The boys got their shots today and it went as well as something like that can go. They both handled it very well and I was proud of them in their efforts to have courage about the situation.
About a week before hand, I talked to them about having their 4 year old shots, that they would have them sometime next week and that they would each have 4 shots, 2 in each arm. We discussed the fact that shots hurt and are not fun and that nobody wants them but that we have to have them to stay healthy and to prevent some bad diseases. After that discussion, we all forgot about it for a week.
Last night the husband reminded me that the boys should go in for their shots this week and we decided that today would be the best day. So this morning, after we were all well awake, I let the boys know that today was the day. We had pretty much the same conversation over again and then we had parts of it again several more times before shot time. Nick in particular would bring it up and say that he did not want to get shots so we would talk about it again and each time I would finish the conversation with the fun we were going to have afterwards. We also talked about courage and what it means and also that it is OK to cry and that lots of kids cry when they get a shot.
As it turned out, it seemed to be really good preparation for them. There are some ladies at the front desk that are always so happy to see them and give them candy so they both got a lollipop on the way in. They have a television in the waiting room that they keep on Animal Planet and it had a pretty good show on about a black panther being raised by some people that was cute and kept their interest while we waited, along with their lollipops and the babies that we watched.
So neither of them really worried about it or thought about it while we were waiting. Before we arrived, we had already discussed that they would go in one at a time and they could pick who they wanted to go in with them, mommy or daddy. We also discussed who would go first. Ben was in a very brave mood and said he would go first, he wanted daddy to go with him and he was not going to cry, to which I replied that that's fine but it is OK to cry too.
This arrangement worked out well because Nick did not want to go first, which was a first for him I think. Normally he thinks he always has to be first at everything:). Ben went in first without any hesitation, although I did see a bit of nervousness in his expression. He kept a brave face though, with a bit of a half smile. We could hear him screaming from the waiting room, which might have made Nick a little nervous but I couldn't tell for sure. I just acted like it was totally normal and some people cry more than others and whatever. Nick had said he wanted daddy to go with him but he changed his mind while they were gone. I was a little bummed because I don't like the whole shot thing myself:).
When it was Nick's turn, on our way in I reminded him again how they would push his sleeves up and use a cold wet cotton ball to wipe his arm clean. He was fine until we walked into the room and he saw the shots sitting nearby, at which time he said something like he didn't want to do this. But he did it, they were quick and they hurt and he barely cried, although he really didn't want to switch arms and let them give the 3rd and 4th shots in his other arm (can't blame him at all).
In retrospect, it seems a bit barbaric to give that many shots to such a small child (with such little skinny arms) at one time. The husband said that these are all the shots they are suppose to have between the ages of 4 and 6, which made me think it might have been better to get two today and then two more 6 months later, or something like that. After Nick got his shots, the lady said they don't have to have any more until they are 11 years old. That's a long time, which again makes me think why in the world do they do it this way, where they get that many shots at one time. If I had known before what I know now, I think I would have insisted they split them up and give them 6 months or so in between to forget about it. I think 4 shots at once would be a lot even for an adult, much less a just-turned-4-year-old.
Anyway, it's over and I'm glad it's over, although we do have some complaints of sore arms. Both boys woke up crying a little after nap, saying their arms hurt, although I have not heard any complaints this evening so that's good.
After the shots, we went to Chick-fil-la for lunch and play time and they were giving away balloons, which is always a really big hit around here. The boys had not had any balloons in quite a long time so they have really played with them a lot this evening.