The Memo About 4 Year Wellness

Hanging out

No one gave me any warning about the 4 year old wellness exam. I heard that W was probably going to get a few shots, but I figured we would brave that when we came to it. I was surprised by the hearing test and the eye test. Very glad to have it done, but I also very much wish that W was still napping. When we arrived at his wellness appointment last week he was excited to see the doctor and find out how big he was. That was the program I was selling him. Doctor visit = proof of big boyness with real numbers and graphs and charts.

Calming down after the doctor

W had five shots. Four were scheduled and the fifth was a “catch up” shot his pediatrician had discovered he had missed at 4 months. Three jabs in one arm and two jabs in the other arm. It was, by far, one of the worst parenting experiences I have had.

Nothing but love from WaWa

After the completely sad doctor’s appointment I treated W to a chocolate banana yogurt smoothie from WaWa. The awesome deli worker who made him the smoothie, upon hearing about his overwhelming day, drew a heart on his drink. Instantly he was all better. I am always so pleased when a kindred spirit crosses our paths.

Trying to make most of afternoons…

stuff I wrote elsewhere:

11 Healthy Reasons Why We Watch Reality TV
The post where I find out I am related to President Obama
Child stars who are all grown up and doing just FINE!


  1. Really!? At Peeper’s 4-year checkup (also in PA) we were told she doesn’t need any shots until the ones she has to have for Kindergarten. We plan to get those at her 5-year checkup. Plus flu shot, because her birthday is late October, so it’s the right time for it.

    Poor kiddo, I’m glad to hear the extra special smoothie fixed him up :)

  2. Oh, the four year visit was the worst. The shots were just part of it. It was just such a brutal visit. Hearing test, eye test, lead test. They wanted her to give a urine sample too but there was no way that was happening. It was a brutal appointment. I stupidly scheduled Ryan’s four month at the same time so that made it even worse. Just an awful appointment. Hopefully W will be done with shots for a while now. They told me after this one that Elizabeth doesn’t need any more until age eleven or something like that. (Though I do make her get a yearly flu shot, so it’s not really a reprieve.)

  3. Amanda Bombard says:

    We had our four year exam three years ago. It was quite the miserable experience. The doctor was a condescending, pompous ass- to say the least.

    The eye test consisted of a chart with shapes. The nurse would point to a shape, and my son was to point to the same shape on the card he was given (see a heart, point to a heart. See a star point to a star. And so on) CJ didnt understand the need to point, when he could just say it out loud. She would point to a shape, we would say “star”, then look at me all confused when she said he was doing it wrong and say “but mommy thats a star”
    By the the time he switched eyes, he caught on and did as she requested. Much to my surprise the doctor came in abd told me my son had very poor vision in the first eye. I tried explaining to him what happened, and he rolled his eyes and told me ti get him to an optometrist for glasses.
    Then he tells me my son has a severe speech impediment. I was immediately taken aback, as my son had been speaking in clear, full, conversational sentences since he was barely two! I realized then that the doctor was hearing CJ’s accent-as he was born and raised in Massachusetts. Anyone who’s ever met someone from New England will tell you- they dont pronounce their “r”s
    Before i could even finish, this guy gives me the “uh huh, suuuuuure” eye-roll, and tells me that if i dont put CJ in speech therapy right away, he would be stuck with this speech “impediment”, he’d have difficulty making friends, and the kids at school would make fun. My “dangerous inability to accept the fact my ‘baby’ isnt perfect” would harm him by making school miserable for him.
    It was all i could do to keep from telking this guy where to stick it in front of my “baby”

    CJ will be starting second grade this year. He picked up his Rs fairly quickly, having lived in California now more than half his life- though he drops them whenever visiting or even talking on the phone with his Massachusetts family. He still has perfect 20\20 vision, and does wonderful in school. He’s has had zero trouble making friends, and gets along wonderfully with all the kids in his class.

    While im far from the type of mother that guy made me out to be, he was clearly so wrong. Im usually the first person to jump when a doctor tells me to. I always believed a doctors opinion was fact. Now, i cant believe i had ever been no naive! I cant imagine the kind of things this guy has put his patients though, because he refuses any other opinion than his own. In the end, that four year exam turned out way tougher than me and my lil guy needed.

  4. Wow, Amanda, what a jerk that guy sounds like!

    Peeper had a vision test at 3-yr and 4-yr; both times she did ok with both eyes but then got all confused about how to just look with one eye at a time, and they said, “Eh, she’s really young for this test. We’ll try again next year.”

    They’ve never tested her hearing, and I don’t believe she’s ever had a lead test, although they ask us screening questions each time, so maybe given the age of our home, etc, she doesn’t qualify to need to be tested?

    It’s interesting to hear how different it is from one place to the next.

  5. Sarah Lynn says:

    I am thinking it’s maybe a good thing you didn’t know about the shots because then you could honestly say you were surprised. I always found that warning my kids (and grandchildren) meant that they were in agonies from the moment they heard about it, and not warning them meant that I was ashamed of being so cowardly or apparently misleading them. I eventually settled on telling them the day of the appointment unless I really didn’t know, in which case, I simply said I didn’t know. Consequently, it was always the first question to the doctor. I think around here, the innoculations, which are required before kindergarten, are usually given at the 4-year-old well visit.
    A smoothie seems like an excellent antidote. The grandchildren’s pediatrician “rewards” strep tests and shots with a piece of organic fruit, prompting one granddaughter to say, “No thank you. I do not want to eat a raw strawberry when I have a sore throat.” Me either.

  6. My doctor, jerk that he is, warned me that my girl was due for a bunch of shots. They would be needed before kindergarten, but we could break them up over the 4 year and 5 year visits. So, she got 2 shots one year and 3 shots the next. She was still sad, but not as sad.

    Amanda’s doctor sounds like THE WORST!

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