Monday, 15 September 2008

Inject A Little Sunshine

Last week saw my boy go for his final pre-school booster jabs.

In this country, if you don’t object, you are due a MMR and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio immunisation, between the age of three and five.

When you are actually given the shots varies from county to county, and I think almost, health practice to health practice.

Certainly seems a lot different to the protocol of the good olde USA, going by the comments left on this post.

The only time we could fit these jabs in, was when we regularly go swimming one night after nursery. It meant I explained our absence to some of the other parents, thus igniting two of the great playground debates.

1) Should you get the MMR, pay for separate injections or not take the immunisation at all?

I remember the whole not-so great scare in this country, when the guy the government was thinking of suing, released his controversial study and ‘findings’.

I’m not a big fan of numbers, facts based only statistical assumptions are, indeed, not facts to me, just assumptions.

And we all know what they do.

If the guy could have demonstrated that the juice in the MMR syringe mutates the part of the brain that controls, or allows, autism, then I would have taken note. And I’m certain other supportive studies would have quickly followed.

But as it happens, he didn’t, so I, err, didn’t either.

Sadly, it is my guess that a medley of all sorts of things, and the fact that diagnosis is getting better year-on-year, hence there has been an increase of cases.

This is not a view held across the great tarmac area that the kids play on, it divides some and some get very vocal on either side.

I was just taking Max for his top-up, no more explanation or argument needed really.

2) Don’t tell your kids about stuff they won't like.

This one was a more interesting debate, and one I’m more prepared to argue, or put my case forward.

After all, I’m no scientist, but I am a parent, hence more qualified in this field.

I’ve always attempted to tell Max the truth as close a possible. The idea being, that I want him to trust me 100%, and to know I mean what I say, except when we’re kidding around of course.

It’s the same with leaving him in the care of others, or going out while he is sat.

OK, to begin with it was tricky, but I stuck to my guns, and never pull the proverbial wool over his spy holes.

Now it means we have no problems at all, and I’m aware that others that have applied the sneak out when the kids aren’t looking approach, have come back to traumatised infants who were ‘confused’ when, say, they woke in the night to be tended by someone else.

I try to apply this rule with things like trips to the dentist and doctors.

Even though I know as a child I had great difficulty knowing that something like this was in my immediate future.

And I don’t want him to suffer the same, so I think my principle or protocol still applies.

When it actually came to it my child was a colossus in the nurses’ room

He had simultaneous injections in each arm while he sat on my lap.

After barely a flinch, he asked which sticker he could have, and then a lollypop produced from my well prepared coat pocket put any very recent pain firmly into the past.

I was delighted.

He then asked “Have I been good?” the normal prelude to present or surprise requests.

But I temporarily puzzled him with my reply.

“No, you’ve not been good”

Wait for it.

“You’ve been brilliant.”

And guess what?

That meant he got two little treats!

Clever so and so.



Tismee2 said...

What a soldier! I thought I had prepared Alexander well when we went for his until he felt the needle, his eyes welled up and he howled. I felt so bad for him.

Of course a treat at Woolworths soon sorted out that trauma.

Wonder how it will be when the next one is due, now he knows what to expect?

T said...

Eek! Vaccinations. I've read so much that I'm totally freaked out by the fact that I have to decide. Too much information on both sides of the debate. My kids are vaccinated but I did spread out the MMR.

I agree with the being honest part. I tell my kids that it might hurt too. I'm all about honesty and thankfully, so are they.

Hug that little guy!!!

Tricia Moran said...

I am totally with you on the letting them know what's happening thing. Neither of mine have ever had any meltdowns with their injections because I am so relaxed and calm. (Not inside, but on the outside!). We always go and get a little icecream cone, so now they associate any shots with icecream. Not sure if it's good or bad, but they like it. :)
Hope things are going well,
Tricia (N. Virginia, USA)

dadshouse said...

I love this line: After all, I’m no scientist, but I am a parent, hence more qualified in this field.


Eddie 2-Sox said...

What a star! Well done Max.

Kerrie said...

Hi Ian...

I found your blog via another, as is so often the case in blog land and have enjoyed reading your writings so far. I was a sole parent for almost 13 years, my partner's life story is similar to yours...he lost his wife when their youngest child was 18 months old, she was also pregnant with another son when diagnosed with cancer. So sadly, this little boy died before she did. Reading your blog has helped me understand a lot of what he went through in the early days of his grief. Your words are honest and heart rending.

I'm with you about not beating around the bush with what is happening with children. There is no point saying that immunisation will be "nothing" or "won't hurt a bit" when it's not the case, it can & does hurt. It will only make a liar out of you and your child will lose faith and trust.

In our home we have jellybeans ONLY ever after immunisation. My daughter is now closer to 15 than 14 and recently had her first cervical cancer vaccine...this was done at school. The morning of the immunisation she reminded me that I had to pick up a bag of jellybeans for being brave. I love that it has still carried on this many years.

I'll be around to read your blog more, looking forward to getting to know you and Max better.

Warm regards...

Kori said...

Bah. I agree with being honest, I dont agree with giving treats for doing what is expected. shots are a necessity whether we like it or not, so there you go. No wonder I am having so many problems at home, huh.

harassedmomsramblings said...

WOW I didnt really realise the MMR debate was raging all over the world!

You cant get your kid into certain government schools here if their clinic card isnt up to date - so it sort of makes them compulsory!

I do the honesty thing too - my little one doesnt handle change and surprise so she needs to know whats happening - the good and the bad!

And your little man was DEFINATELY brilliant!

Single Parent Dad said...

Tismee - I wonder too, I was terrible

T - Will give him a squeeze from you

Hi Tricia - Jabs = Ice Cream, nice.

Nothing better than the truth dadshouse!

Cheers Eddie

Welcome Kerrie, and thanks for such a lovely comment. I hope my insight is interesting enough to keep you reading.

Hi Kori - Honesty is the best policy. Shots are going to happen, but dealing with them well, as a child, is worth a chocolate in my book.

Hi Harassedmom - Oh yeah, that debate has some legs. And I know he was brilliant, he keeps reminding me!

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