parenting, Vaccine

The Flu Shot Fiasco

Admittedly, I don’t remember a tremendous amount from my childhood. Not for any reason other than that I think I have a horrible memory. If I look at photos I will sort of remember things – like a trip to Disney, swimming in our pool or our weeks at a beach house down the shore.

But I definitely do not remember getting vaccines. I know I got them, and I’m sure I was not happy, but that’s about it. And I’m hoping it’s the same for Little Mister, who is apparently traumatized by vaccines.

Case in point: this year’s flu shot.

This was our 7th year getting the flu shot, FYI. This was not our first flu shot rodeo.

Our pediatrician happened to hold a flu clinic on Columbus Day Weekend, and Mr. KK and I were away overnight visiting family. Little Mister’s Grandmother was gracious enough to agree to bring him to his appointment.

We are not big “we’ll just surprise him!” parents, so we talked with Grandma about sharing what they were doing on Sunday, and have a plan of attack for the day. Something like, “We’re going to go, you’re going to be brave, we’ll hold hands, you’ll get your shot, and then we’ll go for donuts!”

About 20 minutes after Little Mister’s scheduled appointment – just as we were packing up the car to drive home from New York – we get a FaceTime call from Grandma.

And Grandma was all business when we answered: “It is NOT going well.”

Apparently, Little Mister had worked himself up so much, that he was very nervous and scared it was going to hurt. He was past the point of reasoning. They were in the room with the nurse for about 15 minutes. No shot. 

Knowing it was a lost cause, we told them to just go home. Do not pass go, do not get any donuts.

From the backseat, our Little Mister pipes up in a perfectly voice to tells m: “Mom, I didn’t the shot.”

Two weeks later, we’re back at the clinic. This time, it’s just me and Little Mister.

We stand in line. 

We’re brought back into an exam room.

The nice nurse looks at our chart, then looks at Little Mister and says: “I remember you! You were here with your Grandma!” 

“That’s right!” I told her. “But this time, we’re not leaving without the vaccine.”

During the next 35 minutes the Little Mister:

  • refused to take his arm out of his fleece
  • cried
  • tried to reason with me
  • tried to negotiate with me
  • cried some more
  • wailed like I was shoving toothpicks under his fingernails
  • told me I was being unfair
  • told me he wasn’t happy with me
  • explained that he was scared
  • cried
  • shared that he wouldn’t go near the flu so he didn’t need the shot
  • asked if they gave donuts to kids who cried
  • and cried some more (at this point it could have been tears about the donuts)

When we finally got his arm out of his fleece, the nurse acted quickly. She rubbed the alcohol pad on his arm, I hugged him from behind and she stuck the needle in. We were like two CDC superheroes working together to keep kids healthy.

Little Mister was crying through all of our heroics, and after the needle went in and the nurse said, “We’re done!”, he looked at her and screamed, “THAT DIDN’T HURT AT ALL!”

Which only made him cry harder.

COVID-19 vaccine…here we come.

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