nothing says welcome to your summer vacation like a doctor’s visit. the kids both needed physicals for camp. so off we went. evidently the news had spread across the elementary school that before entering 6th grade you needed to have your first tetanus shot. i know my girl well enough to know that it’s best to tell her on the morning of the dr visit. other wise she’ll work herself into such a frenzy i may have to pry her from the door frame to get her in the office. a feat that is getting more difficult and visually ridiculous the older and bigger she gets. so we load up the car and the tension begins to build. she’s a bit of a drama queen ( we can thank her father for that little bit of dna) so she’s back there doing what sounds like hyperventilating. she’s probably poking herself in the eyes to make the tears come. we walk through the doors of the dr’s office and she has her arms wrapped around herself so tightly that one by one the nurses all ask her if she is chilly. nope just neurotic. we get into the waiting room and go through all of the questions and it becomes apparent that she WILL be getting a shot today. the lip starts to quiver and her face gets all red. this it the real thing. that other stuff was just getting the machine primed for a total break down. the bug in all of his professorial wisdom explains to her that tension in ones arm is the worst thing. the more relaxed you are the less painful the ordeal is. she’s got her fingers in her ears because she can’t stand it that her brother breathes let alone might have the audacity to attempt helpfulness. his evident superiority in managing his fears makes her want to spit. no one likes a know it all, especially when they are your younger brother.
oh but how quickly the tide does turn. through further questioning and examination of records it becomes obvious that both children are due to get shots. the goose two and the bug one. hmm, suddenly the helpful have fallen. she is now on the verge of a total breakdown, the magnitude of which i haven’t seen since…..i asked her to clean up her room, or was it study her spelling words. at any rate i look at the bug and his face has gone red and he is silent. for anyone who knows him, that is not his natural state. i think for a split second i actually saw the vein in his forehead throb. so he goes out of the room while she gets her shots. i’m hugging her per her demand while she squeals in my ear. she is being so loud that she hasn’t been able to hear the nurse say, that’s it, you’re done. i kinda have to shake her a little. she snaps out of it and leaves the room. the bug enters, his color has slipped right passed purple and he is white as a sheet. he, in an extremely hollow attempted at machismo, hops onto the table. the nurse touches his arm….and….he howls. howls like he is afraid for his life. howls like the boogie man is at his heels and he can only run in place. i have to shake him too when the evil has been done. in a voice that is still a little too high he says, “oh, that’s not what i expected at all.” he continues to go on a diatribe about how is was a similar pain to when he got hit in the knee in a baseball game. too which i say, ok, let’s go get a smoothie.
OY! where is the tape recorder when you need one.