As a child, I was more afraid of tetanus shots than, for example, Dracula. ~ Dave Barry
Last week, my little baby Sausage had his first birthday. It was lovely, with presents, and guests, and a rather chic green tutu. Sausage determined that birthdays are, in fact, the bomb diggity (I try to keep him hip with the righteous lingo, man).
But along with celebrations and cupcakes, Sausage’s birthday brought — cue Jaws music — his twelve-month well-baby visit. At the doctor. The one with the needles.
Things went pretty well right up until we got to the ‘poking with sharp objects’ part of the visit.
For your entertainment and edification, here is a dramatic recounting of that day’s events. All of Sausage’s lines have been painstakingly translated from Babytalk by yours truly. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy.
SAUSAGE GETS HIS SHOTS (or, HOW I BETRAYED MY INFANT SON)
A SHORT PLAY
NURSE — the one with the pointy needles
MAMA — the dirty betrayer
SAUSAGE — the innocent victim of torture
LADY — a kind stranger in the doctor’s office waiting room
(Lights up. SAUSAGE lies upon the table in a doctor’s exam room. He is naked except for his diaper. MAMA is holding his upper body and making faces at him in an attempt to distract him from the goings on.)
NURSE: (to Mama) Okay, if you could just hold his arms … good. The first shot shouldn’t be a big deal, but the second and third will burn. Are you ready?
MAMA: (taking a deep, bracing breath) Yes. Let’s do it. (Sings) Hush little baby, don’t say a word, Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird …
SAUSAGE: Hi, Mama! I love that song. Hey, why can’t I move my arms? I want to grab your face, Mama! (First shot is given.) Ouch! Oh, but the song is so soothing … Mama, you wouldn’t keep singing if something was wrong, right? I love you, Mama. (Second shot is given. This one burns.) M*********er! THAT HURT! Mama, why don’t you stop the mean lady? SHE’S HURTING ME! Let go of my arms! I want to flail! (Third shot is given. This one also burns.) AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH! F***! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME? YOU F***ING C***! YOU B**** A** M*********ING FEMALE BENEDICT ARNOLD! You knew she was going to do that! You held down my f***ing arms on purpose! NO! DON’T YOU DARE SING THAT F***ING SONG TO ME! I will never, never forgive you! YOU ARE DEAD TO ME, MAMA!
(Since the third shot, NURSE has left. MAMA has continued singing and making calming sounds while quickly getting SAUSAGE back into his clothes and his stroller.)
(SAUSAGE continues to scream as MAMA wheels him out to the front desk, where she needs to make his next appointment. As MAMA talks to the receptionist, a kindly middle-aged LADY starts cooing at SAUSAGE sympathetically. She does not understand what he is saying.)
LADY: Aw, yes sweetie. Did you get some shots? Were you a big, brave boy? I bet those hurt, didn’t they? Poor thing. Yes. I understand. (She continues in this vein.)
SAUSAGE: (Scream-babbling) And then my F***ING MAMA held down my F***ING ARMS and they F***ING STUCK me with F***ING NEEDLES and it HUU-UUU-UUURT! Please, will you take me home with you? Because my F***ING MAMA is a F***ING TRAITOR and I don’t TRUST her anymore! SHE HELD ME DOWN SO THAT THEY COULD F***ING HURT ME! She could be capable of anything! PLEASE SAVE ME. I promise to be good! Take me home and be my mama and take me away from this horrible awful M********ING TRAITOR! G*****N HER! SOMEDAY I’LL HOLD DOWN HER F***ING ARMS WHILE PEOPLE STICK HER WITH POINTY F***ING OBJECTS. WE’LL SEE HOW SHE LIKES IT THEN.
LADY: Oh, you’re just so cute!
SAUSAGE: F*** YOU! Fury is not cute! I HAVE BEEN BETRAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYED!
MAMA: Okay, little one. Let’s get you out of here.
SAUSAGE: (As MAMA wheels him offstage.) DON’T LET HER TAKE ME! SAVE ME, NEW MAMA! AUGH, I HATE ALL OF YOU, YOU EVIL TREACHEROUS G*****N F***ING ADULTS! I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE!
(MAMA and SAUSAGE exit, with SAUSAGE cursing violently the entire way. Lights down.)
I should maybe point out that Sausage has since forgiven me. Or maybe he just forgot. Either way, he likes me again. But can I forgive myself for such a wretched betrayal of his innocent little trust? That is another question entirely.
What sorts of things do you do to make doctor visits easier on your little ones?