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Tough love when it’s time for shots

May 22, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Being a parent you are privy to a wide range of information that your children don't know. I've been potty trained for a long time now and have learned some other things along the way that our baby doesn't know.

Last week, unfortunately I knew something big our 4-month-old son didn't and it was tough to take.

You see it was time for his doctor's checkup and with it came a couple of shots. Even though he can't understand any words yet, his mother and I still were spelling out S-H-O-T-S around the house, just in case he caught wind about what was going to happen to him.

When the day came, I tried to warn him while he smiled and slobbered in the waiting room but I think he didn't get the hint. I even told someone I knew in the waiting room about the impending shots and he said it was like an animal waiting to be slaughtered. Wow, that kind of makes a dad feel a little bit worse.

I sort of know how a dog owner feels when he is taking his dog to be fixed. Yep, looking into Fido's eyes before that moment has to be tough on dog lovers.

Well, soon it was time for the nurse and doctor to check him over, which he was very calm as he got weighed, measured and looked over.

Then the shots came from the nurse and he let out a high-pitched squeal of a cry - I've never heard him cry on that pitch before. A parent can feel that pain as well, though mine was more mental pain.

The high-pitched cries only lasted a few seconds and then they moved to more of a grumbling cry as if to say to daddy: "Why did you let that nurse do that to me?"

It's got to be one of the toughest things for a parent to witness that doesn't involve some sort of tragedy for their children. Well, it's amazing how those shots can be a thing of the past as just a minute or too later the cries had subsided. Yes, I'm sure he had a sore leg for awhile, but he didn't hold it against me. He still was able to flash me a smile as we left the doctor's office, so it appears all was forgiven.

With all the advances in medicine through the years, I kind of wish shots could become a thing of the past - both for myself and my kids.

I no longer let out high-pitched screams when I get my flu shot but I do tend to tense up a bit. I can be even a bigger wimp when I get the flu so sometimes a man's just got to grin and bear it.

Even if you aren't the one getting poked.


Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or



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