Yesterday, I had to take my son for a blood test. No worries, it's all just to make sure there's no Lyme disease crawling around his system since I had it earlier in the year and my in-laws' dog has it too. They watch him after school, so there's a chance.
Ticks rule like that. Vile little beasties.
Anyway, it was decided that I would fly this mission solo since Jacob gets all 'momma's boy' when she's around. She's a crumbler at the first sight of tears too. I happen to have a convenient heart of stone for these situations. I keep it in a little box filed under, "crappy stuff that has to be done."
The time was nearing to go pick him up and I had the requisite feeling of dread, but there was nothing to be done; the sentence had been passed.
I drove over to the in-laws to pick him up and let him know it was time for his test at the doctor's.
The Boy: "What kind of test daddy?"
Me: "Oh, you know, just one of those tests."
The Boy: "Am I getting a shot?"
Crap, this was going to be like a big game of dodge ball all the way to the doctor's.
Me: "No, not a shot." Similar concept though...still a needle involved, but they'll be taking instead of giving. I was not lying here, mind you, merely omitting.
The Boy: "How long will it take?"
Me: "Not long."
The Boy: "What kind of test is it?"
Me: "Dunno, buddy. We'll find out in a minute." Okay, I lied. Bite me.
The Boy: "Will it hurt?"
Me: "I don't think so." Hey, pain is all relative. Of course, a needle to a child might as well be a sharpened drain pipe.
...and double bite me.
We finally got there and were walking across the lot when he asked, "Am I having surgery?"
I burst out laughing. "No, no surgery."
We entered the office and I was all prepared. We had a stuffed animal du jour and I had the pocket video recorder so I could show him the movies we took for Halloween. Yeah baby, I had it covered. Dad o' the year, that's me.
We were in the lab in under five minutes and he was sitting on my lap. He was watching videos to the left. He never even looked to the right when they did the strappy thing to his arm. Things were moving along nicely.
Cool, this might just work out.
Then he looked to his right just as they were about to put the needle in.
Full. Bore. Nutty.
"I don't wanna. I want to go home. I want my mommy," over and over again. A protective mantra at 100 decibels. Then the tears came.
My little, stone heart chipped a little. Perhaps it cracked a smidge as well. It's rough. You tell your child it's so they wont feel icky later on but it's still hard to do.
The nurses broke to their respective corners and we talked him down. After a minute or so, he realized there wasn't any escape. Especially since mommy wasn't there.
Some more tears flowed as I put his little legs between mine and crossed them so he couldn't kick and I held his flailable arm while the nurses held his other. It was over pretty quick and the nurses were great.
I said, "Let's bolt," and we were outta there. On the way to the car he said it wasn't any worse than his flu shot. I thought, "Yeah but you could have at least had the consideration to make it easier on me." Sheesh, these selfish kids nowadays.
The Boy: "You didn't tell me that was going to happen."
I thought, "Duh, I couldn't have gotten you through the doors without a team of Clydesdales pulling you if I had."
I said, "Gee, I wasn't sure what kind of test it was going to be buddy."
Liar, liar. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do though. Let's hope that's the last test for a while.