There was a time when getting an injection caused no fear in HRH. Vaccination time was no big deal. Then HRH hit the age of about 4 and there was a sudden spike in the irrational fear of sharp needles.
For the past year and more, a trip to the paediatrician involves first being quizzed about what exactly will happen when you get there. First there is the 20 questions play (out of which 10 are a repetition of "Will I get a shot?", "Are you sure I won't get a shot?", "PROMISE me I won't get a shot!" and more along those lines). Initially we used to lie and say no you won't be getting an injection, even when HRH would be. That plan backfired though as it made even non-vaccination visits to the doctor, a torture.
Adopting the honesty-is-the-best-policy plan next, we started telling HRH the truth about what the doctor would be doing when we went for a visit. Unfortunately when it's time for a vaccination and HRH has been informed of the impending trip, a couple of hours before the whining begins.
"How much will it hurt?"
"How big will the needle be?" (Needle size options are demonstrated by HRH with hands being held apart between 1 to 3 feet)
"Show me how much it will hurt?" (With pleasure, I show him how much it will hurt with light pinches...really very light...)
"How long will it take to give the injection?" (Counting to 5 seconds is done to show him how long it will take, at the most. This leads to objections about how slowly I counted to 5 and to count faster).
"Where will the doctor put the needle? I want it on my arm!" (An argument ensues about how the doctor knows best and it will either be on the thigh or the bottom).
Repeat above line of questioning, for the entire time from HRH being informed of forthcoming shot to waiting for an hour or more in the doctor's waiting room to actually entering the doctor's room. Then there is a minute of crying while the injection is brought in and prepared. When the jab is over and done with within seconds, there is some sniffling and a "I was kind of brave right?"
Today's post Hepatitis B booster injection conversation went as follows:
Me: See you made a fuss over nothing
HRH: No I didn't. It hurt like a dog bite.
Me: No it didn't. Dogs have lots of sharp teeth.
HRH: It was like mad cow disease.
Me: You don't even know what mad cow disease is.
HRH: Ok then it was like a raptor's claw scratch.
With another injection scheduled in the next week or so, promises of bravery have been extracted from HRH. However, on the day itself I will be expecting the usual valour-less vaccine routine.