The kids had their second flu shots today.
It's the first winter Rosey's been old enough to get a flu poke, and neither B nor I can remember Cass having two last season (as kids are supposed to do the first year) - so he had two this year as well.
The first shot was a month ago. Both of them were fore-warned, but what was actually going to happen didn't seem to click. So Cass was taken off guard, and cried piteous tears of outrage and surprise when the doctor swooped and stabbed.
Rosey was non-plussed. She locked eyes with the doctor, then quietly put out her arm.
'So she's the b-r-a-v-e-r of the two?' asked the doctor, patting Cass's shoulder and offering a lolly.
'I t-h-i-n-k so.' I said, amazed at Rosemary the stoic.
Since I hated being surprised by bad stuff growing up - an extension of being woken up by flicking the lights on - I talked often and easily about the next poke - that it would be quick, and the last one for a whole year, and now it was nothing to be afraid of because we knew exactly how much and how long it would hurt. Sometimes my mouth runs and my brain is left in the dust.
Note to self: Do not ever try this strategy again.
Today was a fight to get Cassidy into the car, a fight to get him into the doctor's office, and a fight to get him to stay put once we were in the exam room. R just wanted a lollipop.
Rosey went first. She picked which arm she wanted her (cool red) band-aid on, watched as the poke happened, then said (in a normal tone of voice) ouch! Then she asked for a red lollipop.
Despite everything being calm and relatively non-traumatic, Cass DID. NOT. WANT. to take off his coat. After awhile (probably five minutes, but felt like ten or more) of trying, I finally got it half off him. He picked a band-aid (blue) and was promised a sucker, but then balked.
And turned into a sobbing mess.
I hate these moments, when you know that you have to hurt your child to protect him from something, and I'm not proud of the fact that I practically had to pile-drive the boy against the exam table to get him to hold still. His 'No, mommy! No!' are still ringing in my ears.
Of course, twenty seconds later, he wiped the tears out of his eyes and asked for an orange lolly.
But it was a long twenty seconds.
So Cass has decided that he's not brave at all when it comes to needles. And Rosey is. A very reasonable attitude, given his age. And who knows? It could change.
But next year it's Bear's turn to take them.