>So I mentioned in the last post that everybody got flu shots today. This included Zach, John, and of course, Evan. Zach cried, John didn’t. And Evan? Well…..
I had to bribe Evan. First with candy. I know, I know–that is so unlike a Parent-of-the-Year contender. But a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do. And I encounter some pretty serious crap at work, so if there is any way to protect my family from even a teensy bit of it, I’ll do it. So Evan is getting this vaccine, come Hell or high water! Of course he proclaimed to the receptionst right away that he would like the nasal mist vax. At which point I had to explain what it is that I do for a living. And she cracked up in amusement at my 9-year-old who even knew there was such a thing. Me, on the other hand? I don’t like it. It is live influenza and that gives me the heebie-jeebies when it is being inhaled by my child. Seriously.
So John goes first and tries to amaze Evan with the fact that he didn’t cry. Okay, Ev’s way smarter than that and so it didn’t work. So Ev tells me he will get it if I let him eat the meant-for-afterwards candy bar right then and there. Before we are finished, before we have eaten dinner…..I took the bait and he smiled like the Cheshire Cat until the nurse brought in the tray. As in the tray full of syringes—Zach’s 4 immunizations and Evan’s 1 little flu shot. This called for more bargaining, and somehow I agreed to let him choose the place for dinner. So the nurse gets ready to give the injection.This is when he chickened out and all bets were off as my oldest miracle squealed and screamed and kicked and cried until we gave in and let him have the nasal mist. If he gets sick from it, I will have the biggest Mom’s I-Told-You-So moment in history. After I get him treated, of course.
So later we are loaded in the car, headed to the pharmacy in the hospital to fill a prescription at the pharmacy employees are firmly encouraged to use, when Ev points out that I told him he could pick our dinner spot. Apparently I said “if you get this vaccine” and not “if you get the injection“. (Seriously, do not have a smart kid–it just does not pay off in the long run!) So I can’t go back on my promise and I let him choose. And he wants to eat at—dunh, dunh dunhhhhh- the hospital cafeteria.
Wait. The what?????? Huh? Mind you, our cafeteria is pretty decent. There’s a grill that serves burgers/ fires/chicken fingers and more, a deli for sandwiches, a huge salad bar, a bakery section with cookies/cakes/pies, a pizza station with pizza/calzones/ stromboli, and more. And Evan thinks it is a five-star restaurant. It’s okay compared to other hospitals, but not my pick for my nights off. And keep in mind that I will no doubt run into a gazillion people I know who all know I am not at work. What loser eats at work on their day off??? Me, that’s who!
So we go, and do so under the guise that I am waiting for a prescription to be filled in the pharmacy next door. While this is true, that is not why I am there. And I run into coworkers-galore, all who ask, “Andrea, WTF are you doing here???” And I roll my eyes and explain. And run into another one–roll eyes and explain. And another one…okay, you get the drift. What I want to say is, “Because my kid is a weirdo, that’s why!” But I can’t do that because it would be even less Parent-of-the-Year than the candy bar in the doc’s office and would likely crush Evan’s spirit, as he is standing right there. So I try to make myself as inconspicuous as possible, but Zach has found something amusing on the ceiling and is staring upward while alternating squeals of delight with gut-splitting belly laughs. (Wanna get attention? Have a chubby baby do this in a crowded hospital cafeteria while strapped to Mommy’s chest a-la Carlos from The Hangover!) Of course this is occurring at the exact moment Evan decides he wants popcorn for dinner and I cannot find John and Evan gets the damned popcorn and tries to carry a tray with it balanced on there and it teeters and falls to the floor…..So I am standing there, on my day off, with laughing Zach and about-to-cry Evan, a sea of popcorn around/under my feet, and I cannot find my husband. Somehow I doubt that I blended in very well. I am disgusted. I am flabberghasted. I am appalled. And then Evan says something and I want to cry.
“See, Mom! I’m eating dinner at the hospital just like you! Is it better since I’m here with you?”
Oh. Oh my God. At once I wanted to cry and laugh and hug him and kiss him. And I realized that my son loves me. That he’s proud enough of me to want to be like me. That he hears everything I say and our trip was less about an adventure in humiliation and more about him making my place of work more tolerable somehow. He had listened all of those times I griped about having to eat dinner alone at work when I would rather be with them. And I felt lower than the popcorn that had crunched under the soles of my shoes, knowing what his choice was about.
I love ths kid more than words.