I had to take Grady for a chest x-ray today. I had no idea how they were going to get a 2-year old to be still for the x-ray. Turns out, neither did the x-ray techs.
There was a high chair / straight jacket hybrid that they tried to strap Grady into but he was too tall and managed to get too much leverage. He tore the straps right off the chair is what I'm saying. Three techs and I tried to cajole him into the chair, then we tried to wrestle him into the chair. Nothing worked. Grady is a strong kid to begin with. Add rage to the mix? He was unstoppable.
One tech has kids so she quickly shot down the suggestion of another tech to make us go to Children's Hospital to get the x-ray (thank goodness.) She let Grady press some buttons and play with a light to calm him down so we could plan our second attack. We got the machine and screen in place and then swooped in. One tech held his legs, I held him under the arms, another tech held his arms up, and the third tech manned the x-ray machine.
Grady screamed and writhed and stress-farted the whole time but we finally managed to get the two x-rays we needed.
It's brought up some uncomfortable parent feelings, though. During the process Grady was shouting, "that's my legs!" at the tech holding his legs. Things were too chaotic and loud to talk about it in the moment but I feel like I need to explain to Grady that his reaction was valid and correct and okay. I don't ever want him to feel like he has to accept being touched by someone he doesn't want to touch him. But at the same time, I know there will be doctors and dentists and x-ray techs and blood draws in his future. How do I help him understand that sometimes we do need to be touched, even if it's not pleasant or wanted?
Parenting is hard, you guys.
I kept repeating to him that I wasn't going away, I would stay with him and hold his hand and keep him safe. And then I forcibly held him in front of the x-ray screen with two strangers while he screamed and panicked.
I tried to talk to him when we got home but he's two years old. He is happy and playing with his trucks and seems totally over the trauma. I'm not sure he really understands what I'm saying to him but I wanted to explain to him that sometimes adults need to touch him, and he might not like it, but as long as mommy or daddy is there he's safe.
How do you talk to your kids about stuff like this?