At two months, infants are due for their first shots. And looking into the mirror in the examination room, I could tell I was much more nervous than Preston. My neck had turned a pale shade of pink with darker blotchy patches on every inch of visible skin. If only Preston knew what he was getting into, he wouldn't be so jolly.
The nurse politely asks to hold Preston and starts talking to him in a high-pitched voice saying, "You want your nummies don't ya? You love nummies. All babies love nummies." This is going to be better than I thought – the nurse is going to numb him before he's introduced to the needles of pain.
She then proceeds to feed him a liquid that resembles clear syrup. And I can't help but be a little confused – how is something the nurse is putting in Preston's mouth going to numb his hammies (a.k.a thighs, or ham hocks)?
So I ask her, "What is that stuff you are putting in his mouth?"
She replies, "This is his 'nummy', it's really sweet, so he should like it."
Okay, so that was NOT helpful. But then it dawned on me, his nummy wasn't going to numb him at all. This damn nummy was his oral vaccination. Nummy is baby speak for Yummy. (What? The word 'yummy' isn't baby-cutsie enough on its own? Is the 'n' sound much more appealing to babies than the 'y'?)
This nurse was twisted and clearly trying to fake us both out. What a mean trick to play on a first-time Mom who has no idea what all this baby lingo is about.
And just as my epiphany ends, the pain begins. As the first shot goes in Preston's hammy, his eyes get as big as fifty cent pieces, his mouth opens wide enough that I can practically see down this throat, and the loudest, most shrill sound flew out of his tiny little mouth. This is a cry of pain – a cry I have not heard before. This is not good for either of us.
Second shot. Third shot. A REAL BABY TEAR! A real Mommy tear. Fourth shot. Fifth shot. Band-Aids. Then an extra Band-Aid because Preston is bleeding so badly from his left hammy. The nurse finally leaves and I scoop up my distressed child.
Ten minutes later we've both calmed down and our on our way home. Preston crashes in the car and all I can think about is how badly I need a beer to calm my nerves.
I can hardly wait to do this all over again in two months. At least next time, I'll know what a 'nummy' is.
(And before you ask, YES, I totally saved his Band-Aids. Just like I saved his cord. And just like I save Jeremy's belly button fuzz.)