Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What's Cool to a Boy?

Whew! We are back from our Spring Break Adventure to Alabama! Unfortunately for my son, he came down with a yucky virus the night before we left on our trip and spent most of the week fighting off sinus pain, fever, coughing, and various additional ailments. By the last day of our trip, I was finally able to get him a doctor's appointment at my in-laws' local clinic.

As we waited to see the doctor, the clinic's staff proceeded with various tests on Drew. In order to see if he had the flu, they decided to draw some blood. I don't believe that my son has ever had blood drawn before. He's been relatively healthy, so we've avoided all but the routine shots, etc. I was a little anxious to hear that they would be taking his blood (and a little curious as to how they'd do it for a three-year-old).

Our first nurse explained that Drew's finger would be pricked and they would get what they needed from that source. "O.K." I thought. "Doesn't sound too bad to me, but wait until we have to break the news to him."

A second nurse called us into a small room with syringes, vials and cotton balls. My hands were a little sweaty, as I do not necessarily enjoy needles, but I was being brave so that Drew would take my cue. The nurse sat down on her rolling stool and scooted herself right up to us. In her soothing southern drawl, she said, "My, my what a handsome boy!"

"Good," I thought. "Butter him up - make him feel really brave." She proceeded by asking my son's name, how old he was, if he'd like a Diego sticker (Of Course!), etc. After the basics were covered between them, she looked at my child with a bit of mischief dancing in her eyes and said, "Wanna know what I'm about to do?" Drew nodded, his already-large eyes widening a little more. "I'm going to prick your finger, and then your finger is going to bleed! I'm going to get lots and lots of blood out of your little finger... It's going to be SO COOL!"

Well, I was shaking my head in disappointment. How in the world could she think that this would make my son feel better about his situation?? That sounded awful, very scary AND painful! I sat silently, though, as she reached for Drew's right hand.

To my absolute astonishment, my little guy never took his eyes off of the nurse as she poked his finger and squeezed out a giant drop of blood. He never flinched, twitched, whimpered, or cried. Again and again, she squeezed his little finger, gathering the amount she would need in order to run the tests. At one point, Drew even looked back and me and gave me a little smile before he turned his attention back to the show. "Holy Cow - He thinks this is cool!" I was stunned.

The nurse must have noticed my confounded expression. She offered a short and sweet explanation, "I have four boys."

I was once again reminded how little I really understand the mind, the innate nature of boys. I'm so grateful for those who've forged this path before with their sons and can shed some light on what makes my little guy tick. So, thanks to the sweet nurse in Anniston, AL, who knew that blood and Diego stickers are "Cool!" It sure made our doctor's visit a little smoother.

No comments: