Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hit me with your best shot

Throughout this new parenting experience, there have been many times I have found myself relieved by the fact that people don't remember the first couple years of their lives. Chances are Kyle likely won't remember the times we forgot to feed him, the clueless looks on our faces during his first illness, or the embarrassing dances we have sometimes engaged in just for a laugh. Nope, once the little guy starts forming memories, he will think of his parents as all-knowledgeable people who only do things that are cool. That's what I'm hoping. If anything, Kyle will likely have no recollection of the fall of 2009, and he should be grateful for that.

The fall has been painful for our son, and I don't mean emotionally (though that could change if the Yanks win the World Series). A lot of Kyle's pain has come from those who should be making him feel better: his pediatrician and associates. Considering how many times Kyle is going to be shot this fall alone, you'd think he was a member of the mafia. He received two vaccination shots during his fifteen-month checkup in September, and another shot to fight the flu a couple weeks later. One flu shot apparently isn't good enough for a kid Kyle's age, so we had to go back for another flu shot last Friday. Plus, thanks to the madness caused by a sniffling pig, I will have to schedule Kyle's H1N1 vaccination next week for later this month, and, because pediatricians and government health experts secretly hate children, that vaccine also requires a second shot, which will likely be in December, after he gets a few more shots during his eighteen-month checkup. I fear his shoulder will be sore until he enters the fifth grade.

Even before this fall, Kyle was an old pro at shots (as you can see from the picture, taken this summer). The little guy has yet to dread them, as he somehow always forgets that part of the doctor's visit. Every time the shot comes as a surprise. Kyle often still smiles briefly after it happens, but then his brain registers that something horrible just happened (something worse than being forced to eat peas at dinnertime), and that's when the face wrinkles up, the mouth opens wide, the face turns deep red, and the wail breaks the office windows. Five seconds later, the nightmare is over, Kyle realizes the pain's gone and he's back smiling... until it happens again, and there's always a "next time."

Perhaps this is why we don't remember the first years of our lives. The mind has the ability to delete some of our most traumatic experiences, which is why Jennifer has already forgotten many elements of childbirth, and I can't remember Super Bowl 42. For a baby, perhaps there's nothing more traumatic than getting shot after shot after shot. It's not easy for me to watch him go through this, either. This onslaught of shots this fall seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me. Then again, I suppose it's better than actually getting the diseases the shots will prevent. At any rate, we'll both be happy when this round is over.

1 comment:

erica said...

It's so nice when they hit age 2-- they don't have to go to the doc so often, and they can also take the nasal FluMist instead, which you will LOVE next year!