Babess sobbed in my arms. It wasn’t pretty. Her red face was tear-streaked & blotchy, and her nose was streaming. But she turned around to face the other way when she was asked, and let us roll up her sleeve. When the second of her 4-year-old immunisation shots went into the other arm, she just sobbed harder.
The nurse and I did our best to comfort her, assuring her it was all over now and the sting would fade, reminding her of the very good reasons for having the shots in the first place. I gave lots of cuddles, the nurse provided tissues and offered stickers.
She calmed down in a reasonable amount of time, and was quite chirpy – although still a bit blotchy – when we walked out after our twenty-minute safety period was over. “You did really well!” I congratulated her.
“But I wasn’t brave,” she said sadly.
“Oh yes you were brave! You knew it would hurt, and you sat still without wriggling for the first injection. That stung and you still didn’t wriggle or try to climb off my lap. And you sat so nice and still for the second one, even though your first arm was still hurting. That is VERY brave.”
“But I cried, and I didn’t like it.”
“Not liking it, even crying, but still doing it – that is what it means to be brave.”
She looked thoughtful, and accepted a jelly-bean.
© UpsideBackwards 2012.