You have to get bloodwork done at your third birthday physical. But, if you’re like me, you can let it slide. Because holding your child thru bloodwork always is awful, and if preschool doesn’t start until September, it’s easy to just postpone it. For months.

But alas, preschool is pretty adamant about making sure that my girl is lead free, and they aren’t taking my word on it.

I’ve got some experience with this, with both https://www.melissaannecohen.com/blood-work/ and https://www.melissaannecohen.com/bloodwork/. So you’d think that I would have been prepared, and I guess I was. And of the three, she was the best. Because the other two were so terrified, that there was no reassuring them. They were completely panicking, and I couldn’t reassure them or comfort them. The terror was too all encompassing, they barely registered that I was there, let alone felt better because I was the one holding them.

Julie was a lot calmer. Not happy – she sobbed thru the whole thing, and told me repeatedly that she wanted to get out of this place, she hated this – but she was mostly just mad. She wasn’t terrified, and I think that’s what made all the difference. Even though it was a lot more traumatic, on the face of it. They couldn’t find veins, in either arm, but poked her twice trying to. Ended up with a finger prick to try and get at least the lead test done. Both my older children had good veins, easy to locate on the first prick – Julie’s were impossible to find, and the bloodwork was actually a lot more physically difficult for her because of it.

I wondered if I was just immune to it now, because I so vividly remember blood work with my two older children. Maybe it was just that she’s the third, and I’m all “been there, done that” with her. But then I remembered how horrible the preschool transition has been, and the number of times I’ve dropped her off and then gone to my car and cried because my baby was so sad. I don’t think you ever really get immune to it – no matter how many children you’ve had, you feel like your heart is ripped out with each one. The difference with Julie, this time, was that she just handled it better. Maybe I handled it better too – I was very calm about it, very matter of fact about it, and she was able to talk to me about what was going to happen, and even though she hated every single second of it, she was so brave. And so easily consoled, a trip to Price Chopper in Westborough and the super cute little kid carriages made it all better.

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