July 06, 2005

Sticking Pins in You

Originally uploaded by billyjoebob.
Last night, punkin, I did something horrible to you. I didn't stick pins in you myself, but I held you down while the Child Health Nurse did.

I think that I wasn't prepared for how distressing I'd find the whole process. I was prepared to hold on to you, I'd taken a deep breath while the nurse explained about the vaccines she'd be giving you. I stood firm while she told us about the probable side effects.

Then she had me hold you in my lap and undo your babygro. Still, I was ok with this. Right up until the bit where she STUCK A GIANT NEEDLE IN YOUR LEG.

Your face screwed up and you looked up at me, asking me with your eyes how I could live with myself for doing this to you. You wailed louder than I've ever heard you wail, and we kept on going. The thing about vaccinations, punkin, is that they inevitably come in sets. Another needle, this time in the other leg, and you were seriously concerned about the commitment of your father to ensure your wellbeing.

Home then, and we had been warned that there could be some side effects, most likely a low fever. Having procured baby paracetamol in advance, we dosed you up and prepared for the worst. You were confused and discombobulated by the way you felt, which made you so unsettled that you didn't feed for a number of hours. This of course made you feel worse, so we spent some quality time with you.

Luckily, Unky Dave was on hand, which for some reason seems to settle you down quite a bit. After the panadol kicked in, you were practically your normal self. It's an astonishing thing watching you grow, and it's now beginning to seem like we're making contact with you.

When you look at me, punkin, you smile and laugh. For some reason you find my face amusing, which makes me feel like I'm the luckiest man in the world. So I'm sorry I held you down while the lady stuck needles in you.

Love you.


rowdygrammy said...

My Dear Brambill,

Well once again proof positive that your Mum and Dad are good parents. They are prepared to do anything to look after you - even let the nurse hurt you.

I'm not surprised that Unky Dave was able to calm you down. I have a very clear memory of taking him to the South Melbourne town hall to have his first vaccinations. In those days Possum, the mothers and babies (I don't recall any fathers, but my memory could be faulty) stood in a long line snaking across the huge room and waited for their turn. When it was Unky Dave's turn, I held him, and my mum (your great grand mum Nana Ruth) held me. I well remember, as your Dad describes, the look he gave me and the terrible wail. Unky Dave cried, I cried and Nana Ruth cried.
Then we went home, Nana Ruth and I had a cup of tea and some Chocolate Mint slices, and Unky Dave had some boob juice. All was returned to normal very quickly. When I had to take your Dad, we lived in Eltham, and it was a little easier. No big town hall, no hundreds of screaming babies, and somehow I was more prepared. The first time is the hardest. I'm glad that you are being protected against all of those diseases. That's a good thing.

And I'm not surprised that you smile when you see your Dad's face - I do too. He's always been able to make me laugh. I have a photo of you on my computer as wall paper - that makes me smile every time I see it too.

I love you Possum, and so does Grandad Phil.

Rowdy Grammy

Trish said...

Seinfeld did a good stand-up routine about this. He told it from the baby's perspective. Something along the lines of "Hey DAD! Did you SEE THAT? Look what that lady just DID! She stuck a giant needle in my leg and you LET HER! Are ya KIDDING me? (pretty much exactly as you told it - you could do standup).

I cried when I took my first daughter for her first shots - I started to tear up as soon as the nurse said 'can you take her tights off, I need bare skin?'. The needle broke her skin with a barely audible 'pop' and I remember that sound better than I remember the wailing.

Rae said...

I took Phee to her first lot of needles. Sat her down, burst into tears as soon as she did, and was still bawling as I did up her growsuit and she was back to her smiley, gurgling, happy self.
I've already told Tony that I'm not taking our next one. No way am I doing that again. Took me ages to get over it!

The Family Man said...

I've been in this situation and it is very distressing. You've expressed it so very well. It tears a parent up to do things like this, but they must be done. Tommy once fell out of a stroller and gashed his head. My wife and I both had to hold him down to get his head sticked up. He screamed and cried and I know he hated us. I was almost sick to my stomach.
Thanks for sharing this story.