Thursday, October 23, 2008

I wrestled a bear today

(this scene took place on Monday)

I wrestled a bear the form of my 46-inch, 52-lb 4.5 year old. Yes, she's the average size of a 6-7 year old. How, I don't know. She has grandfathers and great grandfathers on both sides of the family that are 6 feet tall. Genetics are an amazing thing. Miss Rose seems to have some of the least likely genes exhibiting themselves in her. She is only 25% Hispanic, but her skin tone is pretty much the same as her dad, who is 50%. We are both vertically challenged as Bean likes to call it, yet she is tall.

Back to the bear wrestling. Miss Rose had her Kindergarten dr. appointment today in order to be able to enroll in a pre-K program through the school district in January. This involved a full physical and some shots.

Miss Rose has known for months that this day was coming before she started school. She has terrible anticipation anxiety. I know the anticipation is worse than what she experiences and hopefully as she gets old, she'll learn how to handle it better. I had anxiety I knew this wouldn't be easy.

It wasn't a good sign when I was awoken this morning by wailing from Miss Rose's room, crying for Daddy and saying she didn't want to go to the doctor. Typically she wakes up cheerful and comes in my room. It took me a bit to calm her down and it was only 7:15am. I was thankful the appointment was 8:30 so we could just get it over with.

The appointment started okay. She completed the eye exam and the hearing test (which she remembered from her 3-yr appointment). Then the nurse requested a urine sample. My kid doesn't like to pee...ever. She protests each time we ask her to try before we leave the house or she goes to bed. She can hold it forever. Being that she had peed when she woke up, I knew it wasn't going to be easy for her to pee again.

In the past few months Miss Rose has developed a new sense of privacy. Earlier this summer, she spent many hot days just in her underware. But there has been a shift and she wants to be clothed and not risk others seeing her undressed. The idea of a urine sample, even though it was just me collecting it, was an invasion of her privacy.

Attempt #1 was a failure. Tears, protests and anger were involved. So I started pumping her with water while we waited for the dr. She handled the dr's portion of the exam quite well, until it came time for him to check her private parts. It was just a cursory glance basically, but I see why it's important. We explained it was okay because I was there, he was a doctor etc. It didn't fly. It took me a few minutes to get her to lay down on the table so I could be the one to pull her pants down and then I stood next to her for the 5 seconds it took the dr. to check. Again--many tears. I definately understood why that was so difficult for her.

Then came the waiting for the shots. Four of them to be exact, in addition to a TB test and a finger prick for anemia. It took a while for the nurse to come back and of course the anticipation anxiety just grew. Finally she came in and all hell broke loose. This was an angry amazon baby bear who wanted no part of what was about to happen.

It was evident right away that sitting on the table for the shots was not going to happen. Maybe if she was the size of a 4yr old it would have been easier to restrain her up there, but not this amazon child. Let me add, the crying has already begun and never let up. And of course, with a 4 year old, the crying is accompanied by many words of protest.

Picture me, sitting on a chair, pregnant belly and all, trying to hold and restrain my huge child through a procedure she wanted no part of. The finger prick was first and wasn't too bad. Then came the TB test and there was definate restrait of the arms necessary.

For the actual shots in her upper arms, the nurse asked me to lock Miss Rose's legs with mine and continue to hold her arms. She was FREAKING out. I was seriously wrestling a bear. In addition to keep her legs still, I had to hold both her arms and cover her eyes with one hand so she couldn't pull away when the needle came towards her. This kid has strength to go with her size. There was a few times I had to quit trying to control her arms and laugh saying "are you serious right now?" I was close to asking for another nurse to help me.

Finally we got through all the shots. There were a few times that Miss Rose saw the needle and said "oh no, we aren't doing that." As if she had a choice. At least some of her comments gave me reason to laugh through the wrestling match.

I might add, the nurse had to set the tray of shots on a stool next to her. Gracie was of course there and toddling around and quite interested in all of it. There were a few times I swore she was about to pick up one of the syringes. The needles weren't exposed, but still. I'm wrestling a bear, telling the other cub to not touch and go play. One cute moment was while Miss Rose was crying on the exam table about the personal exam, Gracie was trying to give Miss Rose her shoe. I guess Gracie was convinced her big sister was upset because her shoes were off.

After many threats and bribes, I finally got a urine sample right before we left. I told Miss Rose we only needed a little bit--not the whole cup. She eeked out like 3 drops and said "okay, I'm done. That's enough. You said just a little bit." Nice try kid. If you can get a few drops out--you can get a few teaspoons out, which she eventually did. We went to a store after the appointment and all of the sudden Miss Rose was about to pee her pants. I KNEW she had pee in there.

So I wrestled a bear today, and I won. Overall the appointment took 90 minutes. It looks like she won't need shots again until she's 7 and hopefully by then she'll be able to control herself. I will definately make sure Bean comes to Gracie's Kindergarten appointment and future vaccinations for older children. These bears of ours need a team to wrestle them.


  1. Oh my gosh, I was cracking up as I read this!!! I can just picture you holding her down!! Trust me, I've had MANY episodes with Micah like this, being the strong-willed boy that he is, but thankfully he's only 30 pounds (a little skinny for his age) :) And the nurse who gives him the shots totally distracts him and then WHAM! sticks him in the legs. It's kindof sad but it works :)

  2. Over the summer I had to hold Ella down! She's 50" and about 46# - but still a bad scenario when her three younger siblings are watching the chaos around them in a tiny room! she's had the worst shot experiences, being the oldest - after her Kinder shots (5 at once) we decided that we would rather go extra times and just do two at a time. The others haven't had as bad of experiences and understand that it is over fast enough.

    I hate shots, even still, and remember crying for my mom as a teen. Now I can sympathize . . .


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