Today was one of those days I hate: I had to take J for his 5 year old well child visit. Things started out badly: he was very uncomfortable sitting around in his underwear and kept asking every doctor or nurse who came in "Can I put my pants back on, please?!" He is also extremely ticklish, which meant certain parts of the examination were, ahem, difficult to say the least. Then he failed the eye exam, again, and they were threatening to send me to see the pediatric ophthalmologist, AGAIN, even though we went last time and it was the worst doctor's experience I have ever had with any doctor ever AND he passed the vision exams with flying colors so it was all pointless anyway. Luckily, my doctor sided with me when I insisted another visit wasn't necessary. J just can't manage to get his eyes in the right places for their little machine. (I have the same problem at the DMV, where it always appears as if I am blind even though I can pass the exam on the wall just fine.)
So things were already not going well when the time for the shots arrived. 4 of them. In his arms. One of the things I hate most about being a mother is willfully subjecting my child to pain, particularly if I have to be part of the restraint system. I tried cuddling him on my lap on the doctor's table and hugging him tightly but as soon as the nurse walked in and he saw the needles, he started begging "Please, please, no, don't hurt me, please please please, no no no!!" When she tried to give him the first one, he flailed and sobbed so much, she turned to me and said, "Put him between your legs, wrap your legs over his to contain them, immobilize one arms with your arms and I will keep the other arm from moving." So I did what I was told and put my child into a human straight jacket and then held him still while she put two shots in one arm and then two more in the other. All of this was accompanied not only by J's excruciating screams but also Toddler E's cries of "Don't hurt my brother! You leave my brother alone! Stop it now!" The third shot went in at a very sharp angle and J started yelling "My skin, my skin, my skin is broken, you broke my skin!" By the time we finished the fourth shot, both J and Toddler E were inconsolable and my arms and legs hurt from pinning him so hard.
It was awesome.
I had promised them a trip to the candy store afterwards, but I had to carry a crying J out with E trailing along asking "Why did they hurt him, Mommy?" I'm pretty sure the doctor's office has never been so happy to see anyone go! I reiterated as we left what the doctor had said, that the next round of shots doesn't happen until he is 11, many years from now, but he was too traumatized to even speak to me for most of the ride to the candy store and still can't talk about it. Early this morning, at 4am, he stumbled into my room crying in pain because of his arms, so I gave him some Tylenol and a cuddle and then sent him back to bed.
One bright spot: as we were driving away, Toddler E asked J in a very concerned voice "Is your skin really broken? Because if your skin is broken off, how will I hug you??" And then this morning, after we got back from their haircut appointments, I told J to hurry getting his shoes off and he said plaintively, "You shouldn't tell someone with hurt arms and bandages to hurry so fast, Mommy, or their bandages might fall off!" Oh, right, of course.
Again, the awesomeness continues!