This is a post from when I was pregnant with Julie – and the reason I picked it was because I was thinking longingly of being pregnant the other day, but then I remember how incredibly hard it was to be pregnant with other kids, and trying to balance out meeting the other kids’ needs.

(from March, 2010)

At Sam’s last physical, he had his vaccinations. I’m almost always the one who does physicals, and the shots – I don’t like them, it’s not fun to see my children get them, but I”m okay with it. I can hold them down and while I might tear up, I’m nowhere near as fragile about it as I was today. I put off getting his lead test done, but getting bloodwork done on the same day at the shots just seemed mean. But it turns out that I need the results in order to get him registered for preschool, so today while I was at Jessie’s physical, I figured I’d just get Sam’s bloodwork done at the same time.

It was AWFUL. He started screaming “I DON’T WANT BLOODWORK” while we were waiting for Jessie’s camp physical form to get filled out and just kept going, begging me not to make him do it. He’s not stupid, and his mother is 35 weeks pregnant – he’s seen a lot of bloodwork because he comes with me to all of my appts. And even though I’m very calm and don’t freak out about needles, he knows that it’s still a needle going into your skin.

He screamed the whole way down in the elevator, and while we were waiting in the waiting room. It was a crowded little waiting room and I could not stop him from just screaming non-stop. “I DON’T WANT BLOODWORK! PLEASE MOMMY, NO BLOODWORK! I DON’T WANT BLOODWORK!” His poor little face, the tears were pouring down his cheeks and his eyes were huge and terrified. They finally took us in, there were two techs, they muscled me down into the chair, locked my legs around him (and he’s not fitting all that well due to enormous belly) and I held one arm while they jammed the needle into the other one. (You understand that I’m exaggerating slightly, they were actually very fast and efficient and I’m relatively sure that they didn’t actually jam the needle in – but it was hard to tell because at this point I was crying as hard as he was).

It was the worst experience ever – rivaling his x-ray at two weeks old, when he cried so hard he vomited all over the table. He’s kicking me with those super hard shoes, I’m contracting all over the place, crying because my poor son was just so scared and I was making him do it anyway – Jessie was hiding in the waiting room, with her hands clamped over his ears… total trauma. Even afterwards – he screamed for at least another twenty minutes – jumping up and down, screaming “I DON’T WANT BLOODWORK!” I had to go back upstairs to check out in the doctor’s office, and begged them for a room, where I nursed my little boy (who’s been weaned for months) just to try and calm the hysteria, because he was still screaming. I’m wrecked, exhausted, emotional and feel so incredibly emotionally fragile. It was just awful. I’m never doing bloodwork again. Shots, shots I can do, bloodwork – no way. Never again. That’s so completely Marc’s job from here on out.

In other news – Jess is a paragon of health – still tall and skinny, 49lbs, and 48 and three quarter inches.

Am going to go sit quietly in the living room and cry it all out, I really can’t handle that kind of thing at this point. Too emotional, too pregnant, and way too tired to do that kind of emotional trauma.

Julianna is afraid of dragons. Which you wouldn’t think would be all that big of a deal, I mean, it’s not like the streets of Worcester are teeming with them. But, oddly enough, there’s a ton of them on educational kids television. Perhaps educational is a bit of a stretch, but I’m talking about the standard kids fare, disney jr, nick jr, pbskids, etc. Dragons. Every time one is one, she screams in terror. Suffice it to say, Mike the Knight is an absolute no-go in this house. Also, Dora the Explorer can freak her out occasionally as well.

I let my kids watch television. And as my mother is fond of pointing out, my youngest probably watches more than the other two did combined at her age. I’m not exactly sure why, although I suspect it has something to do with the fact that Jessie was an only child until she was three and a half, and I was babysitting for two other babies Sam’s age from the time he was three months old. And on the upside, Julie is kind of brilliant. She’s super articulate, and knows all her colors, shapes, the alphabet and can count almost up to twenty. If you don’t notice that she skips sixteen-nineteen.

But television has always been kind of hard for my kids – and I’m always shocked at what will really affect them emotionally. Once I put on what I thought was a friendly little kids animated movie – The Prince of Egypt. Five year old Jessie came sobbing into the kitchen, horrified that the Mommy put the baby in the water and let him float away. And I can’t forget the Dora episode, where the baby blue bird is missing her mommy bird, that one reduced Jessie to tears whenever it was on. The Little Mermaid freaks Sam out – not the fighting scenes, not the scene where the shark is chasing them thru the shipwreck. No, what really made him cry was the end scene, he couldn’t get past the fact that Ariel was leaving her entire family forever.

My point, and I do have one, buried in here somewhere, is that I like to think that I am relatively cautious about what I’ll allow them to watch. But I have this touching faith that if it’s animated and put out by a family friendly network, like disney jr, or pbs, it’s not going to freak my kids out. And I’m frequently wrong.