My four year old was jumping around like the Energizer Bunny.
“Next week I’m going to get my im-moon-eye-zisha!” she told her sister gleefully. “It’s going to be so excited!”
“Excited?” my eleven year old asked, and turned to me in concern. “Um... Mum? Does Boo actually know what an immunisation is?”
I nodded. “Oh totally. I told her she was getting medicine put in her arm. She knows. She’s fine with it.”
My daughter looked doubtful. “Um... Boo?” she asked her little sister. “Do you know how the medicine gets into your arm?”
Boo danced towards her. “They rub it in?”
“MUM!” The eleven year old looked at me accusingly. I winced in shame and slunk sheepishly away.I couldn’t tell my baby the truth about her
And now one of these playmates was going to jab her in the arm. Both arms, to be precise. The trauma would be immense.
Still, perhaps my daughter was right. Perhaps the trauma of being betrayed by her mother would be worse than the pain inflicted by the needle itself.
I had to fess up.
The night before the
surgery immunisation, I sat Boo down on a chair.
“You know how you’re going for your immunisation tomorrow?” I asked her gently.
“Yes!” she cried, then bounced up and down and clapped her hands. “I can’t wait! I LOVE im-moon-eye-zisha!”
I felt sick. “Darling,” I said. “I have to tell you – the immunisation is going to hurt a little bit.”
Her eyes widened.
“Not a lot!” I added quickly. “Just a bit. A tiny bit! And then you can have a treat. A BIG treat!”
“Okay Mummy,” she said in a tiny voice. My big, brave, scared girl.
The next morning, I felt sick with dread as I led my baby into the doctor’s surgery. Boo, however, didn’t seem to share my concerns. She grinned as we chatted to the doctor, grinned as she climbed on my lap, and grinned as the
torture device injection was prepared.
|Okay, so this wasn't the exact needle used....|
And then it was time for the moment of truth.
“Here you go, quick sting,” said the doctor, and in plunged the needle. I tensed and shut my eyes. Boo opened her mouth and screamed.
And then I relaxed and opened my eyes. Because Boo hadn’t actually screamed. She’d definitely made a sound, but it wasn’t at all the sound I’d expected. As the needle left her arm Boo giggled. The child GIGGLED. And she giggled through the next needle too.
It was unbelievable. My daughter had proven herself to be the Bravest Girl in the World. She munched happily on her snake and that was the end.
I, however, am still shaking. Thank goodness she is my youngest, because I couldn’t go through that trauma again.