Before anyone who doesn’t follow me as @Richmondmom on Twitter (they already know about DevilBoy) gets upset with me, first please know that I love and adore the child to whom we’ve attached this name. He is darling (we think), fiesty (definitely) and has more than earned this nickname during his first five years of life. This is the child who has a the temper of an Irishman, the strength of a kid twice his age, and the ability to turn anyone to mush with a flash of his dark eyelashes against bright-blue eyes.
This is the story of how a terrible, horrible, no-good morning with DevilBoy unfolded; we hope you can laugh through our tears.
8:15 am: Sitter arrives. I have pre-planned a sitter for DevilBoy’s visit to the doctor in preparation for kindergarten, having been instructed by the nurses that he will need FOUR SHOTS. Knowing that he is the most dramatic, and fear-filled of all of my children regarding the dreaded SHOTS, I knew this should be a one-parent one-child endeavor. My husband offered to take him; subsequently he had to go out of town on business. Likely story. This one was on me. I went to bed early the night prior to have my strength up.
8:16am: DevilBoy’s older brother says, “why does he have to go back to the doctor? we were all just there for our check-ups?!” One look at my face told older brother to clam up, there were shots involved. “Oh, I think I know why. . .yeah, kindergarten and all that. . .yeah.” Me (thinking): Please dear Lord don’t let him say SHOTS. Another sharp glance his way does the trick. His pie-hole shuts abruptly.
8:20 am: Schlep out into the rain and get buckled in. In the car on the way to the doctor, DevilBoy says: “Mama why are we going back to the doctor?” Me: “Well honey mommy didn’t have all your records straight and they needed them to make sure you have everything ready for kindergarten.” This appeases him.
8:30 am: Arriving on time (shocking in and of itself) we sign in as the nurse says to me “Do you have his immunization records?” Me (thankful that she has used the word “immunization” instead of SHOTS): “No, they were faxed to you, and you called me to set-up this appointment.” Frustrated: “Well, we’ll have to look for those records. I guess he needs his kindergarten SHOTS?”
8:30 am: DevilBoy begins hyperventilation process. My brow beads tiny little sweat droplets as my heart-rate rises.
8:35 am: DevilBoy hides behind chair in doctor’s office as nurses scramble for immunization (we might as well just call them SHOT records now) paperwork.
8:40 am: Doctor comes into office, says “We’re sorry we sent everything to our other branch office, and since he needs FOUR SHOTS and we only have TWO SHOTS we’ll send you down there to get all of them at once.” DevilBoy immediately starts thrashing, then curls into ball, sobbing under chair. Doctor, intuitively: “We’ll make sure you can WALK RIGHT IN.”
8:41 am: We leave the doctor’s office, my patience less-than-intact as I say “I know this isn’t anyone in particular’s fault, but you’ve made my morning 100X more difficult.” DevilBoy tries to run away as I snatch his arm back into the parking lot.
8:41 am- 8:51 am: The long, rainy drive to the branch office brings many fright-filled questions like “Mama why do I have to have shots? I don’t really need them do I? Why are you making me do this?!” None of which I have an answer that will calm him.
8:52 am: We walk right in, and the front-desk nurse is not ready for us, nor does she have any idea who we are. DevilBoy continues his rant, starting to pant heavily and digging his tiny fingers into my shoulders as I hold his 48-lb frame. We sit. We wait. In shared terror we anticipate the worst.
9:00 am: After what seems like an eternity I carry his hefty-little-self back into the last room in the hall and pray these nurses have eaten their Wheaties for breakfast.
9:10 am: A nurse arrives with FOUR SHARP NEEDLES to which DevilBoy immediately screams “NO NO NO MAMA!” and the reinforcement nurses peep in the door as I beckon them in. His legs and arms are tightly strained and I am using all available mama-force to restrain him so he doesn’t whack the nurse in the head.
9:15 am: With a few reassuring words said nurse (as onlooking nurses wince) pump FOUR SHOTS into my crying baby boy as I try to soothe and calm him. He screams “DEY ARE NOT MY FWENDS! YOU ARE NOT MY FWEND MAMA! I HATE SHOTS”
9:20 am: Different nurse completes immunization records so that DevilBoy may be admitted to kindergarten. I continue to whisper to him that this is to keep him healthy and strong to which he screams: “I DON’T WANNA BE HEALFY, DEY ARE NOT MY FWENDS!” Screams and sobs ensue for what seems like an eternity.
9:30 am: We depart the doctor’s office, my arms around my hefty little man while trying to hold an umbrella against the pouring rain. We step into the convenience store next-door to the doctor’s office, he is allowed to choose candy for he and his siblings in celebration of making it through this endeavor. Even after we’re back in the car, he whimpers and cries “Dey are not my fwends. I am never goin back dere!”
9:40 am: We arrive home, I deliver him to the sitter and he proudly shows his siblings his shots, with anger in his eyes: “See what mama made me do!”
9:45 am: After making sure he’s back in his trusty-favorite-jammies I kiss all the kiddos and head out for my work day. Wishing I were in my jammies. Head under pillow. Shots are not my fwends, either. Until next year.