Just home from the doctors. Preschool Booster attempt two. Well, maybe attempt 2.5. Still, we get to back again next month to repeat the ordeal, and they can administer the second injection that got nowhere near my kid before he started hyperventilating. Not even long enough to receive an 'I was Brave Today!' sticker as he ran out of the room sobbing.
I hate these injections that punctuate our kiddo's early lives. I understand the need for them, which is why I have put my kid through this each time - but since his very first injections I have not been able to go with him. It's not a needle phobia (my collection of piercings and tattoos will testament to that) but a profound hatred of seeing my kid upset. And I'm not talking bratty petulant footstamping, I'm talking screaming, shuddering, hyperventilating, terror.
I don't know what caused this, he's never had a bad experience with a jab or a doctor or anything. My kid has never cried for more than a minute or two his entire life, before I have attended to his needs*. I think he remembers the trauma of previous injections, the pain, the fake jolly nurse and the sticker bribery. The nurse has other ideas, as my kid is screaming for his daddy - 'maybe he'd be better off coming back next week with dad?' Yeah, not gonna happen lady. I have that thought - the one that comes to me every now and then - oh yeah, I'm doing this all alone.
All alone. And most days, the regular park-and-play-and-shops-and-cook-dinner kinds of days I don't mind. I don't notice. As a stay at home parent I always did most of the legwork, after the break-up it was just a few more late nights early mornings. But those nights when my kid is sick, or those days when I am struggling - that's when I remember. I am alone in this. Those times I have to take my kid to meetings or when I had to go for my smear and I had noone to babysit and I can't stop giggling as my kid is yelling "mommy, what's she doing to your bits?!" from behind the curtain (don't worry, I'm already saving up for all the therapy he'll need in later life). Those are the times I could really do with a co-parent. A shoulder to cry on. A hand to hold. Another lap for him to sit on as a nurse tries her best to convince my kid to let her stick needles in him. I call the ex after our appointment - partly because I wanted to vent partly because I planned to insist on him taking Vin to his next appointment (for the other round of jabs he was too upset to receive today). I figured he might be concerned as to how it went, silly me. Another reminder, there is just you Charlotte. I am parenting alongside myself. Doing both roles and twice as much work.
...and I don't even get a sticker at the end of it all.
*Please, no judgements on my parenting skills here, this is how I chose to raise my kid, not a comment on your or yours.