I was awesome because I worked ahead.
I had a post practically finished in my head before we even went to last Friday’s pediatrician’s appointment. I anticipated the drama of the Four Vaccinations of Doom and was already mentally thesaurusing words for “My-poor-baby-that’s-such-a-big-needle-I-wish-I-could-explain-whooping-cough-to-you-please-don’t-cry”. And since the closest I come in my life to working ahead is setting the timer on the coffeemaker, I was somewhat excited. It sort of took the edge off the dread.
And yet, there is Fate. And Irony. Fate and Irony are BFF, in case you didn’t know. They’re like the mean girls in high school who love whispering, lip gloss and striking fear in the hearts of those with the wrong shoes.
So Fate and Irony prank-called me on Friday and Eve was, again and as ever, fine. I was ready for Armageddon, people. I was expecting high-pitched screaming and knots in legs and frantic calls back to the pediatrician’s office to tell them that her head was swelling up before my eyes. I had the Infant Tylenol on the coffee table, ready for when we came back. Working ahead!
Seems the preparedness and mild freak out was for naught. It wasn’t that bad after all.
But, to clarify, because Eve was not sent to us from a planet made from shiny green Coke bottle shards and ruled by Marlon Brando, there was screaming. Oh, yes.
There was first a very brief, awful silence when the pain was presented, registered and finally — figured out. Then the screams began. This is the kind of screaming where lips are pulled down and back into a miniature rictus and breath is lost — screaming where the face turns almost purple. This is the screaming of fear, confusion and maybe betrayal. And the worst part is, I had to hold her down. I had to pin her precious little arms to her chest while some person unseen to her injected long, sharp needles filled with dead diseases into her delicate pink thighs. Four times.
Brando is invoked again when we all say together, “Da horrah!”
If you’re lucky you get a pediatrician like ours who does vaccinations at the speed of sound. Thanks, Dr. Sartschev! I admire your hypodermic skills and enjoy your hip attitude!
But then Irony, that vindictive snot, showed her pointy face again, making the aftermath seem to take F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Dr. S, chatting away about temperatures and brave little girls, casually swiped Evie’s offended legs with alcohol and S-L-O-W-L-Y applied two bandages. Then she poked along, gathering up her various cotton balls, plastic vials and stethoscope. Then maybe she whipped out her cell phone, ordered a pizza and called an old college friend.
Meanwhile, I’m standing off to the side, nervously shuffling from one foot to the other, arms outstretched and fingers wiggling, eyes darting from lackadaisical doctor to crying baby, lackadaisical doctor to crying baby, lackadaisical doctor to crying baby.
Finally, FINALLY, she gave the go ahead to pick Evie up. Desperately trying to file the expression on Eve’s face under THINGS NOT TO THINK ABOUT EVER AGAIN, I grabbed her greedily from the table and pressed her writhing, jerking body against me. And…she stopped screaming. And…I exhaled for the first time in a week.
So, I don’t have a dramatic tale to tell about how Eve woke up from a vaccination nap-coma and unleashed a fiery rage that lasted well into the night. I don’t have a hellish story involving swollen, tender thighs, cold rags and fretting over Tylenol dosages. What I have is a happy, smiley baby who got to spend an unexpected and very fun Friday at home with her mama.
I do have a story about a slippery bowling alley and too many pitchers of beer, but that’s for another blog.
All the babies are wearing yellow Bandaids this summer.
“They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way.”