and that’s why your my favorite:)” Sorry mama – you lose out this time!
We got to the doctor’s office where there is a sick waiting room and a well waiting room. There is a glass divider between the two rooms. Keegan was curious about the child that was in the sick waiting room. Then I realized why – she was a cute, blonde 2 year old. He flurted with her like he does all cute little girls. My favorite part about this interaction is that Keegan didn’t even notice that the little girl has Down Syndrome and spoke using sign language! I know that I’ve done something right when the differences are not the first things he sees.
We got called into the room. My monstrous son was weighed and measured – 95 percentile for both height and weight….. again! The nurse asked all of the developmental questions while Keegan sat quiet as a church mouse on the exam table. She informed me that he would need 3 immunizations today. Keegan did not yet realize that word equated shots.
I am not the mom who hides these things from her kids. I told him after the nurse left that he would have to get 3 shots. He wasn’t happy, but moved on from it. He and I laughed and giggled about lots of silly things while waiting for the doctor to come in. When the doctor did come in the exam went off without a hitch. Ok, well one small one…. Poor Keegan has an ear infection. He started complaining about it yesterday but I put it off knowing that he had this check-up today. I gave him Tylenol and Motrin and he did quite well.
The doctor left the room and I again reminded Keegan that he was going to be getting 3 shots. He was ok as long as there were no “pokey things”. I told him there would be needles. The tears and the crying started almost instantly.
I held him, I carried him, I watched him try to hide his legs between my body and his so that the nurse wouldn’t be able to get to them. I tried to reason with him – to let him know that the shots would help him stay healthy. I offered him his favorite ice cream. The hardest moment I endured was just after he said that he didn’t really want ice cream (this kid lives and breathes for ice cream alone!). The hardest moment was when he said that he wanted to keep the boo-boo in his ear. It really wasn’t that bad. He was willing to keep the ear infection pain if it meant that he could forego shots. He thought when I said the shots would keep him healthy it meant it would make his ear feel better. He wanted the ear infection…..
At that exact moment I knew in my heart of hearts that I was the worst mommy in the world. I was holding my baby and allowing a stranger to poke needles in his legs and fill him with medication. I have been doing this with my children since they were born. You’d think I’d have gotten over the guilt by now. But it never seems to go away. I know that I’m doing the best thing for them by giving them the immunizations. My saving grace is that they don’t hate me for it….. yet…..