Why is it so much worse when your child responds to a shot with the simple word, "Hurt!", than it was when he just cried? Jacob got his flu shot today (at the same appointment where we were just double checking his ears to make sure the infections have cleared up, and YES! They're gone.), and for some reason this one felt different than any other shots he's gotten. Even though he was already talking quite a bit at his two-year well visit, I don't remember this happening. Basically, he knew something was up when I was sort of hugging him to hold him down, and then when he got the shot, of course he cried. But at the end of it when he told me it hurt, I felt so bad. Almost like he knew that I knew that it was going to hurt, and yet I let it happen anyway. There was just a tinge of betrayal in the way he looked at me.
When they're tiny babies it's hard because pain is so new to them and they're so helpless. They totally don't deserve the pain and don't know what it is or why it's happening. But at the same time you hope that their short attention span and sketchy memory will serve them well and they won't remember a thing five minutes later. And usually a little quality time in mommy's or daddy's arms does the trick and they're fine. I'll be honest, though...as much as I didn't like to see Jacob cry, I never got crazy emotional about shots. I knew it was good for him in the long run and again, I knew it would be over quickly. No need for tears, even if it was hard. I had a job to do.
But with Jacob this time around, it's almost like he's suddenly at the point where he will remember. Not just the pain, not just those moments before, but how he felt looking knowing that I must have known it would hurt. And just when going to the doctor got to be fun, too. Fishies! Stickers! Someone new to show off to! Big waiting room to run around! Oh, well. I just hope he doesn't remember any of that feeling he had right after the shot. Can I just get one more round of the short attention span and sketchy memory? Please?