Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Finding the GOOD in the sucker bowl

Yesterday I took Quinn to the doctor to get her shots for kindergarten. But as far as she knew, she was going for "immunizations." And she was happy. She never once questioned me on it. Until we got in the car to head to the doctor's office....

"Mom, what are 'munizations? I think I forgot."

The buck had to stop somewhere and I figured it would be better to get the tantrum over with before we got to the office, so I charged ahead, "Actually honey, you didn't forget. I just never told you. Immunizations are shots. You have to get shots so that you can go to the big school in the fall." 

Crickets may have actually chirped at this point. 

I looked back at my Quinn, buckled snugly into her hot pink zebra booster, thinking this was just a big breath moment before the screams erupted. What I actually saw broke my heart. Her little face had crumpled and she had big fat tears just begging to be let loose down those rosy cheeks. So I tried to explain WHY we have to get shots, why even MOMMY and DADDY have to get shots sometimes. And why baby Ti was going to be getting shots today too. 
And that was when the screaming started, not your typical, "I hate shots!! I hate hate hate HATE shots!" No. She began to bargain with me. "We don't have to do this today mommy. Let's just go home. Maybe just Ti needs shots today. I want to get sick. Mommy, can you hear me?! I WANT to get sick! See I don't need shots!" On and on, all the way there. At one point she decided maybe if she didn't have shoes on, I wouldn't make her get out of the car. So she yanked off her pink sparkly boots, and threw them on the floor of the car. 

When we arrived, I was bracing myself for the inevitable battle to get her out of the car. But it was in vain. She was out of the car, and up onto the sidewalk (shoe-less, of course). She looked like she was primed and ready to bolt. So I calmly got Ti out of the car, grabbed the diaper bag and her boots and started heading into the office. She followed, crying and yelling, but she followed. At check-in, they of course handed me a huge paper to fill out on both Ti and Quinn, so I obediently began my paperwork, while alternately trying to keep Quinn from peeing her pants just so we would HAVE TO go home. We were finally called back into an examining room and the hysterics began anew. "Mommy, I don't want to go first. Make Ti go first. Mommy I have to PEE!!" Finally Ti got his shots, Quinn got her wish and didn't have to go first. He cried for all of 10 seconds and then just looked bored with the whole situation. One of the other nurses held him while I grabbed onto Quinn and tried to calm her down once AGAIN. Finally, the older nurse told me to just put her on my lap and lean back while holding her hands securely on her chest, and they would take care of the rest. I obeyed and 10 seconds later, Quinn was crying silently in my arms with band-aids on boths legs.

And then something really unexpected happened, she laughed. I stared at her like she was crazy and she just looked at me and said, "That wasn't so bad Mom!" Like this whole time, I had been the one screaming and crying. I did the only thing I could, I laughed too. And then the nurses brought over the sucker bowl and told her to take as many as she wanted. With tears still streaming down her face, she grabbed 1, 2, 3.... 4 suckers. And just as I was about to berate her for being greedy, she said, "I'm glad I got four, now I have enough for everybody!" And she immediately pulled out the blue one, because she knows blue is my favorite color, and put it in a pocket in the diaper bag because my hands were full. But guess what? As full as my hands were, my heart was even more full. This girl. This girl.

Just constantly amazes me.


  1. A beautiful, funny, touching story, Rebecca. I hope someday I get to meet Quinn. She sounds like the sort of girl I loved teaching.