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Oh, The Pain!

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“We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be”

C.S. Lewis

My big girl had her 5 year doctor’s appointment yesterday.  My mom and I tried to make it a happy fun day,  and the doctor’s office rocked it with cool little stations, stickers, and prizes.  It’s hard to sugar coat something that will be, in the end, pretty painful, but I think they did a great job.

Big girl Avery awoke yesterday morning brimming with excitement about going to the doctor.  She asked several times before we actually left.  “Will I get shots, mommy?” she would ask with a quirky little smile.  “Yes, probably,” I said dreadingly.  Her smile was almost bashful, a funny little kind of smile like she was still excited about going but maybe only half-heartedly believing that there would be pain.  We ate lunch at Applebees and moved on to Target.  Mom bought little packs of stickers for the girls for after the appointment.  It was fun.  I could almost forget about the bulbous knot in the pit of my stomach.  I knew the pain would be temporary.  I don’t think I was so wrapped up in the pain that Avery would experience as I was in the knowledge that this appointment means she will be going to school soon.  Something I guess I thought was forever away when she was born is now approaching like a freight train.

After the doctor’s appointment and on the way home, my stomach was sick from stress and the laughter of the girls running through the Target had changed to silence from Bel (finally) and a soft chatter from Avery in the back seat playing with her prizes and drinking her slushie.  I had explained to Avery that the shots would help keep her well and safe from lots of yucky things, and that way she could grow up strong.  The reasoning seemed to suffice in exchange for the 5 minutes of pure hellacious screaming we had endured.  In a few moments of silence, though, it occurred to me how the situation we had been through is very much the way God works with us.  We have pain and suffering, and we don’t generally understand why.  But we know it’s for our good.  We know that, while we’re screaming and not understanding why it is absolutely necessary for us to go through such pain and suffering, that the pain will end. And at the end (let’s be honest) we usually get a reward.  It could be only a sticker, but mostly it’s not.  It’s something obvious and wonderful.

I cried when she got those shots.  I held her down.  It was some of the worst few seconds of my life.  But after the screams stopped, after what seemed like an eternity in slow motion, my sweet Avery settled down, picked out her prize, and she knew that I would never make her endure something so painful that wasn’t necessary…because I love her more than breath, more than life, more than more.  God probably loves us that way too.

Dessert + 4 Girls = Favorite part of the meal!!

My increasingly-naughty-but-ever-so-adorable Anabel’s new “mean” look.

Each child in the “kindergarten roundup” got a cowboy hat and a star.  They made great efforts to make it fun.  The kids even got to color.

Avery will have to see a pediatric eye doctor for followup on her vision.  She may or may not need glasses.

Believe it or not, her hearing was fine 😉

This is actually an eye test…which she passed!

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Avery and Anabel had fun playing doctor while we waited for the doctor.

“Seriously?”  I said looking at the nurse.

“Seriously.” she said.

An Apple A Day…

does NOT keep the doctor away. I mean where did that phrase come from? I know apples have a lot of nutrients but so do pomegranates, bananas, oranges. Why apples? I mean does an orange a day keep the dentist away? (actually, apples WOULD be better for that)

Anyway, I had to take my one year old for her one year check up and shots yesterday. I found out several things: 1. She has a VERY high pain threshold 2. So high that she’s had two ear infections apparently for quite some time because there’ve been no signs of her being in pain and 3. there’s a reason God gave mothers a motherly instinct…and that is to not listen to the doctors when they say something stupid.

My doctor insisted that I not continue to give my daughter her nightly bottle. She said I could give her milk in a sippy cup as long as I brush her teeth afterward (yeah, at 10 pm when she’s still half asleep). So I conceded to the milk instead of the formula, but I thought that she wouldn’t take it. I didn’t feel comfortable about it because I told the doctor that she doesn’t really like milk all that much, but I thought I’d compromise. Big mistake. One of those smile and nod moments where I should have left the office and done exactly what I wanted to do. My dear sweet daughter awoke screaming her head off three times last night. She’s hungry. I tried the bottle with milk and she apparently wasn’t having any of that (I could tell by the way she let all the milk fall out of her mouth, down her sweet little face and onto..well, me). So I nursed her (something apparently this pediatrician wasn’t too thrilled that I was still doing even after I told her I was only doing it because my baby doesn’t take milk well and I didn’t want her to be dehydrated). She said a child will not let her/himself get dehydrated. WHAT?! Does she have kids? My first child would starve herself until I nursed her…I mean hours upon hours. She wouldn’t take a bottle AT ALL…EVER. My sweet angel #2 is just as strong willed. It is entirely likely that she would refuse liquids until she did get dehydrated.

So, on with the story. I finally wound up making a bottle (at like 3 am…haven’t done that in a while) to give her which she sucked down and went to sleep. Now I know that every mother doesn’t tap into their instinct and I know that sometimes (stress sometimes : )) mothers are wrong (although mine never has been….my mom is right…even when she’s wrong), but really, it’s MY baby. I know when she’s ready for certain things. I’m not going to push her to be a two foot adult. She doesn’t need to read before she can walk. She doesn’t need to eat with a full set of cutlery before she can eat all table food. I mean really people.

So, I still have learned so much through this experience. I am reminded that the Lord starts us off with the milk of His Spirit. And like a parent, He knows when we’re ready for the heavy stuff. And we are all too often the strong willed baby that likes the easy way of the milk. So when it’s time, and we’re done being hard headed, we’ll learn that the grown up food is so much better.

I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 1 Corinthians 3:2