I got punched today.
It all started when I looked at Calista’s Kindergarten enrollment paperwork. “Urine” was followed by a long blank. Oh great. “Calista, you get to pee in a cup today.” You should have seen her face. “Pee in a … cup?”
Elam proceeded to talk about “pee in a cup” for the next 10 minutes while we waited our turn.
“Do you think you can muster up something so we can get that done?” I asked. “What’s muster?” She asked. The woman at the check in desk heard us and suggested I ask for a “hood” when we did it. Okay, pee in a hood, yeah, that sounds better for a 5 year old.
Not 2 seconds later, I swear she said, “Mom, I have to go to the bathroom.”
Thank You Jesus.
The nurse pointed us to the bathroom, asked for us to use the cup and I proceeded to ask for the “hood” and a rain jacket, if they had one. Hood provided for, Elam asked to hold it. Then he tried to wear it. Perfect.
15 minutes later, 3 people all successfully peeing in the bathroom, but only one in the hood, we emerged relieved. I was doubly relieved: I had hardly spilled a drop.
Then Calista did awesome reading letters for her eye exam. Height and weight went well too, although there hasn’t been a change since August 20 (unless you count shrinking an inch a change – misread height rods maybe). But then when Dr Ulland entered the room and she ran into the corner, I should have known we were in for it.
She allowed him to check her belly, ears and throat. But when he left and said “Brittany will be right in,” panic set in. “Why is she coming back?” and again, she ran for the corner.
I had been preparing Calista for the Kindergarten check up for a day or 2. She was excited and even imagined tomorrow, I’d be dropping her off at Homecroft. But the word, “shot” was unwelcome.
Brittany came back in and all screams let loose and panic again. It took about 8 minutes, 3 breakings of the sound barriers and two strong, full-grown women to hold her down and get her tetanus shot in her leg.
Elam stood at the side of the table, mouth agape and probably entering some sort of traumatic shock.
I was holding my daughter down, reminding myself that shots are good and part of parenting, imagining theological convictions to carry me through this. Then, for the next 7 minutes and 55 seconds I simply tried not to cry.
Then, she actually received the shot and that lifted her already “Mary Poppins got run over by a Lord of the Rings wraith” voice into the next dimension.
And if that weren’t bad enough, she followed it all with a punch. Right in the kisser.
“I’ll go get that immunization document for you,” with this, the nurse left, quickly.
Screams continued until I realized she was literally hysterical. I asked Elam to hand me a kleenex, “No Elam, not for Calista. For Mommy. I’m bleeding.”
“Calista Suzanne, look at my mouth.” The sight of blood filling my mouth shut her up.
Thank You, Jesus.
I’d like to tell you that she settled down, learned her lesson and quietly entered the rest of the afternoon, but I’d be lying.
What did happen is that we both went to apologize to the nurse, lost our library privilege that day and had an early bath- and bed-time.
Tonight when Brian got home, he asked Calista about the doctor’s office, knowing full-well what happened.
“It’s complicated.” She answered.
These are the chapters that the books don’t tell you about. So let me be one of them to tell you: expect the unexpected. Maybe you won’t end up with a fat lip like I did.