Me: So here’s what’s gonna happen. You’re going to get a shot-
Me: And it’s not gonna be that bad, it’s like a pinch and then-
Brynn: MY BLOOD WILL COME OUT OF ME. THEY WILL POKE ME AND THEN MY BLOOD WILL BE COMING OUT OF ME
Toby: It’s not that bad, Brynn! It’s like a pinch, See, I’ll pinch yo-
Brynn: AIIIIEEEEEEEEE HE PINCHED ME! OH NOOOOOOOO IT HURTS IT HURTS
Me: And, it’ll hurt for a minute and then it will be done and we’ll get ice cream and-
Brynn: I AM NOT GETTING A SHOT
Toby: See me, Mom? See how I’m brave?
Brynn: AIEEEEEE DON’T WANT A SHOT
Toby: This is my sister Brynn. She is scared. She is gonna scream-
Me: After this, Tristan, once we’re done
(uses rolling stool to climb on paper-covered table, runs and jumps)
Nurses: OH, HONEY, OH LET'S NOT JUMP
Me: C'mere you
Nurses: Now, Brynn is 3rd percentile on height. Did you know Brynn is small?
Toby: Did you know that this room is decorated like Star Wars? This is the Star Wars ship
In my head: It’s the Death Star. Our pediatrician has the Death Star in her office.
Nurses: Does Toby have any allergies?
Toby: I HAVE BUMPS ON MY HEAD. SEE THESE BUMPS? I FORGOT TO WEAR UNDERWEAR-
Brynn: HEEEE HEEEEE HE FORGOT TO WEAR UNDERWEARS. MY BROTHER ISN’T WEARING UNDERWEARS
Nurses: And you’re getting shots today?
Brynn: I DON’T WANT A SHOT I’M NOT GETTING A SHOT I’M SCARED-
Me: Yeah, but I have this chart
In their heads: Oh good, she has a chart
(Tristan has removed his robe and is working on his diaper)
Nurses: The doctor will be in shortly.
In my head: Define “shortly”
The sun rises and falls, dictators rule and are deposed, the cold rain washes canyons in the earth. A tiny foal struggles to stand and becomes a mighty stallion. A tree is bent by the raging winds and grows to tower above the changing landscape. And still we wait.
She enters and interviews me. I am Geraldo, standing on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico as debris ricochets around me. There is a light saber jabbing me in the side, a nonstop monologue about Mario in one ear and an underlying wail from the one man vaccination protest camp. Their voices are lifted in song, in story, in chaos. She types laboriously, tracking charts while all around us the world burns.
And then she is gone, much quicker than she came. She sends in her henchmen and they hold people down and inject them, while I stand innocently by, making weak promises of ice cream and ponies and vacations. And then it’s over, and we are suddenly cut loose, free to roam about the free world.
Home now, with the only reminders a collection of bloody smiley face bandaids and Tristan's hair full of ice cream. I remember, though I'd like to forget. Maybe I should take up drinking.