Friday, April 27, 2012

Girl Warrior or Fairy Queen?

The rain pours down outside, and I wonder what today will hold for us. I can only hope it is nothing like yesterday.

Yesterday morning I shuffled the girls off at seven am, barely awake and barely breakfasted, to early morning doctor appointments. The littlest one had no idea, and was completely nonplussed, but the big girl had one question. "Are they going to poke me with a needle?"
The last time we had been there they had taken her blood to do some routine tests, and believe you me, that is not something I would like to repeat anytime in the next 10 years. They had to get someone to HOLD her down, and with tears pouring down my cheeks, I let them do it.
So this time, that is all she wanted to know. I truthfully told her all I knew. That I didn't know. They might have to take blood again, or they might have to give her a shot. We had, (the doctor and I) discussed a possible shot she might need to have, given the space we live in and the lives we lead. (Tetanus.)
And so, off we drove.

After sitting through her little sister's appointment, it was finally her turn. The doctor poked her belly, and checked her ears. All the routine things they always do.
And then came the question of the leaving. The sticker getting. the walking out the door.

But. She had yet to get the shot.

We discussed where it had to be given (in her arm) and how she might need to pull her arm OUT of her shirt, and how she could sit in my lap and it would be ok. I dosed her in Rescue Remedy and prayed for the best.
But. Well. She is her grandmother's granddaughter. She saw that needle coming and started to howl. And you must now understand that although my girl is seven, she is...Well. No little waif. Not by a long shot. I couldn't hold her still. And so they called in another nurse, once again, and there we were, yet again. Where I swore we wouldn't be again. (I hadn't told her that, I couldn't promise that, because who knows where you end up in in life.) So we held her still.
Through her screaming in defiance and anger.
The nurse expertly administered the shot and covered with a camo (green and black) band aide (which was later thought to be way cool.) I held my girl in my arms and smoothed her tears, as I feel like I've done thousands of times before. I told her the secret of breathing through pain, and how to listen to your heart when you are afraid. Things I'd never learned until the night her little sister had been born and my dear friend taught me. My girl looked at me with angry scared eyes.  Like a deer caught in the headlights.

We left and drove to the cafe where I once worked, where I treated my girl to a huge peanut butter cookie. (and ordered a mocha with whipped cream for myself. Phew.) Then I took her a toy store and bought her forgiveness. You know what? I'm not above it. Fear is real. The terror in her eyes when she realized that needle was going to pierce her skin was not false. Stress cruised through her veins and I'm not above buying forgiveness or trying to erase pain. I'm ok with that.

So she stood for a while. Staring at the women warrior figures, with their swords and beautifully saddled horses.

When she came to find me, among the baby toys, she had a fairy queen in her hands, with long red hair and a purple gown. A smile on her face and a little joy in her heart.

She was alright. She'd live through this, as she will have to live through many pains, sorrows and aches in her life. And I'd have to watch it. I would have to endure my child's aches. I can not imagine anything more painful to a parent.
I kissed her sweet cheeks and rubbed the back of her neck.

My big girl.

(with a teacup full of cheddar bunnies...)

1 comment:

  1. I have had a similar experience with my eldest daughter as well. She does not remember having her blood drawn at 8 days old and my husband and I trying to make her cry so the nurse could get enough blood because she clots quickly. But I will never forget. I also remember her getting her first shot around 2 for tetanus and my husband almost not being able to hold her down she was so scared and strong. It breaks my heart to see the look of pain in my children's eyes.