Friday, 12 April 2013

4 year old vaccinations

Here in Australia, when a child turns 4 they get to have their last vaccinations (until year 8 - about 15 years old) and a developmental check.  What a way to celebrate, huh?

Yesterday was the Little Big Fella's day for it.

As I was thinking about it last night, I realised we'd kind of been preparing him mentally for this for about six months.  When our little dogs had to get their vaccinations in December we talked about what a it is and why we have them.  The Little Big Fella also learned the word at that stage, which blows me away as well!

Also in December, January and February I received some vitamin B12 injections, and then had a blood test, and the Little Big Fella came along with me once or twice.  He got to see that it's no big deal (yes, that was a bit of an act on my part, given that I'm not great with needles), and he even got a chocolate with the blood test for being "such a brave boy watching Mummy".

Last week we went to the doctor's surgery to make the appointment so we got a chance to talk a little bit about what would be happening today.  No big deal, and he promptly forgot about it.

Yesterday morning I thought it would be a good idea to let him know that it was vaccination day.  We talked about it just a little, then he went off and played.  After lunch we jumped in the car and I noticed that he was a little quiet on the way to the next town.

"Are you okay?" I asked him.

No real answer.

"Are you a little bit nervous?"


I told him it's okay to be a bit nervous and we also talked about the other things the nurse would do - check his eyes and ears, maybe watch him play and ask him about stuff.

When we got there he was weighed (22kg) and his height was measured (118cm), then the nurse sent us into the next room while she prepared the needles.  The Little Big Fella was really relaxed while we were waiting.

When she came in, the nurse asked me to take his top off (we couldn't push the sleeves up high enough) and sit him on my lap, with his hands in his lap, and mine over his.  The other nurse came in and recognised him, making a big fuss over how big he was etc.

Then 1, 2, 3 and the needles were in (one in each arm)!

The Little Big Fella was a bit surprised that it hurt, I think.  He watched one of the needles all the way, and kind of squirmed very slightly.  Then he just said, "that hurt a little bit".

The nurses made a big fuss of how brave my boy was, then second nurse left and the Little Big Fella was given 2 chocolate frogs!  He ate one and we put the other in my bag for later :-)

Then the nurse asked a bunch of questions to both me and the Little Big Fella and we were done.  I'm happy to let you know that there are no indicators of developmental issues.

We had some food shopping to do before coming home.  In the supermarket, the Little Big Fella was really well behaved, but just kept getting louder and louder!  He was saying "hi" to everyone we came across, and telling them that he was 4 and he'd just had his "vaccinations".  I was starting to think we'd have to go for a bike ride or something when we got home because he had way too much energy and volume!

But, wouldn't you know it?  He fell asleep on the way home and had a half hour nap!  (I used to kind of love vaccinations and chiropractor appointments when he was a baby because he'd always have a big sleep that afternoon!)

So it turns out that my big boy, who cries when his friends bump into him, is brave when it comes to vaccinations.

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