Sunday, February 7, 2010

Impaled or Stabbed, Neither is Desirable!

I have a personal policy: Don't Get Stabbed. It's a good rule to live by, mostly because being impaled doesn't feel very good.

I've had only moderate success. I've mostly avoided ER trips and hospitalizations due to stabbing, but knives have met my fingers on too frequent an occasion in the kitchen and I sometimes have to go to the doctor and get a shot.

Like most people, I don't like shots. However, I get them, because I don't want to get diphtheria or measles or the flu. And so earlier this year I waived my Don't Get Stabbed rule to get a flu shot. Another thing that necessitated a Don't Get Stabbed waiver for a flu shot was my desire to not have an influenza-stricken toddler/preschooler. So if My Boy (three-year old son) ever ends up reading this -- remember: Boy, I GOT STABBED FOR YOU.

I'm now weighing the pros and cons of getting stabbed again, this time to prevent H1N1, known better as the Swine Flu even though you don't get it from pigs (though you can probably get it from lobbyists, so maybe that's what they're talking about). The Husband wants me to get shot. The Boy has already received his, so me getting shot only benefits myself. I see the declining Lobbyist Flu numbers and I'm not entirely sure I'm all that eager to waive my Don't Get Stabbed rule.

But there is another reason that I'm not eager to waive the rule, and that's due to the last time I got stabbed in the name of flu prevention.

I went with The Boy to get both of us flu shots. Until that trip, I had neglected to consider the idea that my son also has a Don't Get Stabbed Policy and, unfortunately, I had grown complacent. The Boy had, for the most part, avoided meltdowns. He's had one or two public meltdowns, but not for some time and I had figured to be long past that phase -- which at age three was a severely bad call on my part! Thank God for that, too, because about the only thing worse than being a parent of a child having a public meltdown is, well, getting stabbed. And only then it depends on what you're being stabbed with.

So I took The Boy to get a flu shot and used my default parental weaponry -- bribery. Be good getting a shot, I said, and you'll get a treat afterward.

"Okay!", said my sweetest little babe.

But then Shot Time came, and The Boy thought the better of it.

"Uh, Mommy-Dearest!," he said. "I'd rather not get a shot. I respectfully decline and shall forgo any promise of post-shot sweets." Or that's approximately what he said at age three when he WAILED at the TOP of his ever-loving lungs, "NO! NO! NO!!! DON'T HURT ME AGAIN!"

Only I wish he said this, and I wish he said it calmly. Or even with a moderate bit of stress. Instead, he proceeded to act like he was being sent to a torture chamber. He screamed. And then when he was done, he screamed again. He screamed in the lobby. He screamed in the office. He screamed as I pulled up his sleeve. He screamed as I had to hold him down so he could get the shot. He screamed afterward. And then he screamed when I informed him that he would not be the beneficiary of a post-shot treat, given that 15 straight minutes of screaming does not constitute "being good."

In the midst of this, I was looking around for any kind of ski mask that I could use to hide my identity. Absent that, I just shoved half my face into my shirt, lest somebody at clinic recognize me, point and shout, "HEY, LOOK AT THE REALLY, REALLY BAD PARENT WHO CAN'T CONTROL HIS CHILD!"

(By the way, people say, "control your child" as if there is some sort of magical fairy parenting dust that we can use in times of need to keep our uncontrollable children in line; if there IS some magical fairy parenting dust, by the way, please let me know, because I'd really like some.)

So as you can see, my Don't Get Stabbed policy combines with my Avoid Public Meltdown's policy to make me really not want to get a flu shot. But I'll probably get one, because I love my family. (Got that Husband? I'll get stabbed and risk a child having a public meltdown for you!) And then the Lobbyist Flu will fade away and I'll get sick, anyway.

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