Thursday, June 3, 2010

Suckers And Stickers

Kennedy is starting kindergarten soon. Well, not exactly soon, but it's within sights.

Not sure if you've noticed the huge countdown on the side of the blog here ---->

Anyway, as part of registering her for kindergarten I had to take her for a physical exam. We went down to the doctor's office on Tuesday afternoon and she had to pass a battery of tests, if you will. It was an interesting experience that nearly made me vomit and had me shedding some tears. And I wasn't exactly expecting any of it.

We got to the doctor's office and pretty much walked right in. Usually when we go, one of the girls is sick and feeling pretty crummy there we have to wait a long time. Things just work out that way, I guess - when your car is making a noise and you take it to the mechanic, it doesn't make the noise but when you get home, it magically re-appears.

So of course Kennedy is feeling great, not having been sick in weeks, and we walk right in to be seen.

She weighed in at around 46 pounds and stood at 43 inches, both in the 90th percentile for her age. Of course, with Yvie towering over her, I always feel like she's shorter than ohter kids her age, but I think she'll be one of the taller girls in her kindergarten class.

After a quick (and useless) vision test (we went to the optometrist on Friday) the nurse checked Kennedy's hearing and blood pressure and then gave me a clear plastic cup. She asked Kennedy about trying to go to the bathroom and Kennedy responded positively, saying she had to go.

I was immediately not pleased. Kennedy was not going to be able to do that on her own at all, which meant that yours truly had to do the dirty deed. Once in the bathroom, Kennedy went to sit down on the toilet but I told her that she had to go in the cup. She wrinkled her nose and said she didn't want to. I tried telling her that it was important for her to go in the cup, and she still resisted. I made a few more attempts before I finally coerced her into it.

Into what, I wasn't sure. I knew I needed a steady hand to catch the goods in the cup. So I sat down in front of the toilet. Usually when I get that up close and personal with a toilet, the bathroom spins and I make a deposit. But not this time. No, this time I had to play the role of urine-catcher. So I scooted her back some on the seat so I could have some space to see and move the cup around. I think she had some stage fright because it didn't come out right away, and when it did... some of it splashed down in the water and some of it made it into the cup. However, some of it ran down my fingers and into the palm of my hand.


I had to hold it together, though. I didn't want to drop the suddenly-slippery cup into the toilet and start from scratch. But dammit, I had &$#@* on my fingers, someone else's too.


I congratulated Kennedy on having gone, but it came out sort of like: "goodjobKennedy"


I was on the ground in the bathroom at the doctor's office, and I was thisclose to throwing up, and right in front of my daughter. I can hear the story now from a much-older Kennedy being told to a friend of hers...

"Well, I must have been four or five, I was really young, and all I remember is my dad throwing up on the ground in the bathroom at the doctor's office. I wonder if he was sick. I mean, that's just disgusting. Who does that?"

I held it together though and got up. I tried to wash my hands so I set the cup down somewhere, still with pee on it. I washed and washed my hands and then washed them again. I dried them and took the paper towel to get the cup and it almost slipped right out of my hands again. To prevent it from falling altogether I had to grab it again with my barren hand and then managed to get pee all over it once more.

Once out, I handed the cup over to the nurse, half-expecting her to say "Sorry Dad but we're going to need more." But she was happy to have a decent amount in there, and I was glad to get that away from me.

We waited for the doctor but again it wasn't that long of a wait. After he finished checking her up, he left and sent the nurse back in. This time the nurse came in with an array of needles. Kennedy had been sitting on the exam table, playing, making faces with me, all in all in good spirits. I knew this was going to ruin the visit for her, that within minutes she would be crying hard, probably scared, maybe angry and upset.

Incidentally, this is one of the worst things you have to do to your kids when they are young; hold them down as they get vaccinated. I remember the first time Yvie got her vaccines, how she was so small and she was in a smiling mood, and then out of nowhere BAM she has a stupid needle in her leg.

This time, Kennedy knew what was happening pretty quickly and she started to get upset. The nurse told me to get Kennedy in an MMA-style grip before giving her the first shot, a TB test. Then, I was told to put my shoulder on her belly and put pressure so she wouldn't be able to move around as the nurse gave her four shots on her legs.

Kennedy was crying softly BAM and then started BAM to increase her BAM tears and noise level overall BAM with each injection.

I kept thinking: "My poor baby, Daddy is so sorry" and inevitably some tears came out of my eyes. I would have poured pee on my head if it meant her not having to go through that horrible pain.

When we were finished, I scooped her into my arms and carried her 46-pound self to the truck, with a brief stop for some suckers and stickers. I guess suckers and stickers makes it all worth it, because after scarfing down one sucker (she grabbed another for Yvie, who wasn't with us) and pasting a Snow White sticker on her shirt, she seemed okay, four small band-aids on her legs notwithstanding.


thrasherswife said...

I was in stitches over the peeing in the cup. I never had to do such with my kids, but I feel your pain with the shots. There was nothing worse for me then sitting there clutching a screaming child so a nurse could poke them with a needle. I teared up every single time. Funny though, mine as yours was fine on the way out the door - i however left already dreading the next year visit...

5thsister said...

Oh much peeing into cups for my son (who has chronic hematuria) but boys are so much easier.

Parents should get hazard pay!

Anonymous said...

so, where are YOUR suckers and stickers? You're a good dad.

ps. when you have boys you get used to pee pretty quickly.

True story: When SailorBaby was born, we co-slept. He peed on my sheet during one 2am changing/feeding. Being as deliriously tired as I was in those first weeks, I just grabbed a hand towel, put it over the wet spot, and promptly fell back asleep. Dont judge.

Amanda said...

Ahh posts like this make me thankful I have two boys who love peeing on and in things lol. Those Dr's visits are so much easier. I was the bad guy who told Kid#1, at his last checkup, there would be no shots...yea he had to get 5!! I felt like an even bigger jerk than just having to hold him down. But in the end he got to plaster 5 stickers to his window in the van :)Good job super Dad :)

Lauren said...

The pee part had me laughing and the shots part had me crying....

If it helps at all I still DO remember my dad (or step-dad) holding me down for all my vaccinations before elmentary school and honestly I don't have negative feelings, never did. Just hope they don't have to get stitches in the next few years, he had to practically sit on me even though I had enough numbing medicine in my foot for it to swell to the size of a football I was still convinced it "hurt". LOL.

But yep, never had bad feelings toward him for any of those incidents. I'm thankful now!

Anne said...

You have such a way of telling a story...the peeing totally made me laugh...and then the needles almost made me tear up! You're a wonderful father.

Lisa said...

I have a similar pee in the cup story only it was my young son doing the peeing :)

I hated holding my kids down to get their shots but what was pure hell was holding my son down while an iv was being inserted :(

Jephy's Mom said...

I don't think parents should be asked to "hold down" their kids. Our job is to comfort. I like the nurses who don't ask parents to do things like that. It's just my opinion though.