Last week, Emma was due to have her 1 year vaccinations. I saw it in my diary and my heart was in my stomach, filled with dread. I hate them, but mainly because I somehow crumble under the pressure of my little girl in pain…everything seems to go wrong for some reason, even though day to day I promise I am a relatively competent mother.
But this time it was different – it was as if every single thing was stacked up against me. So much so that looking back on it is slightly hilarious. It was like the beginning of ‘Meet The Parents’ with every single thing going wrong one by one. I’m watching myself back thinking “someone give this mum a break”. Well, at least that’s the way I look at it…you decide for yourself:
It begins with naptime… this is crucial to the success of the entire vaccination trip and to be honest, the night before I am convinced I’m going to nail it. Days before, Emma has been napping like clockwork – she goes down at 8:30am for an hour without fail. This is perfect. The appointment is at 9:50. However, this morning Emma has other plans – she decides she wants to wake up at 7am and have a meltdown refusing to nap. How does she know?! She’s onto me. Damn, that’s a sleep fail right there. This may not end well, but we get ready anyway and soon enough it’s time to leave.
Why is it always raining… I don’t just mean rain. I mean when the heavens have opened for 5 minutes only and I know I’m going to get absolutely drenched before I’ve wheeled the buggy backwards onto the street. So off we go, me feeling the rain seep through my jacket which I was sure was waterproof, but maybe it was only windproof after all. Emma however is absolutely loving it – wired on over-tiredness and the challenge of kicking the raincover.
How can it be running late at 9am… we arrive and immediately everyone in the waiting room swoops to give us a simulataneous death stare as soaking me and my buggy wheel ourselves in. Why are they staring? The receptionist checks us in and we’re just waiting. Emma is toddling around and letting out deafening shouts for some reason. I want to say they are happy sounds but the more it goes on, I’m not so sure. She starts to get really manic, as she does when she’s tired, when she can only focus on one thing for 1.23 seconds before moving onto something else and always ending in her falling forward and crying. Hmm 15 minutes have passed, I wonder if I should ask? When we get to 35 minutes I finally ask where the nurse is and she says that she had a little delay this morning. Just my luck – I bet if I was late, this stupid nurse would have been on time, sods law.
Finally we’re in… ah thank God, we’re in! I rush in and have everything ready, as I assume that if it’s 40 minutes late, the nurse is going to get a wriggle on and get this over with. So I take Emma’s trousers off and sit her on my lap. Only the nurse begins to have a chat with me about whether she is walking or not, as Emma wriggles more and more every second. I give her the red book as a ‘sign’ to, you know, get on with it but she keeps chatting. Eventually after she’s finishing faffing around with needles right under Emma’s nose, making her very nervous; we get the THREE vaccinations done. Emma wriggles almost out of my grip and just looks up at me with wounded betrayal as if to say ‘why are you doing this to me?’
I’ll never get used to those cries… the little silence before the shrieking cry of pain really is the worst and as I’m holding her I remember how awful it was when she was a newborn. I foolishly offer her an Ella’s Kitchen smoothie while she’s mid cry, she spits it out and we both have green goo all over us. Ahh my bad – it’s all in the timing. I turn to the faithful biscuit, which she looks at suspiciously before snatching it out of my hand. I know then we’re out of the woods and she toddles off to find the buggy, as if nothing ever happened.
The aftermath… I was a fool to think that the worst was in the surgery. The worst is actually yet to come. For days after, everything is disrupted and we are left with a little girl who only wants to eat yoghurt and biscuits and refuses to nap without banging her head on the cot twenty times. Who is this girl? What did you do with my happy go lucky Emma? I remember now why I hated jabs before, how could I possibly forget?
So there you have it, possibly our worst doctor’s visit to date, though I’m not holding my breath as I’m sure there is worse to come. I still haven’t quite mastered the art of keeping my cool under that kind of pressure, and I’m left with an over-riding feeling that this baby knows more than I think she does!