Doctors younger than Dick Clark have never seen smallpox. It has been completely eradicated from the earth thanks to mass immunization. Vaccination is a major player in disease eradication and prevention of the future. Currently, children need to report to the doctor’s office at age 2,4,6,12,18,60 months for their shots. Before going any further in this article I wish to make clear that I fully endorse complete and total immunization of ALL children. I would also like to endorse the taking of these children, for their shots, to any office other than my own. I wish to endorse clean Fruit of the Loom jockey underwear as Doctor Appreciated. I wish to endorse Jean Chretien to run for president (of Rwanda).
The vaccines, which cover a host of potentially debilitating diseases, and have drastically reduced childhood morbidity and mortality over the years, are safe and necessary. The problem with vaccines are …giving the shot to the child.
The coping techniques of the kids getting a needle are strictly age dependent and are as follows:
1.Age 4-9 months. The open-mouthed-flirtatious-smile technique. “Cute aren’t I,? So cute in fact that you don’t wanna hurt little ol’ me. You don’t wanna stick that… what the….why you sonofagun you’re going to nail me aren’t you?! OK just for that…. OWWWWWW that smarts, now I’m gonna scream like the dickens”. This, of course, is exactly what Junior does, disrupting all the other babes in the waiting room, who up to this point, have all been peacefully practising their flirtatious smiles. Within moments, the contagious crying virus has spread throughout the office, turning the entire waiting room into a wailing room. Watching Junior leave the office in hysterics, rug rats and rugby players alike huddle nervously together, thumbs sucked right down to bone.
2. Age 12-18 months. The Distraction Technique. Upon opening the door to the examining room, a wee arm bolts out in front of me to redirect my attention. Junior points out things on the wall that he wishes me to examine as he blurts out “gammasnurgumsbee.” I turn and look to the wall, giving the poor soul a fleeting sense of success, then I turn back with a knowing smile that we both recognize means “Ha, didn’t fool me, Junior”. Desperately, he points to something else and I play along, then turn back to him. Finally, like a real man he points to his mother declaring “kiccyboullammybabas” meaning “Take her, she’s already lived most of her life and does the pain thing way better than I do.”
3. Age 2-3 yrs. The Armadillo . Junior rolls up in a tight ball, adopting the fetal position on mom’s lap and exposing nothing but the soles of his shoes to the doctor. The eyes are squeezed shut in order to make the evil purveyor of pain disappear. At any hint, however, of a foreign object about to touch his skin, he is poised to spring out with a left hook aimed directly for the center of the white coat.
4. Age 3. Simply run for it. Quickly boot the doctor in the shins on the way out. An apologetic mother scoots off down the hall trying to catch him before he hops on the Helijet.
1. Get Junior his own doctor kit so at home he can play doctor and inspect your ears, listen to your heart, remove the cat’s appendix, etc.
2. Some parents ask “What can I do? My kid gets so nervous.”
My answer “ Valium.”
“But what dose do I give Junior”
“Give Junior nothing but take one yourself”. Most nervous kids have parents who could give a bad case of nerves to a leech (who only have one nerve). Adrenaline pumping comments like “SIT STILL!! ITS NOT GOING TO REALLY REALLY HURT THAT MUCH IF YOU JUST HOLD STILL WHILE HE JABS YOU WITH THAT HUGE NEEDLE” gets Junior’s pulse up to about 800.
3. Empty the house of all furniture once Junior starts to walk. The eyebrow lacerations from smacking their cranium into the coffee table require needles to freeze the cut. Junior is usually thrashing about on the table as I try and jab him just above his eyeball with a syringe. I then scrape the unconscious parent off the floor.
4. Send the other parent.