Yesterday the little girl and I went in to get her flu shot as scheduled.
I tried to prep her early so that it wouldn't be an unpleasant surprise - if I wait too long, there's not time to give an unhurried explanation, and she always does better with an explanation.
So I told her in the car that we were going to the doctor's office, and that she would have a quick flu shot, just like Mommy and Daddy had. Remember Mommy and Daddy got a shot in the arm? And she was going to get a quick shot in the leg.
She started to whine as we pulled into the parking lot. Her new vantage point gives her opportunity to recognize locations, so she clearly recognized the place.
Ah ohn't ahnt it, she kept telling me as we were getting out of the car.
Yes, I know you don't want it, but the flu shot will keep you from getting sick this Winter, honey. Mommy got a flu shot, Daddy got a flu shot. and so on, as I herded her toward to front door.
Once inside, she was distracted by the kids chairs and the books found scattered around the lobby. Eh-phant! Diff-ent chair. A delivery man wheeled a packet of medical supplies in on a moving cart, and the little girl jumped up and exclaimed over the rolling wheels. Hey there, pretty girl! he laughed.
Then the nurse called us back, and fortunately, she was one of the persuasive ones who seemed to actually enjoy talking to children. Ohh, aren't you a big girl, walking back here all by yourself. The little girl did indeed walk all the way back under her own power, then again started to whimper as we entered the room with the big clinical table.
Ohn't ahnt it. Go aht door, she told me, as she edged toward to corridor. I suppressed a giggle at the cuteness. You need your flu shot, Sweetie, I told her. It'll be quick. I'll bet the nurse even has a pretty bandaid for you.
She doesn't need to undress; you can just pull down her pants so I can get to her leg, the nurse told me. Okay, but could we sit in that chair?
I thought it'd be less traumatic if I could hold her in my lap.
And you have a bandaid? Yes? I asked, trying to distract the little girl. Sure enough, there was a bright pink bandaid. Make sure you hold her hands was the last thing the nurse told me.
The nurse swabbed, she stabbed, she was done! It was over by the time the little girl started to cry out, and the nurse slapped the bandaid on so fast that it was only later that I noticed it wasn't even over the puncture. But it was an effective distraction. The girl stopped fussing immediately. She was very good! The nurse remarked while I all but polished my fingernails on my shirt.
The checkout nurse is always exceedingly kind. She can pick out a sticker, hon, she told me. Wow! The first time she'd get a sticker!
I fished out two likely candidates and held them up for perusal. You get a sticker, Sweetie! Do you want the pink one or the purple one? The purple one with Daisy Duck. And do you want it on your shirt or your hand? Her hand. Nice sticker, was the verdict.
You were soo brave, Sweetie. The nurse cleaned your leg, and then she gave you a flu shot - ow! - and then it was all done! Oo, and then you got a bandaid... And now you have a sticker. Oh, cool!
And the whole rest of the day, I was treated to her version of the narrative.
Ah go shooshot. You did what? Oh, you got a flu shot!
Ah wen' doctors. Ah got shooshot. Ah got sticker. Ah put hit ahn ma shert now. Ah got shooshot. Awriight! Yes, you sure did, Sweetie!
I love this job.