The Merry-Go-Round: 2 Boys, 2 Vaccines

Yesterday I took in both boys to get their vaccines. Well that was fun. I strapped M in my Ergo and L into his red car, munching away on an apple, and took them to the doctor (which seemed to disprove the verity of one famous aphorism). L, traumatised from previous stygian experiences at the doctor, started crying despite his red apple and red car (the theme of the day was the colour "red") as soon as we entered. He ran between my legs and held tight, crying "no, mama, no" which woke his little brother up. Then there were two crying and this continued until a thoughtful nurse gave L some stickers with cars to divert his attention. L was then blythe as M continued to protest and show off his lungs to the doctor and nurses.

I had explained the importance of vaccines to my boys but neither understood(I understand that these days it's a controversial topic, but while I do worry what is in the vaccines apart from the cultures, we're a family of the opinion that the benefit of vaccines for yourself and for the general populus is a no brainer). It was a good time to describe to L the etymology of the word, coming from vache, or cow in French as Edward Jenner developed the first vaccine for smallpox (eradicated in 1979 worldwide due to the prevalence of the vaccine) by noticing how people infected with cowpox were immune to smallpox. L was already quite late in his getting his vaccines as I kept delaying them because he kept being sick every time he was meant to receive one and as I also wanted to spread them out to be easier on his system so despite knowing it would prove difficult to have both boys go and get them concomitantly, I was determined to do it.

The shots were a delicate operation. I thought we would do L first because if L saw M getting pricked, he was not going to wait until his turn. The nurses thought it were better to have M go first and divert L, because they feared that M, who would otherwise at 2 months have no idea what was coming, would protest when he saw his brother's reaction. I agreed. So L was taken to a different room to play with toys while M got his shots after which I calmed him down with a speed nursing session. Then L waltzed in happy to show me his new booty - a toy dump truck and camera. His happy mood was truncated to say the least. As soon as we were done, I tried to calm L down by hugging and kissing him but that show trick was getting me nowhere. Then I realized I had a prop to aid me. I told L that he had a camera in his hands and pretended I was taking photos of him directing him to smile ("Smile for Daddy! Smile for Baba! Bigger! Smile bigger! Smile for Yia Yia!). Appealing to his vanity did wonders. I couldn't claim victory yet because while I had one happy toddler, I now had one screaming baby whom the nurse carried back to me. I'm pretty much a one show pony when it comes to my infant because nursing is a panacea - so I let L play with his toys while I did another speed nursing session to calm his brother down. I continued to let L play with his toys while I strapped him into his car and strapped my now sleeping infant back into the baby carrier- now there was one happy toddler and one sleeping baby... but I had to give the toys back.... and went back to one sleeping baby and one screaming toddler.

My main weapon with my toddler is diversion. As we walked home, I continued to ask him to point things out to me (Do you see a tree? Do you see a bus? What else do you see?) which slowly calmed him down as he forgot about this truck and camera. By the time we were back at the house, I had one happy toddler and one sleeping baby.... then came the four flights of stairs... my toddler protested and his dancing decibels woke up his sleeping that by the time we came back home, I was back to one screaming toddler and one screaming baby...If only there were inoculations against kids crying...


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