No one particularly likes needles. But my son hates them. Abhors them. Incessantly worries about the next one. So you can imagine how our flu shot went this year.
Let me back up a year, to last year's vaccination fiasco. I was at the appointment solo because daddy had to work, and while we sat in the waiting room, I could literally feel the nervous energy wafting off him. When they called his name, my child, who has never ever thrown a tantrum or screamed or yelled or freaked out in public, dove under a chair and refused to come out. Outright refused. Needless to say, 10 minutes later, a dragging bear-hugging crying and flailing bout ended with a successful vaccine... and the fear of needles in both of us. Not only was he afraid, but I was afraid of the demon-child that possessed my son when he got them.
We agreed on 24-hour notice of this year's flu shot, so he had some advanced warning but not so much that he'd obsess for days. I told him the night before, he was okay with it, and even the next day he was fine up until departure. Then it started: "Can't we go tomorrow?" We drove to the pharmacy across the street: "What?! We're here already? Can't we go to the further-away clinic?" I get out of the car: "I'm not getting out" (but he reluctantly got out). Trudging through the pharmacy: "I can't do this mommy. I really don't want to do this. Really."
My husband and I went first, and when it was his turn, it took some coaxing, some threats, a few evil stares, and he finally lifted his sleeve and sat in my lap and counted aloud. Five seconds after the shot: "I have to sit down. I'm suddenly so tired. I have to listen to my body, and it says to rest." We came home and he moped on the couch the rest of the evening, asked for ice, made himself a sling out of a panda bear stuffy.
Then it was shower time: "I can't shower - what if my arm gets wet? What will happen if the Band-Aid is wet? Do you think it's healed? Ouch... I can't get undressed. Ugh, mommy, my arm is so sore. And I'm not being dramatic."
The next morning: "I can't move my arm. It's so sore. I can't get dressed. How am I going to put my coat on? I can't wear my backpack. I'm not being dramatic but I'm sooooo tired. What if someone touches my arm? How am I going to put my coat on? If I don't get dressed in time, we get punished with no recess. I think I should stay home. Can I skip school? You're working today? Well, daddy is home - maybe I can stay with him."
Gets home from school: "Mommy, I mean it - my arm has hurt me allllll day. I can't even look at the Band-Aid. I'm really tired."
"When do I have to get my next shot?"
A full-time work-from-home mom, Jennifer Cox (our “Supermom in Training”) loves dabbling in healthy cooking, craft projects, family outings, and more, sharing with readers everything she knows about being an (almost) superhero mommy.