The kids and I got our flu shots this week, plus a few extra fun vaccinations for the kids because we had somehow missed them earlier. I opted to tell my daughter about the shot in the morning before school,
because it’s super awesome to listen to a kid whine about having to get a shot during an entire 20 minute car ride to school because I felt certain that if she told even a few of her little friends that she had to get a shot, or even better, her teacher, that she would hear all about how it’s important to get one each year, and it’s not such a big deal. And I was right.
So, having covered the “you mom isn’t just doing this to torture you” argument pretty thoroughly, I cemented the deal by also getting my shot and going first. Our pediatrician keeps adult doses of the flu shot in stock for this very purpose, and it’s a really great idea, in principle. I imagine that it works really well for the actual adults out there. Unfortunately, I have a serious needle phobia, and thus, barely qualify as an adult.
When the nurse came in with the shots, I started giggling uncontrollably. She kind of rocked my arm back and forth and told me to relax, but relaxation was pretty clearly out of the question, so she just stabbed it in. And then it didn’t even bleed, because apparently it’s totally possible to tense up so much that even your capillaries are rigid.
Cosmo: Do shots tickle, mommy?
Me: Not exactly, honey.
Cosmo: Then why are you laughing?
With such a fabulous role-model, of course the kids screamed right through their shots. Then we all went out for a big pre-dinner bowl of ice cream.
And then I couldn’t sleep that night because she had put the shot in my left arm, which is the side I usually sleep on, and I guess I managed to bruise it with the whole super-tense-muscle-injection-experience. When Nell came downstairs the next day limping and holding her thighs and complaining that I had lied to her, because they still hurt, I wasn’t sure what to say. I wanted to pick her up and hold her and tell her that yes, I knew it hurt like crazy because I was right there with her. But the way she was carrying on about not being able to walk told me that sympathy might not be my best strategy if I didn’t want to physically carry her to her kindergarten classroom. So I pointed out that her brother seemed to be doing fine.
Parenting is complicated.