At approximately 3 PM Central Standard Time on October 29, 2009 was the crowning moment of my emotional life. If there were a throne for patience I would be the queen.
Why? Because yesterday was the flu vaccine clinic and I alone was responsible for the vaccination of three children.
It wasn't pretty.
It was like mixing gasoline with matches. Bleach with other chemicals. Baking soda with water. Salt with wounds. Tongues with frozen flag poles. Children with shots.
More appropriately eight year olds with shots. Eight year olds who were under the impression they wouldn't have to get another shot until they were twelve. Eight year olds with little brothers to scare the pee out of.
I can't even begin to tell you how horrible that hour was. If there was a place in Hell for mom's it would involve vaccine clinics.
When the Vicbowin figured out what was going on she started to cry. That's never a good sign when you have another ten minutes to go. Albowin kept looking at her with a curious, wondering expression. As if asking, 'what's your problem.' We got into the herders line and the closer we came to the "room" the more panicked she became. I had to keep my eyes on her constantly because she kept trying to run away. In fact I had to go find her 3 times.
She became increasingly hysterical. Albowin figured out why at which point he started crying as well. It wasn't looking promising. People were beginning to notice. Nurses were coming over and trying to comfort them.
I kept smiling.
We got into the room. Walked up the line, sat down at a table. The Irish Twins were sobbing. Iyawin climbed onto my lap (completely oblivious) and I wrapped my arms around him. He snuggled on in.
The first shot hit his leg (he got two, one for regular flu and the other for Swine). He started crying and struggling.
Vicbowin started screaming.
Albowin fed off her fear.
The second shot went in.
Vicbowin was torn between defending her helpless baby brother and bolting out the door. She chose to defend.
"What are you doing to him?!" she screamed. All 50 some odd people stared. "Leave him alone!"
Albowin stood behind her, confused and terrified by her emotions. He tried to hide by throwing himself onto the stroller. This startled Remewin, who began screaming. The nurse mouthed, "I'm so sorry," to me.
I thought about my blog and how much I wished I had the nerve to take pictures. But the thought was short lived because Vicbowin was trying to take the stroller and leave. I grabbed her arm. She began screaming and kicking.
We ended up on the floor. My arms firmly pinning her there to get her to calm down. Other children were beginning to cry. Nurses were showing up to help.
One kind, wonderful lady took Vicbowin off to a corner to talk her into a state of calm but her damage had been done. Albowin was beside himself with fear. He was terrified.
He was next.
It took 2 nurses and me to hold him down while a third one gave him the shot. He kicked over a couple of chairs in his thrashing fear. I poked the head nurse in the eye while trying to contain him. He screamed holy terror.
I'm sure that shot hurt like a demon flame from the pits of hell because his entire body was tense the entire time. When he was done and we all released him he bolted to the farthest corner of the room and sobbed.
Remewin was still crying so I went to pick her up. Iyawin was looking at me from his stroller seat with a confused expression. After all, he had been the one to get two shots.
I took a deep breath and turned to find Vicbowin and you know what? That darn child was standing calmly against a wall talking with the same lady. There had been an explanation about how when you scream like Albowin then the shot has to go through the muscle which hurts more. Vicbowin said, "Well why didn't someone tell me that before."
So the head nurse came over, Vicbowin sat down on her lap, slightly tense, and I held her face. She took a deep breath and it was all over.
A thought raced across my mind in that moment. Something I had read on the Nie Nie Dialogues... "The devil called, he said keep up the good work."