Kaspar asked where we were headed when he climbed into the car after school; he had swimming lessons (which he loves) later, but I told him up-front that we first had to make a trip to the doc. I told him we'd first pick up his lab form in one building, and then walk over to the hospital next door so they could do a blood draw in the lab. Kaspar has a toy doctor's kit at home and we mimic blood draws when we play with it, so I braced myself for a screech in protest, even in the car. He didn't elicit one. He continued smiling and singing and kicking his feet to the beat in his head, and I wondered if he missed what I'd said. He repeated the bit about getting the form and then jumped to swimming lessons... But, I figured I'd said my piece and wasn't going to freak him out, unduly. (I felt it was important to be forthcoming with the plan, however, because I vividly remember shots being sprung on me when I was young, and being told they wouldn't hurt. It's no fun to get a needle in your arm; it's even worse to get a spoonful of BS along with it).
We arrived, form in hand, at the lab, and hung out at the desk, signing the necessary paperwork. Kaspar sat on the counter and asked the receptionist about her office supplies. The phlebotomist came out at one point and said hi; all of us adults were smiling-smiling-smiling, somewhat tense in anticipation of what was coming, knowing that genuinely-happy Kaspar would, shortly, be quite unhappy. When they were finally ready for us, he chirped "My turn!", and strolled into the lab room like he was ready to party. They had Sponge Bob going on a flat-screen TV, bubbles, happy hellos from two nurses, ready to teamwork it. Kaspar sat on my lap and one of the nurses looked at each of his arms, then tied the big rubber tournequet around one of his small biceps.
In the past, he's always cried at this point. But he sat pretty calmly yesterday, watching what was happening. The other nurse asked, "What's your name, mister?" and the nurse with the tournequet (who was sweet, but had a booming voice), said "Kaaaaspaaar." I kissed his head and hummed, "Yep, you're my brave Kaspar," and he looked up and declared himself "Kaspar PEACE." (His middle name is actually Quincy.)
"That's a nice name!" the nurse who'd asked told him. "Kaspar Peace. I like that."
"Me too," I said. Kaspar grinned.
He cried when they drew his blood, but they were fast, and he got over it pretty quickly. We blew more bubbles and he chose a small toy from a bin. He said "That hurt, my blood draw," as we were leaving, and when the nurses asked for high five's he said "I don't feel like it, no." Which was fine. They waved, "Goodbye, Kaspar Peace! I hope these tests come back good and you get to try some new foods!" and he smiled and waved at them, walked confidently out of the building, holding my hand.