Earlier last week I had the pleasure of taking Carter to the doctor. He was in need of a couple immunizations before we could get him registered for kindergarten over the weekend. I explained why Husband and I felt the shots were necessary and that while they hurt a little it was quick and would soon be over. For a child I don’t think shots are ever quick enough.
It has been quite a while since Carter needed a shot and, while he acted nervous and played the part of a scared child, I think it was mostly for show. I don’t think he really knew what a shot was. That is until the first needle went in. His eyes went wide and he looked at me, startled that I could allow this to happen to him. Then he got the second shot and the tears started. The nurse and I had to practically hold him down so as to put the band-aids on.
The nurse murmured her goodbyes and left the room. Carter did not want hugs nor did he want words of comfort. He kept his distance from me and did not want to talk about it. I tried to give him his space which was not all that hard for he stormed out of the room, stomped down the hallway, and outright refused the typical consolation prize of a temporary tattoo from the basket by the door.
He was a storm cloud in size twelve Jedi Sith shoes and a blue puffy jacket. He refused to hold my hand across the parking lot, yanking his hand out of mine and gripping my jacket sleeve when I told him he needed to hold on to me for safety. We got to the car, I buckled him in, and took a couple deep breaths before getting in myself. As soon as I turned the key and the engine came to life, Carter started talking.
carter: Stanley? (Stanley is the name of our Subaru and he can only talk while his engine is running, of course. I should state at this point that for the past several weeks Carter and I have played a game with a troll statue who stands on our fireplace mantle under the cover of leaves of a large potted plant. The troll and Carter have had wonderful conversations about an array of topics.
For the record, I am the voice of the troll. I am also the voice of Sock Monkey and, most recently, Stanley the car. I have been getting a complex about this lately for Carter is quite comfortable talking to Troll, Sock Monkey, and Stanley about things such as Dexter, our dog’s, death, and how he misses Dexter, Rosy and Grandpa, but he rarely talks to me about these things.)
stanley: Yes? (Stanley’s voice sounds suspiciously like Sock Monkey’s voice but Carter has not noticed this).
carter: My arm hurts! I got two shots and it hurt and it made me sooo mad! I have two band-aids, one is orange and one is yellow. Stanley do you get shots sometimes too?
stanley: Nooo, I don’t get shots but just yesterday I hit a pothole in the road and hurt my wheel.
carter: Immediate sympathy. Stanley? Which wheel hurts you?
stanley: My left front wheel. It sure does hurt. I wish I had a band-aid like you. Did the band-aid make your owie better?
Carter went on to tell Stanley of all that transpired behind the closed door of the doctor’s office. He confessed that the band-aids did help him to feel better. Carter then asked me, not Stanley, if when we got home we could put a band-aid on Stanley’s left front wheel.
And that is how I ended up driving a car around town with a band-aid on the left front wheel. I have to admit that the band-aid on the wheel came in useful when it was time to remove Carter’s two band-aids. Stanley was quite brave during the removal (perhaps because his engine was off and therefore he could not scream), making for a good role model for Carter.
I really am all about play and imagination but sometimes I wonder if putting band-aids on car wheels is taking it a bit too far. What do you think?