Tonsils Tantrums and Adenoids!

There are many “firsts” in a mother’s life. first time your baby says “mama” or “baba”, first time they smile at you. First time they come home from school with a star in their homework book. First time they lose a tooth. These are precious memories that parents run to grab their camera, phone, camcorder to capture the moment and cherish it for years to come or at least stick it up on a wall somewhere till it falls behind (under) the dresser (fridge)

Then there are the firsts that mothers dread. First emergency room visit. First fight (although this sometimes goes in the top paragraph depending on your child’s personality, no honestly, sometimes a good fight is just what your kid needs) First call to the principles office. First call from another mother starting with “I’m sure it’s just kids being kids but…” the first time your child lies to you… that one hurts but is inevitable. During these scenarios, I get a strange feeling… I am not sure how to describe it except to say that it’s like having a panicking voice inside me that says “FIND SOMEONE… ANYONE TO TAKE THIS OFF YOUR HANDS” I ignore that voice, and carry my bleeding child to the car to the emergency room seemingly in full control while this stupid voice is going “GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE YOU IDIOT!!! CALL YOUR MOTHER OR SOMETHING BUT JUST RUN!”. I pray that this voice is not a reoccurring guest in the cast of weird voices I hear throughout my life.

The reason I bring this up is the stupid voice has started whispering since I was told my daughter is having a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy on Saturday. Little side note, I just realized today (thanks to my cousin) that I had no idea what adenoids were! I thought it was one (adenoid) and I thought it was in the nose! I figured, since it makes people’s nose stuffy and makes them snore then it’s in the nose! no? No! it’s in the throat! Behind the roof of the mouth somewhere. (I found out by checking out a really cool site called Kids Health that has kid friendly info about they body and health) My delima now is what the hell is a “lahmiya” “لحمية”? I thought that is what adenoids were!

So, here’s the deal. I hate needles, I think they are archaic and I cannot believe they haven’t figured out a better way of doing this! I don’t have a phobia but I find it a little difficult to control my expressions when my kids are getting shots. But there’s nothing I can do about that but suck it up and deal with it. My problem is that my daughter’s reactions are very unpredictable so I don’t know how to get her ready for stuff. With my eldest son, he likes things being explained, and God knows I like explaining. And he does very well with a good pep talk that revs him up before a shot so he goes in there, acting all tough as nails, saying “it’s gonna hurt a little but it’s fine I can handle it” and walks out all proud of himself. This tactic does NOTHING for my daughter. She couldn’t care less if we thought she was brave or if the doctor thought she was the strongest girl or any of that. She will shout and scream and get angry at each and every one of us and in all honesty I can’t blame her. I am convincing her that it’s normal for her mother to take her somewhere where a stranger is going to stick “the sharp pen” in her arm, sometimes twice in a row. It doesn’t make sense.

Today, when we went for pre op exams I knew they would take some blood from her. So, I decided to put some numbing cream on the crooks or both her arms so that we can be ready. I explained what the cream does, and she thought this brilliant so the whole way to the hospital she had the “magic” numbing cream on. She sat down, as happy as ever, in the lab. She was playing with my IPad and smiling to the sweet lab technician as he tied her arm with the silly rubber band (which she thought was so funny). Then the sweet lab technician untied the silly rubber band thing and re-tied it BELOW the crook of her arm.

He was going to draw blood from the back of her hand… my mouth dropped… and J suddenly realized what was happening and was not amused. she burst out crying and protesting that we didn’t put cream on her hand. We then whipped out the cream and rubbed it into her hand (knowing full well it wouldn’t have time to work) and I had to stick her on my lap and basically just get it done.

Once the needle was in and she could see what was happening (the mere suggestion of her not looking or turning her head got her more upset) she calmed down. After, we all made a big fuss which just annoyed her more! Every time I said how brave she was, because she was afraid but still let him draw blood she just basically looked annoyed at me. After telling 3 completely random people in the hall from the lab to the main door of the hospital about our brave little J she said “Mama, stop telling them!” and so I did. I was only allowed to tell her father after I asked her if it was O.K.. But She didn’t want even the slightest fuss or treat or anything. It was like she felt I was mocking her or something.

She always has the reactions of a much older person. I remember when she was just shy of two, and we were in a park with lots of other mothers and children. She was in her stroller and one mother was saying how cute she is, I was making silly faces at her so she could smile which she did once and twice and then she looked at me all serious and said “O.K. mama, stop now” You should have seen my face! it was hilarious!

I love that about her, the way I never know what she is going to say or do next. But, once again, it leaves me confused about how to deal with her. My daughter hates being manhandled and hates not being in control. So, wish us luck for Saturday and lets hope I manage to sit back and just let her be J :-)


  1. I love your blog! It is so easy to read and an insight into Saudi, Arab, and Muslim culture. My 13 year old daughter HATES needles/getting shots. It took 3 people to hold her down so she wouldn’t jerk when getting vaccinated. We talked to her for a few minutes beforehand, but no amount of reasoning would help. Uugh, so embarrassing! I have some ?? 4 u. Are you born and bred Saudi and then moved to England for a while? What nationality is your husband? Thanks and God Bless you and your family.

    • Thank you! I’m happy you visited. I can’t blame your daughter really for hating them so much. It so barbaric. Yes I was born and bred here. I went to England for uni then came back and went again with my husband when he was doing his masters. My husband is also Saudi born and bred. Are you in Saudi?

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