Jet is FOUR! From her perspective these few years comprise a lifetime but for me they mark the ever-increasing speed of time. With each new age it seems that memorable moments occur more frequently until I find that I am now caught up with new memories-in-the-making before I have time to write about the last.
This week Jet and I went to the doctor for a well-child visit. Jet’s parents had prepared her for the possibility that she might be due for a vaccination. “I don’t want a shot,” she announced in the car.
“I don’t know if it is time for you to get a vaccination, but if you need one, it’s good to get it! The shots protect you from some very bad illnesses. I know you don’t like to get sick!”
“But I don’t want one.”
“If you need one, I’ll hold your hand.”
The nurse took Jet’s height and weight and applied a tiny blood pressure cuff to her arm. “This is like a hug,” the nurse said.
Jet cocked her head and looked at her. “No, it’s not.”
“Well, okay, but don’t worry this doesn’t hurt.”
The doctor asked me about her development which of course I felt was quite advanced for her age. “She can cut with scissors!” I informed her proudly.
“That’s great,” the doctor said. “How are her social interactions?”
Jet felt the need to contribute the conversation. “Grandma hurt her back, so Papa and I are doing all the bending over for her until it gets better!”
“That’s great,” the doctor assured her. “I know your grandma must be glad to have you to help!” She added a whispered, “Are you okay?” I nodded. “You’d be surprised how many people have back pain when there are twins in the family!”
“Jet, can you count to ten?” In response Jet rattled off a string of numbers into the teens. The doctor smiled and whispered again, “She’s quite bright isn’t she?” When the exam was completed she told Jet that she needed two injections. “These are tiny ones. They won’t hurt at all!”
Jet lay calmly on the table singing “Do Re Mi” as she waited for the nurse to come back with vaccines. She was stoic as the nurse pulled out the syringes and opened an alcohol packet and two bandages. She remained still as she approved the color of the bandages. She watched carefully as the nurse took the alcohol swab and approached her thigh.
As the cold swab touched her leg, a banshee cry rent the air. “It hurts, it hurts!” She pulled her legs to her chest and batted her hands at the nurse. “Go away! Take that out of here!”
“It’s just something to clean your leg. It doesn’t hurt. It’s just a little cold!”
“I don’t want it! Go away!” I took Jet’s hand as promised.
The nurse assured her that the shot would not hurt at all. “It will be over before you know it!” She put her hand on Jet’s leg and gently squeezed a bit of skin. My eyes widened as bloodcurdling screams filled the room. “You’re going to have to hold her down,” the nurse informed me.
“Shhhh, it’s okay! I’m right here! It’s okay!” Jet was suddenly writhing and bucking in my arms. I lay gently across her body as the nurse grasped her firmly and administered the first shot.
“IT HURTS! IT HURTS! IT HURTS!”
“Jet, wiggling around makes it hurt. If you sat still it wouldn’t hurt.” Unfortunately we were past the time for logic. Jet thrashed and squirmed with all her might. The nurse picked up her instruments of torture and hastily departed. Jet sobbed in anguish at the horrific violation of her person.
“Let’s go home, Jet.”
“We’ll put an ice pack on it when we get home.”
The receptionist handed me Jet’s paperwork. “Can she have a sticker?”
“Oh yes, of course. She certainly deserves one.” [Or perhaps an academy award for her performance.]
“Well, in that case, take two!”