Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The I in Team

A few days before we left America, Lucy had one last doctor's visit. She turned two years old and had her two-year appointment. She was supposed to get her second Hep-A shot. The shot is administered no earlier than six months after the first, and the first was at her 18-month appointment in January, when she was 19 months old. So she couldn't get the shot until mid-July. The doctor gave us a note to bring to England for her new doctor.

Today (i.e. early September) we went to a local clinic to get the shot and a Hep-B shot she also needs. Before we left, Jacob asked where we were going. I couldn't lie to him, so I told him we were going to the doctor. He asked it was for him. I said no, it's Lucy who needs a shot. He asked if she'd be on the wrinkly paper. He doesn't like the wrinkly paper, because as he says, "It pinches like this" while giving the best pinch on my arm he can. Clearly he associates the paper on doctors' examination beds with getting shots. I said we'd see if they have the paper or not. He seemed content with that. I guess it's okay for someone else to get the shots.

Lucy, for her part, seemed completely oblivious to getting a shot. I guess over six months ago is a long time for her and she has not associated the name "doctor" or the word "shots" with pain. We drove off to the clinic in relative peace.

As I pulled up, Jacob asked about it again. I said, "We are just getting a couple of shots and then we'll do other errands." Jacob in horror and hurry said, "No, no, no, Daddy, don't say 'we,' say 'Lucy!' Not 'we!' Only Lucy!!" I quickly corrected myself. It's nice to know he grasps the difference between singular and plural pronouns.

It turned out the clinic only had the Hep-B shots. The doctor explained that at the beginning of the school year a lot of kids get the Hep-A shot and the supply was out temporarily. Since Lucy only got one shot, she didn't cry. Usually with our kids, the first shot is the shocking yet silent surprise; subsequent shots are met with screams. Lucy took the first shot like a trooper and just watched as she got her band-aid. She wasn't upset at all and even said "goodbye" when we left.

Jacob, for his part, seemed completely oblivious to the lack of paper on the examination bed. I wonder if that's just an American thing. I suppose we'll find out when we go to the regular doctor or when we watch some local medical drama on the telly [Editor's note: that's television for you Americans].

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