Okay, finally! I have a few minutes to myself. Jack is asleep, the cats are not pestering me for dinner, the washing machine is humming and I have a 100-calorie pack of chips ahoy! No HFC! Yay! Today, as always, Jack was talking on the way to school. It started out in the usual way, and then ended up solving a 3-year old mystery! Gotta love that boy's memory.
Jack: I can't wait to be 7!
me: What about 6?
Jack: Noooo, I'm gonna skip 6.
me: Why is that?
Jack: Because you get shots at the doctor's when you're 6.
me: We don't know that for sure. What if you skip 6 and go right to 7 and then get shots when you're 7? Have you thought about that?
Jack: (starts to whine) But I don't want to get shots! Can't I just tell them no thank you?
me: Doesn't really work that way. You get them when you need them and as you get older you get less shots.
Jack: When I turn 6 do I have to go to the doctor's?
me: Yeah, you have to do a checkup every year.
Jack: Do I have to go in the sick room?
me: That's only when you're sick, so you don't spread your germs.
Jack: How does the doctor know which waiting room you have to go in?
me: When you call to make the appointment you either say "Jack needs his 6-year-old checkup" or "Jack's really sick and needs to come in right away". Then you go into the correct waiting room.
Jack: OOoohhhhh, I never KNEW that.
me: That's why I'm in charge, ha.
Jack: Do you still get shots?
me: No, not really anymore.
Jack: So someday I'll be ALL done with shots?
Jack: Okay, so the next time I go to the doctor's, I hope the shot feels EXACTLY like the time they stuck the needle in my head. That would be great!
me: (sharp intake of breath) What do you mean?? When you had your stitches??
Jack: Yeah, JUST like that.
Okay, before I go on and answer back to him, let me explain. When Jack was about 2 and a half he fell headfirst onto a wooden jungle gym. Split the top of his forehead wide open. Right at the hairline. I was the one who had to take the call from daycare and then drive him to the hospital. He needed 10 stitches altogether. On a TWO-AND-A-HALF-YEAR-OLDs head! OMG.
Anyway, they had to numb the wound before they could begin stitching him up. So they swabbed the area with a numbing solution and it immediately felt better to Jack. Then we had to wait around for a very long time for the plastic surgeon to arrive. (Dr. Anya Kishinevsky, who was amazing btw.) When she finally arrived, she had 4 of us adults hold Jack down (think Exorcist meets Tazmanian Devil and you'll be halfway there) while she administered a HUGE needle of anesthetic right into the wound. Jack's face literally turned inside out with what I perceived to be the most horrific bout of fear ever imagined. And then I had the worst thought. Ever.
And to this day, I really believed that this had happened. We had waited SO long for the plastic surgeon, that the first swab of anesthetic had worn off. In our crazed state, we forgot to point this out to the doctor before she stuck that huge needle into my little boy's head, nearly rendering him unconscious from the pain. What we thought was fear, I absolutely believed was pain beyond anything a 2-year-old should ever feel. It has made me physically ill every time I think of it. For the past 3 years.
me: What are you saying Jack? Do you remember the needle that the plastic surgeon used on your head?
Jack: Oh yeah, it was HUGE! I thought it was gonna hurt and I screamed a lot and then it didn't hurt but I couldn't stop screaming.
me: (floored by this realization) So you're saying that NOTHING hurt you when the plastic surgeon started your stitches!!???
Jack: Nope. Nothing. That's why I hope ALL of my shots feel just like that one. That would be the best checkup ever.
me: (feeling my insides start to turn to mush) Oh wow... All this time I thought you were in so much pain and I thought I could have stopped it if I had only remembered to say something. Thanks Jack.
Jack: For what?
me: Taking away a 3-year-old pile of guilt from your mom. Now there's a big hole. Whew.
Jack: Okay, we can fill it with something else now! Heh Heh!