Monday, April 18, 2011

No Shots!

“No shots!” Natalie bellowed. She crawled under the table. “NO SHOTS!”

I sighed. We were about to leave for Natalie’s four year checkup and she wasn’t making it easy. Maybe I shouldn’t have told her about the shots. But what else was I supposed to do? Lie? Act as though she were just going to a regular appointment and then BAM, needle in her thigh?

“Natalie,” I said, squatting down so I could peer at her from beneath the table. “The shots will be quick and—”

“NO SHOTSSSSSSS!” She tilted her head back, drawing out the S so that she sounded like a snake (a poisonous one, naturally.)

My first instinct was to grab her ankle and pull her out. But suppose she told the doctor that her mommy drags her around the house?

I checked the time. We had to get going. Since her appointment was at the military hospital we had to show 15 minutes earlier than the actual appointment time.

“Fine, Natalie, no shots today. We’ll do them another time. Deal?” I said. I knew it was probably wrong to do, but I didn’t have a choice. In a military hospital the immunizations are in another room so you could opt to have them done whenever.

Natalie scrutinized my face. She was checking to see if I was telling the truth. I guess she made the conclusion that I wasn’t lying so she slowly emerged from underneath the table. I stuffed her arms into her coat and carried her out to the car before she could change her mind.

“No shots, remember?” she said firmly as I buckled her into the car seat. She even pointed her little finger at me. She reminded me of Donald Trump. With better hair.

“No shots today but you’ll eventually need to have them,” I explained.

We drove to the clinic, checked in, and waited in the pediatrics area. I was digging through my purse for some gum and Natalie tugged on my arm.


“The baby keeps looking at me,” she whispered.

I looked and sure enough there was a kid who looked to be about one gazing at Natalie with interest.

“Say hello,” I suggested.

“I did. It keeps LOOKING at me,” Natalie said indignantly.

Well, now she knows how I feel. Sometimes both kids stare at me, waiting to be entertained. I hate it.

Thankfully we were called back a few minutes later. Natalie was weighed and measured (she’s at 30.8 lbs and 39.5 inches) and then we waited for the doctor.

“The doctor doesn’t need to check my ears,” Natalie said, covering them with her palms.

“Yes, he will. He’s checking you all over to make sure you’re healthy,” I replied.

“I am healthy,” Natalie insisted.

“I know, but the doctor needs to see that.”

When the doctor came in, Natalie allowed him to look her over. I was worried that she’d scramble under a chair and refuse to come out. Before the doctor checked her ears he asked what he might find in there.

“My brain,” Natalie answered.

“Ahh, how funny,” the doctor said.

After the exam, the doctor went over some things that I might expect from a four-year-old. Like being afraid of the dark, stuff like that.

“And four is an easier age since they’re over the terrible twos and threes,” he continued.

I snorted.

He looked taken aback.

“Oh, it’s just, Natalie still uses her lungs.” I thought back to an hour before when Natalie was carrying on about no shots.

“Well, they can be defiant at this age,” the doctor agreed.

Sometimes I feel like I should change Natalie’s name to Defiant.

“She’s very healthy and good to go,” the doctor finished, standing up. “You can take her in for shots…”

“NO SHOTS!” Natalie shrieked, so he got to see what I meant about her lungs.

“We’re coming back for those another time,” I quickly said. Natalie had fallen to her knees, in position for a meltdown.

“Okay, sounds good,” the doctor said and then we were able to leave.

“No shots?” Natalie repeated as I put her shoes back on.

“No shots. I already told you.”

“Then I’m happy again!”



  1. 4 is NOT easier than 2 or 3. 4 sucks.

  2. No age is easier. You just trade one set of problems for another. But there are also many things on the plus side of the column with kids. My favourite is how seeing how their imagination grows. Hilarious what they come up with sometimes.

  3. Lying is exactly what we did to get NB her 4 year old shots before kindergarten. She had NO idea they were coming until it was already happening. Then we pretended to be just as shocked she was. Horrible? Maybe, but at least she got to go to kindergarten!

  4. PS- we took her for ice cream afterwards. We're not completely evil.

  5. Baawaa!! Love what she said about the baby looking at her & her brain being in there. Oh my momma, she's a spitfire!

  6. wow...I HATED I know what my parents went through when I melted down about it. I would cry and make myself sick. it was awful. i still pout a lot when I get a shot and I'm 26!

  7. Oh boy! I know how you both feel. I busted outta line and ran from my mother before she caught be trying to get out of the building when I had my shots before starting school.
    And my youngest when he had to get shots last summer? Let's just say they had to call in back up. It took 4 of us adults to hold that 7 year old down! Fun times.

  8. Oh no, I was hoping 3 and 4 were better than 2. I want to get past the "I don't wanna" stage. Or do they ever get out of that?

  9. Your daughter cracks me up, she reminds me so much of all three of my darlings, but especailly my six year old. They may be hard to take at times but boy, can they make you laugh and give such good material to write about! Thanks for a well needed laugh, it's always easier to see the humor in others angels!!

  10. I still deal with this with my teenage son. His last shots were given by the oral surgeon while he was under to have his wisdom teeth out!

  11. Ha!! My pediatrician used to have the most brilliant nurse, who could deliver four shots in under a second, so fast and almost painless that more than once my kids didn't realise it was happening. Alas, she's gone elsewhere...

    I found that tantrums stopped around midway through the 4s - and a reasonable human being startd to emerge. I'm hoping this is true of my second as well!!

  12. Poor Natalie!! Andres went for his 2 year well baby appointment this morning. He had to have 1 shot. He was very cooperative with the triage nurse and the doctor. He even got distracted by the sticker at immunizations, but he was not a happy man after they stuck his thigh.

  13. Awwww poor Natalie :( My oldest did the same thing, he was terrified of them. I would cry also when he got the shots, i felt like i was a horrible mom putting him thru all that...but a very necessary evil for our little loved ones. Your a good mom!! :)

  14. Bless her heart. I feel the same way about shots! And I hate it when doctors look in my ears. I find it intrusive. (I want to teach Natalie the word intrusive. She could have great fun with that word!)

  15. It's so much easier when they are little babies. They just sit and smile and naively trust that no one will jab them with sharp instruments. When they get older, it gets a lot harder. I always spend hours prepping my kids, buying special bandaids, and letting them pick out a comfort object to bring, reading books about needles, explaining the procedure. And still it comes down to them kicking and screaming and me holding them down.

  16. Now to figure out how to get shot(s)...


  17. Well, I guess it's good that you lived up to your word, but, boy will there be HELL to pay when she DOES have to get the shots. Better get some ear plugs!

  18. 4 is not easier - just different. Glad your "no shots" plan worked...until it's time to go get them at least. :)

  19. fear not... when my daughter was little, it would take me, three nurses and the doctor to get just ONE shot into her.

    now?? she gives blood AND she gave a shot to a goat the other day.


  20. Oh my...I am not looking forward to the day O can be vocalize about his shots. For now, he just cries and looks at me like I betrayed him...I always feel like he's right.

  21. I'm still waiting for that easier age, lol

  22. Ah what a little stinker. Hopefully you can figure out how to get her in for her shots sooner or later!

  23. ER-I'm sorry!! I have about 4-5 months before we have our 4 year check up - complete with shots. I will have them done on that day no matter what b/c I hate going to the doc. I'm already dreading it!

  24. My little boy actually passed out when they were taking his blood with the pippette (sp?)...I was scared and he is the baby of 4 kids with a 20 year gap inbetween him and the oldest.
    I dont blame her- shots suck and how do you explain the "necessary evil" to a 4 year old and expect them to trust you? It does hurt. They are unpleasant, and nurses are usually numb about childrens feelings. Poor Mom. Poor Natalie. Its a lose-lose.

  25. It sure is such a fun age! I have to take my 11 year old for shots before the fall and I am so not looking forward to this as well. I allow tears but not fits so hopefully this will go as planned and I will be keeping my fingers crossed. I hope your shot experience goes great! Maybe with out tears? keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  26. I remember going through that with mine. I would tell him before we got there about any shots and then bribe him with ice cream or a milkshake if he was really, really brave. That usually worked.

  27. I like how your doctor said "4 is an easier stage." Um, for who? Some people have told me their kids started the terrible twos at the age of four. I think it's a myth.

  28. Uffda, shots are no fun! Kayla only needs one more varicella and she's done. She wasn't happy at her 4-year check-up. I know how ya feel.

  29. 3.5 and 4 were the HARDEST time to go thru with my son. OMG......I didn't know if we'd make it thru those years!!!
    AND I hated those shots at 4. Those suck majorly! I bribed my son with a new video game if he got those shots.

    Good Luck with Natalie.

  30. When mine turns 4 can I send her to you? You'll already have been through it so you're like a pro :)

  31. I don't like shots either. And I'm sort of defiant...

    The last time I took my boys to the doctor, I promised no shots. They had strep. But, the doctor suggested that my 4y/o get a shot of antibiotics instead of prescribing him meds since he won't take them. The nurse and I basically sat on him to give him the shot. And then he called me a liar for saying he wouldn't get a shot.

    I didn't think he was going to get one...

  32. Difinant... plain pain in the butts sometimes if you ask me! man it is amazing to me how stubborn & steadfast these kids can be!

  33. When I was little I always screamed bloody murder when it was my turn for shots. And I ran around the room hiding under tables and chairs. lol My mom and the nurses would have to chase me around.

  34. You can try a topic cream so she won't feel the needle going in - you know, for next time.


  35. My 20 month old son loves shots. I am not kidding. He does not wince, cry or squirm. He watches the needle being put into his arm and then nods his head as if saying, "Yes, shots are good." Weird kid.

  36. I hated shots when I was little and still do. I don't throw fits anymore but I do shake like a cold chihuahua.

  37. I think four is a rotten age. rotten. they aren't cute like they were at three when acting out. its an ugly year. a friend told me a few years ago "no one ever told me how hard four was" yeah it bites, I said...I wouldda told you...I might find a boarding school when my son gets there cause three has been rocky already and we're barely halfway through

  38. well i hate shots too. maybe when she has to have them - bribery? i'm a great briber.


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