Payson and Ember had their well child checkups last Friday. They also each got 5 vaccinations. We’re close to being caught up for good with shots and that feels amazing! Next time I have a baby (if Allan ever decides he wants another, for now he’s done) I’ll not delay vaccinations so long. I’ll wait one month and then stick with the recommended schedule (minus the Hep B shot)
The pediatrician we go to asks all of the developmental questions of the child, not the parent. So she asks Payson about his favorite fruit, veggie, if he brushes his teeth daily, if he knows his letters/shapes/colors, if he rides a bike, if he goes to preschool, etc, etc. This was really exciting for my social boy. He LOVES to talk, he loves to talk to anyone and everyone! So he answered really well and then she asked me if I had any concerns. That’s when we talked about his height and how he hasn’t grown at all in a year, so she gave me some paperwork to have him taken for the x-ray to check his bone age.
Then it was Ember’s turn. She was so adorable during her checkup. She was calmly watching her doctor and would smile occasionally. So cute. One amusing thing was that Ember is in the 10th percentile for weight and 50th for height whereas Payson is in the 50th percentile for weight and 10th for height. They were opposite. haha (Ember has always been in the 10th percentile for weight, which is odd for this family because my other three kids have been major chubs)
After the doctor did her thing the nurse came in with trays full of needles! Payson went first and he FREAKED out. He does every time he gets shots. It was even harder for me than usual because he was on my lap and I had to hold him still. He got over it super quick, though. The second he got a lollipop he was content and then the balloon-like toy just sealed the deal. When it was Ember’s turn she was completely unaware of what was about to come. The nurse had me lay her down and hold one of her arms over her chest. The nurse gave her a shot and Ember looked fine… she glanced toward where the needle had stuck and looked a teensy bit confused. By the time it was registering that the nurse was poking her the second shot had been done. She still remained calm but by the third shot she started crying the saddest little cry. Like, “Why are you doing this to me?” But the nurse was SO great, the shots were ALL over within seconds! Ember’d only been crying for maybe five seconds by the time it was all over and bandaids were going on. When she was handed her balloon-like toy she lit up.
We told the story of the vaccines to each kid several times that afternoon. I read in some child psychology book that when a traumatic event happens you should tell the story of it to the child over and over so that they can digest what happened and especially that the outcome was ok. We’d tell them how we went to the doctor’s office, the doctor checked their eyes, ears, mouth, tummies, peepees, and heart, (and we’d mimick the doctor checking them) then the nurse gave them shots (and we’d point to each spot they got a shot and say calmly, “owie”) and then we’d tell them, “And then mommy held you and said, ‘Oh poor baby, I’m sorry.’ and then mommy hugged you. And then the nurse gave you a lollipop, yum!, and then the nurse gave you your balloon!” This technique worked SO well. With Payson we were able to add a huge part about why we get shots and how the “medicine” was in the needle and by poking his arm we were able to put it right in his body. We told him about how it was making his good germs stronger to fight off all the bad germs that can really hurt kids. I could just see by the look on their faces that the entire experience went from being this horrible event to this cool story where just one of the parts was getting a shot. The memory no longer centered around the painful shot.
Wow, this is getting really long! I’m almost done, I promise. haha!
So yesterday when my phone rang I ran to answer it hoping to see Mesa Pediatrics on the caller ID and… it was!! I nervously said hello and waited for the results. My stomach was flip flopping with hope and worry.
Payson’s bone age is THREE YEARS OLD. I could’ve never prepared myself for the joy I felt at hearing my son’s bone age is a year younger than his real age! haha! I wanted to scream and jump around. But I was weak and barely had a voice so instead I just smiled from ear to ear and went and told Payson, “Payson, your doctor just called and told me you’re totally healthy!!” He didn’t share my enthusiasm. haha! So I just sat by him on the couch feeling relief and happiness. Having a bone age of three years old means he’s a late grower but will eventually grow normally. Whew.
Allan told me this week that he was a late bloomer, too. I always knew he went through puberty later than the other kids (so did I!) but I didn’t know he was short when he was little. I went through puberty really late but was always tall. So, this all makes me feel better! I think we’ve been through enough with Payson and his health, I don’t think I could’ve handled another issue. Though, of course we could’ve. We always do.