Today was the appointed day. I had boo-koodles of things to talk to the pediatrician about, the same one I chose when we moved here a little over seven years ago. The first time we saw her, David had just turned three. He had no fear then of ordinary things. Only things that made loud noises terrified him back then. The "cuttin' the grass thing" (better known as the lawnmower) brought him to tears every time it was cranked. The weed-eater and blower did likewise. And he had this strange fascination with vacuum cleaners. He was drawn to them ~ had to find them in any store we were in and look at them all ~ but the fear was apparent when you actually turned one on. My mom bought him his very own toy shop-vac for Christmas our last year in Montgomery, and it took him a good two days before he would even touch it. Bless him.
Like I said, David didn't fear the ordinary things that cause anxiety in a child. He loved the doctor's office. Thought it was an interesting place. If they pricked his finger, he watched the blood fill the tiny tube and turn clear to deep red. Shots were no sweat. At the age of two, the nurse flushed his ears out in the little room, and she was amazed that he never cried or squirmed. Not so much the case today.
One would have thought David was going in for amputation today instead of a check up. He fretted and toiled all the way there about one burning question: "Are they gonna prick my finger?" Now, I don't know a person that enjoys having their finger pricked, but it's not the most dreaded thing on my visit the doctor list. If he only knew about the stirrups he'd be grateful for the pinch of a fingertip. I watched David in full-on panic mode, and I tried to tell him that in the grand scheme of his day (hours-long of a day) that the few seconds of pain he'd feel from the prick was so minuscule. That he shouldn't allow himself to be that wound up about something so very minute. David wasn't buying it. Not at all.
When we made it into the tiny room to wait, the nurse had instructed David to remove all his clothing except his underoos and put on the paper gown. David did as told, griping and fretting simultaneously. When he sat on the examining table to wait on immanent doom, I noticed there were tears collecting underneath his eyes.
"David, what's wrong? Why are you crying?" I pulled a tissue from the box and blotted his hazel eyes.
"I don't wanna get my finger pricked..." (There are no words for the tone he uses in these type instances. It's beyond a whine... he's had ten years of practice, you know.)
Little sister couldn't help but chime in. "Are you a big ole' sissy, David? Hahaha... you're a sissy."
Yeah... that went on for a while. I told David we'd ask the doctor if it was necessary this visit as soon as she walked in so that he could get it over with first thing. I sat and watched him fidget and fret and obsess in his mind, and I couldn't help but think about the many visits before that he had put on the paper gown. The first time, it nearly came down to his ankles. Now it's up to his knees. He's past 70 pounds now, and over 50 inches tall. He's no baby, but he's not a man either. He's sort of trapped in this middle world trying to find his little way out. He's getting bigger, but he still has these little fears that are ridiculous.
The time came for the finger prick. It was dramatic. There was snot involved. He would DIE if he knew I was putting this out there for the entire world to see. But he lived through it, as his wise ole' mama told him he would.
It's weird to think that the same little boy that was scared of that "cuttin' the grass thing" cuts the grass now. How does that happen so quickly? I'm a little glad he's afraid of the finger prick... makes him seem a little smaller to me than he really is. And I got to hold his hand for a minute, too.