Tonight I had the distinct privilege of taking the trio to the pediatrician's office for flu shot clinic solo. It was packed. We waited over an hour for our appointment. I was afraid that the prophylactic Tylenol I had given them before we left home would have already worn off by the time we were called. But, as with much of life these days, it turned out to be a great lesson.
Although we have received flu shots each Winter of the children's lives, this was the first year they were old enough to know what we were doing. I was honest with them about why we were going and what was going to happen.
When the nurse finally entered the exam room, R looked right at her and said, "I am going to be bwave for my shot to-day."
I said, "Ok, buddy. Since you are the leader of the day and you are so brave, you get to be first." I lined all three up on the exam table with their legs dangling over the edge. Each had their left pant leg rolled up. The nurse had three syringes prepped and bandaids unwrapped, ready and adhered to her scrub top.
As she used the alcohol prep pad on R's thigh, all eyes were glued. The nurse then removed the cap and quickly stuck him. His little face tightened up and tears entered his eyes. Then I watched my little man make a choice to suck it up. He took a quick breath and as the nurse put on his bandaid he exhaled, "See? I AM bwave."
"I can be bwave, too," K boasted. The alcohol prep made her eyes grow large. The prick brought a rush of tears that seemed to communicate betrayal. How could you hurt me? Ow!
"Look, girly. You did it. We are done. Great job."
Her tears ceased. Her bottom lip remained out.
P was like a sweet lamb being led to slaughter. He knew exactly what was coming. He looked at me tentatively. There it goes. There he goes. Screaming. Tears. "Hold you, Mom-mee!" I tried to calm him unsuccessfully before quickly unwrapping a sucker and placing it in his mouth. That seemed to placate him.
As we left the waiting room and stepped onto the elevator, R was still chattering about how brave he had been. You were all brave, I exhorted.
P looked up and said quite directly, "Don't say I was bwave Mommy 'cause I wasn't this time."
Apparently all the talk of courage impacted R, because tonight his bedtime prayer was this:
"De-ya God. Tank you for my Mommy. Pweeze make her bwave like me so she won't be afwaid of da snakes you made any-mo-wa. In Jes-sus name we pway, A-men."
Then he picked up a wooden toy snake and asked, "Are you afwaid of dis snake no-wa, Mom?"
I told him I was NOT afraid of that toy snake, but I still did not like real snakes very much.
I sure do like that little boy though!