By Estelle Erasmus
It might be time for your child’s annual checkup.
Based on my own traumatic successful experience with my five-year-old, I’d like to share how to prepare for this potentially volatile visit.
Step 1: Commence the Convo from Hell
Tell child that her annual checkup is next week, and it may or may not include a shot. Wait till her screams of agony die down. Promise that she will get a special treat if she cooperates. Stop. Rinse. Repeat.
Step 2: Gimme Sugar
Recall that when she was a baby you found scientific studies confirming that sugar reduces pain. A binky dipped in sugar-water instantly calmed her down during shots. Since she’s been binky free for two years, decide to substitute with a lollypop. Tell her that then plug your ears when she asks for the damn lollypop over and over again. Stuff a chocolate bar down your throat to stop the pain of her repetitious requests.
Step 3: The Reminder Minder
Set an appointment reminder on your laptop, which you keep in your bedroom even though you shouldn’t because of danger to your brain from electromagnetic waves. Spend two hours Googling electromagnetic waves. Order crystals (for brain protection) and a dream catcher (just because).
Step 4: D-Day
Stop at the drugstore. While distracting your daughter “Look a Sofia the First backpack” surreptitiously place a bubble-gum filled lollypop among your purchases. Know that this will please her because she has asked for gum although you only give it to her for special occasions like “leave mommy alone so she can watch reruns of Housewives of New York” times. Observe as she runs around the doctor’s office touching all the toys laden with germs while waiting for her “well visit”.
Step 5: A Sucker is Born
When the nurse gives your child a shot, stick the lollypop in her mouth and yell “Mommy has a surprise for you: a gum-filled lollypop. Watch with relief as she only sheds a few tears, barely acknowledges the shot, and madly sucks on the lollypop to get to the gum.
Step 6: The Tooth of the Matter
Sigh and tell Siri to call the pediatric dentist. It’s time for your child’s six-month checkup: which may or may not include a shot.
What do you most dread about your child’s annual doctor’s visit?