Jabs Fun or Not

Even though we live in a sun kissed holiday destination here in Dubai, it is always nice to depart our white, sandy shores for new destinations. Whilst our next holiday destination, Vietnam, is not new to DH or me, we thought it would be an interesting choice for a family holiday this summer.  The kiddos were excited (especially when we told them we will spend at least one day at the waterpark!)……that was until two days ago when I broke the news that they needed to have certain vaccinations before we travel.  Faced with three frowny faces, I was bombarded with moans and accusations of being mean, with DS2 declaring in a determined huff, he would be staying at home if it meant he didn’t have to have a ‘sharp needle stuck in my arm’.

Understanding vaccinations is difficult for kids; even moreso when the main reason is because we are visiting a developing country.  The thought of the jabs clearly preyed on DS2’s mind the most as he grilled me from the time I told him, right up until we arrived at the doctor’s office.  He wanted to know how many jabs?  Why were his going to be different to his siblings’?  Why did he have to have a follow up shot 6 months later and his siblings didn’t?  How big is the needle?  Will the doctor inject me in my butt?

My life was not made any easier by DS1 (who did not flinch when he was injected in the thigh!) who took immense pleasure in teasing his little brother by telling him the needle would be ginormous, and makes you feel like you are going to die…..

Refusing the opportunity to go first and rub it in his big brother’s face, my baby sat outside the nurse’s office as if awaiting corporal punishment.  DS1 waltzed out unphased after his jabs.  DD strolled out mutely.  DS2 was in tears before the nurse had even rolled up his sleeve!  He clung to me for dear life, doing all the things I advised him not to; stiffening, holding his breath and the worst…..looking at the needle as the nurse aimed for the injection site!!!

vaccine-clipart-royalty-free-doctor-clipart-illustration-1109534The nurse was already preparing for the second shot before my bub realised the first one was done and dusted.  I don’t think I have ever seen tears dry up sooo quickly! Once done, he beamed like a champ and practically skipped out the door to claim his sugary hero prize – a lollipop!

As with all medical procedures, the nurse had advised about potential side affects of the shots.  DD’s and DS1’s jabs included a booster which has the potential for stronger side effects.  However, it was DS2 who proved a concern a few hours later as I made the 5 min car trip to the supermarket.  Half way there he announced he felt sick.  I swerved onto one of Dubai’s commonplace sandy run offs.   Thankfully we travel with plastic bags in the car.  DD grabbed one and shoved it in front of her brother’s face.  Anything had to be better than vomiting outside in 45 degrees!

A former victim of motion sickness, I appreciated the value of a smooth, bump free ride.  With this in mind I crawled my way to my favoured parking spot (which is not at the supermarket), and taking care over every speedbump, I helped DS2 out of the car as if he were an invalid; ready to faint in my arms at any moment.  Jabs have never affected my kids in the past….

He was as white as a sheet.  His lips blanched and his legs buckled beneath him. I raced to get him indoors to the kinder AC temperatures.  Luckily the Dubai Kartdrome, where I park, offers indoor seating and a shop…….a few minutes of head between the knees combined with 7UP and my baby was feeling as right as rain.

‘Doing the math’ as our friends across the Irish pond would say, I reckon the jabs had nothing to do with the near fainting episode…..I believe the fact that DS1, on the jaunt to the supermarket, at the behest of DS2, tore off his brother’s plaster/band aid quickly and this sent him into a downward spin of shock……

DS2’s new motto – ‘Survived the jabs – failed the tabs’

The irony!


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