On Being Outnumbered, Part Whatever (Of A Never-Ending Series)
January 16, 2013
In an oddly convenient coda to yesterday's post, last night I got a flu shot while my children watched. I wanted to show them that no, really, shots aren't a big deal. It ended with me almost saying the f-word in front of them, because DANG THAT HURT LIKE A MOTHERHUGGING CHEEZIT CRACKER.
ProTip: RELAX your arm. I forgot to do this and remained coiled up and tense, probably since I was so intent on bracing myself to display absolutely no facial reaction at all, because I was trying to be a badass in front of Noah and Ezra and, in retrospect, set up dishonestly high expectations that shots don't hurt at all, when everybody knows they DO hurt and now the next time they get a shot it will further erode their trust in me, forever and ever amen. WINNING!
But listen: When I took them for THEIR flu shots a few weeks ago, there was so much goddamn sturm und drang over it — I'm talking children hiding under waiting room chairs while wailing for someone to help them, why won't someone helllllllp them — that I finally turned sweetly to the receptionist and asked that she instead put us down for two of the nasal mists, please. Then I pretended like I didn't know them for awhile, until our names were called. Hello! Look at this adorable and oblivious toddler sitting on my lap! This is mine! Just this one! Those other two might look a lot like him but I dunno. I think I saw them come in with a pack of wolves. Their packmaster must be getting his parking validated or something.
Hmm. I am suddenly aware that a lot of my recent jokey-jokes about my children are possibly making it sound like we are some kind of traveling circus of feral dogs, which is of course not true. They are splendidly behaved most of the time, capable of eating out at restaurants with napkins on their laps while discussing that day's events ("and so I says to Peter I says, it's MY turn on the swings, ol' chap"), or navigating the grocery store without knocking anything over, provided you're generous with the free cheese samples.
They're just, as Melissa McCarthy said in Bridesmaids, a lot of energy to deal with. So very much energy, both good and bad. They feed off each other, too: If one is hyper, the whole gang is running around screaming for no real reason before you know it. Three-child pile-ons happen at an alarming rate, usually beginning as "group hugs" and quickly escalating to something more like I LOVE YOU AND AM THEREFORE GOING TO SQUEEZE THE SHIT OUT OF YOUR ESOPHAGUS. And if one of them is anxious and decides that a flu shot = murder, well. You've seen 28 Days Later, right? It's like that, only less bitey and more 28-secondy-er.
When they reach that point I usually separate them and send each boy off to his favorite activity (Noah = Legos, Ezra = play kitchen, Ike = chalkboard wall). And then they have the audacity to act like this is a PUNISHMENT, being forced to leave each other alone just seconds after they were all howling in rage because touching! Bothering! Bottom-of-the-brother-pile-ing! Moo-ooo-om! Make him stop! But not really.
Anyway, I am at a loss as to how to tie this entry together for a satisfying conclusion. (Flu shots! Profanity! Wolves! Boyfights!) So instead, let's just send all these disparate points off to sit in their disparate corners. We'll stay over here with Ike at his chalkboard wall mural and pretend he's the only point we brought up today.