It was a trying ordeal but he persevered after counting to 100.
Yes, the dreaded doctor’s appointment is over. He’s only been sick about it for weeks. When we got to the office, he was initially excited about getting weighed and measured (25th percentile height (he’s got his Grandma Ionno in him!) and 60th percentile in weight). But when we got in the examination room, he turned on us.
“I’m scared mom. My stomach feels funny because I’m so scared.”
Maria chimed in before I could speak.
“It’s ok baby boy. You are going to be brave just like your big sis. You are just gonna get those shots and act like nothin’ happened to you buster.” She pinched his cheek just like your eighty year old grandma would do.
He tried to stay stoic. He began counting to 100. Ri continued to try to make him laugh. The doc eventually came in to look him over and he impressed her with his counting and his spelling of “Mario.” She gave him a clean bill of health and then told him he’d only need two shots. We had told him four because that’s what Ri had gotten at age five so we thought he’d be relieved. But instead he took the opportunity to bargain.
“How about just one shot?”
The doc laughed. Maria looked dejected. She wanted him to get all four and be brave.
“Can he get three?” she asked. “And can I get an examination done on me after you are done with Mario?” She’s the only kid I know that enjoys visits to the dentist and doctor.
The doc left and it seemed like an eternity until the nurses arrived. Mario asked every 30 seconds when they’d be in to give him his shots. Maria rolled up both his sleeves and kissed the top of both of his arms.
“Grandma Ionno’s mom used to kiss her on the place where she was going to get a shot so I’m keeping up the tradition, Mario.”
He let her kiss him with the hopes that this ritual would somehow lessen the pain. The nurses finally stepped in and Ri and I held his hands while they inserted a shot in each arm.
He screamed. And cried. I held him.
Maria repeated “you are our strong baby boy, yes you are.”
Five minutes later we were driving to Giant Eagle to get the donut we promised him.
When Ri and I were getting ready eraly that morning, she had wondered what we could do for Mario after his shots as a reward for being brave.
“It was easy with me because all I ever wanted was ice cream or spaghetti. Mario doesn’t like food like I do! We may need to buy him a toy!”
But then as she stood in the mirror brushing her hair, she shouted “Oh duh! Mario loves donuts! We can get him lots of long john donuts!”
And so it was decided. He’d get a donut and Ri, by default of being with us, would get one, too. I have a feeling she set me up for that one….