Despite my pleas with my husband to stay home with Connor for a couple hours today, Jeremy insisted that he needed to be at work. Something about a meeting with his boss. I think that someone needs to re-evaluate their priorities. As he left to work this morning, he threw a sincere "good luck" my way. I know it was sincere because he said that he really meant it. I guess this was supposed to make me feel better.
I started to consider my plan of action. Bad memories of our previous trip to the health office came rushing back to me and I felt my blood pressure rise. I envisioned my little toddler jumping on the nurse's chair and spinning in circles...then trying to get him off of it only to be faced with screaming and crying. That was followed closely with some bribes to get him off the chair and back to the waiting area while we waited our 15 minutes. Oh, good, there was a play area so I sat down to nurse my screaming baby while my toddler played. Uh oh, there goes the toddler but I can't chase him while feeding my baby. Oh, it's okay. He's just stealing someone else's toys and keys from their bag. I apologize from across the room and get some sympathetic looks. I feel my face getting red as I finish feeding my baby. I carry Aleena around and try to find my toddler. He's by the front door playing with the door stop...why am I not surprised?! Back to the play area after lots of convincing and more bribing. He has to give the stolen toy back because the other baby is leaving now. More crying and whining. Please...let us be able to go home now!
I look at the clock...13 minutes...close enough! I put Aleena back in the car seat and tell Connor we are going home. He runs down the hallway and I follow him out the side door. I am not picky at this point. I say cheerfully "Let's go outside!" and he climbs on a bench by the door and says "NO!" defiantly. I try picking him up with the car seat in my other arm. I got him down and thought we were good to go. Think again. There he goes down the hallway again...someone thought it was a good idea to make the health offices into a big loop. I chase my toddler while carrying a heavy car seat. All that running and the toddler has wiped out on the floor. I use this little mishap to my advantage and manage to somehow get him out of the office at last. It was all a blur at that point. I vowed that I would NEVER take my toddler and baby to the health office together again.
Back to today...I am off to the health office with my toddler and baby. Grrr!
I decided to strap the toddler into the stroller this time around. This way, he couldn't run away from me! Muhaha! I did not go early. I didn't want to prolong the trip. As soon as we got there, our nurse was waiting. I carried Aleena while pushing Connor in the stroller. That was awkward. I sat down with Aleena while Connor insisted "Down!!!" I tried to distract him with cards, toys, and juice. The juice worked for about 2 minutes. The health nurse said that maybe I should let him out of the stroller. I guess his whining must have been bothering her. I hesitantly agreed and let him down. She assured me that she had a 2 year old so she knew what it was like. I let him down and he was a happy boy for a little while. We weighed and measured Aleena. She is still at the same percentiles of growth which is what they look for. She's 66 cm and 17lbs 11ozs. Also known as ...slightly above average in height and quite a bit heavier than average...short and chunky.
Meanwhile, Connor is trying to push the stroller across the room without much luck. I locked the wheels. One point for mommy! He tried one of the cupboard doors but it's locked. He exclaims, "No Work!" and shrugs his shoulders. The health nurse agrees "All broken!". One point for the health nurse. The nurse gets Aleena's shots ready while I watch my son try opening the door, fish through the garbage can, push the stroller around, and roll around on the hard cement floor. I sit down with Aleena while the health nurse tries to tell Connor that his sister was going to cry but it was okay. She gives Aleena her shots while Connor watches curiously and yells "Oh NO!!" every time she gets another needle. Of course, Aleena starts crying and then Connor turns on his sympathy crying which fortunately doesn't last long.
Time to go out to the waiting room for our 15 minute wait. I hold my crying baby and Connor finds some awesome bead toys to play with. He is totally focused on the toys and I sit down to feed and distract Aleena so she forgets about her sore little legs. She calms down and Connor plays with the toys for a good 15 minutes. Ah...so peaceful! I feel like sitting there for a long time but we need to get going eventually. I bribe Connor with a chocolate covered granola bar. We struggle for a couple minutes as I strap him back into the stroller. He really liked that toy! He eats the chocolaty granola bar and there's melted chocolate everywhere. Lovely. We go back to the car and I put Aleena inside. I go back to get Connor and another nurse walks by to tell me that my son's covered with chocolate. I smile. Thanks for pointing out the obvious. I think he looks funny and grab my cell phone to take a picture. My blood pressure returns to normal as I laugh at his chocolate-covered face.
Operation Vaccination was a success and it wouldn't have been the same without a bit of toddler drama to keep things exciting.