You know you are officially parent to a preteen, when you recall the last time you had a Tetanus shot, and it was over a decade ago. Although many more details have slipped my mind recently, this little detail I do recall. I remember my first baby was just finishing up an immunization appointment when the nurse looked at me and asked “When was the last time you had your Tetanus needle?” Finding nowhere to hide and no memory of having had immunizations since going to Brazil quite a few years before, I shrugged my shoulders and told her that I couldn’t remember. She stared me down, in a kind Public Health Nurse sort of way, and politely
demanded suggested that I get it done. By some odd coincidence, or that it was that small of a town, she had time right then. Perhaps there happened to be a few extra bottles of vaccine to use up before the Best Before date, and so she was on a mission to make the most of those Public dollars.
Since I had just witnessed my sweet baby boy getting his array of needles I didn’t see any way I could wimp out of this one. My man was quietly making his way out the door with the baby when I pointed and said that surely it had been just as long since he had his last immunization.
How bad could it be, anyways? It was just a little needle. Sure, it stung, but we were made of tougher stuff.
About an hour later I had a whole new appreciation for the torture we all put our wee babies through. Oh man, it hurt! I complained like a 10-year-old, prepubescent girl. Why they have to stab you in the muscle, only nurses and other healthcare professionals can tell you. I don’t recall because I was too busy taking pain meds. My arm hurt for a week!
So, when I took my 11-year-old son to get his last Gr.5 needle, I found myself ratting me out. I told the nurse how it had been at least 10 years since my last Tetanus shot and my how the years had passed! Could it be a decade already? Yada yada… She seemed to perk up at the thought of stabbing some adult muscle.
“When would you like to come in?” she asked sweetly.
“How about three weeks…will that work?”
Realizing the presence of my son, I pushed back my shoulders and said “Sure, and why don’t you book my husband too.”
I’m pretty sure I saw the look of admiration in my preteen child’s eyes. It was either admiration or glee.