Birthday Shots!

, , , , | Healthy | August 7, 2019

(When my son is three I let him know that I have no choice but to schedule his next doctor’s appointment on his fourth birthday. Although he’s not a fan of doctors, I swear to him that he’ll not be required to get any shots. Even if the doctor says he has to, I tell him that I’m his mother and, in this case, they have to listen to me if I say no. He thinks this sounds like a fair deal and agrees to be on his best behavior. A couple of months go by before we have his appointment. I make sure to reiterate that he won’t be getting shots regardless of what anyone says. He understands and, like any other kid, is excited to turn four so he’s focused on telling every single person he encounters, including the doctor, that it’s his birthday. The appointment goes smoothly until the end.)

Doctor: *cheerfully* “Okay! Everything checks out! He just needs a few shots, and then he can be on his way. Let me go get the nurse.”

(Before she can stand up, I quickly put my hand up.)

Me: “Wait, wait, wait. When I scheduled his appointment a couple of months ago they said he didn’t need any. What happened? Why the change?”

Doctor: *frowning* “I’m not sure. You’ll have to discuss that with the nurse. Let me go get her.”

Me: *shaking my head* “No, don’t bother. I told him he wouldn’t have to get shots today. We’ll just come back a different day.”

Doctor: *insistently* “He has to get his shots.”

Me: “Uh, yeah, I got that. But, uh, you can’t really stab someone on their birthday.” *laughs* “That’s a little cold-blooded, don’t you think?”

(I laugh again, mostly to diffuse the situation, but this lady is not having it.)

Doctor: *even more insistent* “He has to get his shots!”

Me: *frustrated* “Yeah, I know that but–“

Doctor: *cutting me off and shrieking* “He cannot enter kindergarten if he does not get his shots!”

(Please keep in mind that based on when my son’s birthday is and when the school year starts, I have over a year to get him in for these oh-so-important shots. I don’t say this, though. Instead, I take a deep breath and pinch my nose because this lady is clearly crazy. Then, before I even get a chance to say another word, my son, who has been sitting quietly next to her this entire time, leans over and looks right at her.)

Son: “Uh, excuse me?!”

(Startled, the doctor turns and looks at him.)

Son: “My mommy says I do not have to get shots today!” *a bit too loudly and rather forcefully* “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!”

(The doctor stares in open-mouthed shock, looking back and forth between my son and me for a few moments. I take that opportunity to pick up my son.)

Me: *politely* “As I said, he’s not getting his shots today. We’ll come back later.”

Doctor: *looking like she’s sucked on a lemon* “Well, I’ll just put that in his file, then.”

(I took my son and left. Although he did get a small lesson in how to assert himself with a little less force, I could not help but commend him for sticking up for himself. And for those that are concerned, yes, he did get his shots.)

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