Thursday, June 2, 2011

No One Told Me There'd Be Needles

I'd thought I donned my best casual Mom coat of armor today - favorite sailor tee & khaki shorts, spiffy new tortoiseshell watch & gold sandals, pearl studs given to me by one of my best friends, and giant EFF OFF sunglasses - but this parenting business has a way of sneaking up on you and finding the chinks.

Master P and I were at yet another doctor's appointment to figure out MP's mystery sniffles, this time at the pediatric allergist. All was going along as it usually does, one routine medical question blah blah blah after another, when a nurse suddenly appeared, tiny needles in hand. Before I could shout, "Wait, are you about to stick tiny needles into my son, and if so, where's my martini?" the nurse quickly administered the allergy test, ie, poked little sticks into the back of wee precious this:

My apologies for the iPhone photo, but we've had e-n-u-f ENOUGH today without worrying about photographic integrity.
Master P wailed, of course, giving me that "You, too?" look of betrayal as I choked back my own tears. Parents who have held their babes through routine shots know this face too. I felt a tightening in my chest as I physically fought my instinct to bat the poor, well-intentioned nurse away and gripped tightly onto MP's little fists instead, desperately trying to look brave and comforting.

On the other (manicured) hand, it's wonderful in ways I can't describe to be the one your babe looks to when he's hurting. I'm happy to try and put on the brave face to comfort him, but on days like today where the need to do so takes me by surprise, there's a summoning of some hidden maternal thingy I wasn't aware of. There's a primal element to all this no baby book can adequately describe.

It was all over shortly, thank Neiman Marcus, and with the happy result of no obvious allergies. Less happily, we're still on the search for the mystery sniffles cause.

I also caught a glimpse of the future today - I have a good 18 years or so ahead of trying to look brave and comforting, when I'm feeling anything but. Of choking back my own fury and fear when I see someone else hurting my little one, when that pain brings about some greater good. Some harlot will inevitably break his heart one day, for example, and someone will have to hide the tiny needles (and the vodka) when that dark day comes.

Suggestions for brave Mom face attire and/or mystery sniffles solutions are welcome in the comments; clearly my J Crew'ed best is not up to the task.

5 comments:

The Waspy Redhead said...

Oh momma, get thee a glass of bubbly STAT. Rough day, handled with your characteristic grace!

Lisa said...

oh, that does suck.

fyi mystery sniffles: this year has been unprecedented for seasonal allergies. Normally a pediatric allergist will tell you that babies under 2 don't get seasonal allergies (why the hell not, is what I always wanted to know), but this year they are seeing babies under 1 for seasonal allergies (at least, the ped allergist I went to was). I just took my 3 yr old to a pediatric allergist after taking him to the ER for what I thought was an asthma attack, but turned out to be a side effect of seasonal allergies. Did they rule that out?

Carly Anne said...

I worry terribly over this primal instinct business involved in parenting. I am already a totally obsessive dog mother - following my pup around, hissing useless commands through my teeth in futile effort to keep her from riling up other dogs and/or jumping on dog owners... I can only imagine what children will do to me...

Perfectly Imperfect said...

Oh hon.. I had to take BG to the doctor the other day and she had to get her finger pricked. She looked up at me (as I was holding her down) with tears pouring out of those huge blue eyes. It took everything in me not to lost it as I tried to calm her and tell her it was almost over. Gosh. I'm almost crying now. I guess that's why they make wine, and your own bedroom where you can go and shut the door and cry when it gets too hard to keep up the facade...

The Shabby Princess said...

Poor MP--and poor you! That is a precious picture of the wee little man, iPhone or not.

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