Tuesday, August 16, 2011

From Babies to Kids

It's official. My sweet, sweet, tiny little babies are no longer my sweet, sweet, tiny little babies. Granted, they are still sweet. But they are no longer babies. Yesterday my twinnies went to see their pediatrician for their five-year check-up, kindergarten health evaluation, and dreaded immunizations. I expected utter chaos. As a matter of fact, Ruanita took the day off work to go with me to the appointment. It was going to be a tag-team effort. I was ready for all hell to break loose.

The last time my children got shots, Sophie screamed so loudly that she could easily be heard across the river in Saint Paul. Not only did she scream during the shot. She screamed for a good fifteen minutes afterward. Her face became one big red splotch. She was gasping for air and clinging to me with sharp talons that pierced my skin and made me cry out in pain, as well. Getting her out of the building was an exercise in wild animal wrangling. It was hell on Earth, plain and simple.

This time, I was ready. I had Ruanita there as my muscle. Whereas I am weak and don't have it within me to physically hold my children down to inflict pain on them, Ruanita has no qualms about it. She is willing to put them in an unbreakable physical hold using her entire body weight to hold them still as their shots are administered. She is my muscle. Her will is as steely as they come. She gets the job done.

So I was ready for the imminent chaos. Sophie started the appointment completely uncooperative. I thought, This does not bode well for the upcoming events. She refused to get weighed unless I stood right beside her holding her hand. She refused to do her hearing test. Rather than raising her hand when she heard a beep as her brother so perfectly managed to do, she sat in my lap and whispered “mommy” when she heard a beep and I raised my hand. Her hearing evaluation was a team effort. Likewise, she assumed the fetal position in my lap when our pediatrician tried to listen to her heart. It was quite a feat getting her to cooperate, despite our pediatrician being the unequivocally greatest pediatrician in the Twin Cities. When it came time for shots to be administered, I braced myself for the banshee-like wails.

The nurse suggested that one of us take Nicholas for a walk around the office while Sophie received her shots, then vice versa. I grabbed Nicholas by the hand and left Ruanita to wrestle with the bucking bronco. Nicholas and I walked around the office talking about the gum he wanted as a reward for being good and the game he intended to play on my phone on the way home. I listened carefully for the screams I was certain would permeate the air. Instead, I heard nothing but the cries of infants in the waiting room. Eventually, Nicholas and I headed back to the exam room to find Sophie standing there with a mere hint of tears at the corners of her eyes, grinning profusely, and clutching a Dora sticker in her hand.

I wasn't sure what to make of this turn of events. Did I miss the screaming? Should I get my ears checked? Was this a sinister ploy to throw me off balance before unleashing the tsunami of pandemonium I was expecting? Apparently not. According to Ruanita, Sophie was a trooper. She was brave. She was calm. She was a picture perfect little lady.


Nicholas followed Sophie and did not shed a single tear. He merely uttered a quick “owie” when he received his two shots. He picked out a Despicable Me sticker and quickly resumed his interrogation about the flavors of gum I had in my purse.

I am still in a bit of a stupor about the whole thing this morning. What happened to the babies clinging to me for dear life? What happened to the tiny little creatures who desperately needed mommy to kiss away all of their pain? What happened to my babies?

Apparently, they are no longer babies. They are officially ready for kindergarten now. My babies are kids now. Brave kids capable of handling themselves with grace and restraint and composure. I should be proud of them. I told them I was immensely proud of them. In actuality, however, I am sad.

Would it be the utterings of an insane person to say that I actually miss the screams?


Jennifer said...

Way to go Sophie and Nicholas! I'm a very proud auntie!

Madgew said...

Yes, insane. Hopefully, the first day of school will be as good. Do they separate twins in your school district as they do here in Los Angeles?

Shannon said...

Madge--They do separate them. However, my kids are doing half-day kindergarten and there is only one half-day class at their school. So they will be together for kindergarten, but then separated after that.

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