"They shots owie!"
Yesterday, I had to take DD to the hospital outpatient lab for a blood workup. DD does not like hospitals. She told me how much she did not like hospitals all the way there.
"Mom. I don't want hospitals. They shots owie." This was repeated over and over in a matter-of-fact voice during our ten minute drive.
Once there she forgot her lecture as she said hi to and charmed the information desk and the registration desk. We found a seat next to the large prerequisite fish tank that all hospitals have. Fish tanks are good at keeping DD's mind engaged and off the impending task at hand.
I have always been interested at the looks DD gets where ever we go. Most people stare and then look away quickly pretending not to have notice that she has Down syndrome. Some people come up to her to talk. DD has a spirit that draws people in and makes them feel.....well, good. Anyone who wants to socialize gets a hug. Nearly always, someone tells me how pure and special she is.
When DD's name is called, she insists on walking in herself. She tells the nurse that she is fine, that she is 5, that she likes kindergarten especially when they get to play at the playground. Then DD sees "The Chair"......
"No, don't want to", she says in that lecture voice again, all the while climbing onto my lap as I sit in "The Chair" The nurses put the front arm down so we are effectively blocked in. They look at me dubiously when I explain that we do not need to restrain DD's arms. DD keeps talking as I cover her eyes. Her voice changes from lecturer to a whimper "Noooo, don't want tooo."
Not once does she cry, just a whimper that breaks the nurses' hearts. They are floored that she doesn't cry or scream like their other young patients. They ask if she has done this before. Yes she has. Every three months for the past two years as we try to regulate her meds.
The nurses pull out a blue bandage. After DD is wrapped, they pull out a BIG basket. DD's eyes get nearly as big as that basket as she eyes the prizes inside. She pulls out a sparkly yellow-green bouncy ball.
As we leave she princess-waves to the nurses at the station and bounces her ball once. Then she giggles as the nurses scramble to help me pick up her ball. Out in the waiting room, I ask DD not to bounce the ball. She ignores me and bounces it again which causes the entire room to chuckle as they watch me scramble for the ball. This just reinforces to DD how cute she is and negates my admonishments. The ball goes into my pocket. DD princess-waves to the waiting room. Even those who were staring before smile and wave back. DD doesn't forget to wave to the registration desk and to the information desk as we leave.
At home, DD makes sure she gets full sympathy from all family members as she shows them the blue bandage on her arm. She tells her daddy "I was brave!". All aversion to shots has been forgotten.