Monday, June 11, 2012

A sensitive girl

I am raising a very sensitive and anxious girl. I didn't quite realize it until recently.  I was so proud of myself this year, for scheduling a physical for both girls. Typically it takes some sort of miracle to get into the pediatrician for a physical appointment. They take those specially, you can't just sneak it into a regular visit, and if you don't call as soon as possible, you won't get in. It's super stupid. But this year, before school was out, I called and scheduled them both for a physical. The 4yo needs one for preschool. The 9yo just hasn't had a physical in awhile, so if we're going, they might as well both go.

So I told them about the appointments a month ago. I told them it was in June.  At first it was no big deal, but when school let out, the 9yo started having trouble sleeping. She would go to bed, and read her book for awhile, and then she'd call me in to tell me her stomach was 'jumping' and her legs hurt (growing pains sort of). This went on for a week. Somewhere in there I think she'd talked herself into thinking she was going to throw up. I asked her once what was going on and she said she might be nervous about the doctor appointment coming up. I was surprised to hear that, told her it'll be fine, not to worry about it. The real point though, is that awhile before that she asked if she was going to have to get a shot. I don't like to lie to them outright (except for their own good of course, Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy...whatever). So I said I didn't know - because I don't. I think she IS due for a booster of some sort, but I don't know for sure. But I said it'd be no problem, quick and easy, no worries.  So a few nights ago she was at it again. My tummy is getting jumpy, she says.  So I massaged her legs and said you have to tell me what's going on. Right now. Tell me.

I'm really nervous about the doctor appointment you said was coming up later in June. Oy. I talked her down, talked her through it, asked her what happens if you get a shot...its over..and then what...nothing. It's no problem. Also, she's been asking about getting her ears pierced, and a shot is a good way to get a feel for that. She's not convinced still, but she has stopped letting the anxiety get the better of her.

Whew. I'm going to have to watch out for that. Both for what I say about things that make her nervous and about reassuring her when the anxiety is unavoidable. This isn't a trait she gets from me, but I think I can help her manage it. And hopefully she'll grow more confident and less anxious as time goes by and life goes on. She is my sweet, sensitive, anxious almost TEN year old first baby girl.

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