Today was flu shot day for the kids.
They both have kind of an issue about getting shots so I called upon Daddy Prophylactic Maneuver #379, the threat of Dire Consequences should any bullsh*t be shoveled in the doctor’s office. Driving down the road I used that captive audience forum so favored by fathers everywhere.
Kids, listen up… If I hear even one little bit of hassle in the doctor’s office when it comes time for your flu shot, I will immediately negate any and all chore money you have stored up over the last week. I will flat-out take it away and there will be zero chance to earn it back. The brief sting of a shot is far far easier than a full bout of the flu. Even if you don’t mind getting the flu, your mom and I aren’t interested in the notion of taking care of you for a week for something that can be prevented.
We got into the doctor’s office and Hacker Boy was a compliant and helpful boy and even relaxed perfectly. Didn’t even grimace over it.
Lemurita on the other hand, dove for the corner of the room saying “I don’t want your shot. You can’t make me. I won’t do it.”
I took the stern tack again. “Lemurita, you are going to get this shot. It is for your own good. Hacker Boy didn’t feel a thing. It’s not that bad. You’re still going to get it. Fight this and you will lose your $6.00 chore money and you will still get that shot. We can do this the hard way or we can do this the easy way, it is going to happen either way, so the amount of pain and suffering is up to you.”
She agreed to come over and sit on my lap but then changed her mind immediately after sitting down. Instantly I had my arms around her to prevent her gazelle-like flight.
Then it got pretty awful bad.
“NO, I DON’T WANT THAT SHOT! LET ME GO, NOW! I WILL NOT HAVE THAT SHOT. YOU CANNOT MAKE ME!”
And punctuating her every word was violent thrashing and whipping of her head. The nurse left for a bit for us to get her calmed down and her arm shirt-free. We had to forcibly get her arm out of her shirt. By now, I had each of her wrists, right wrist in my left hand, left wrist in my right hand, both legs around her, and my head was up against the back of her neck so she could not pop my teeth or nose with the head-whips.
I said reasonably quietly and calmly, “You already lost your $6.00 but you’re still getting this shot.”
She started bucking even harder – full-body undulations. The force of her movements moved me and the chair.
At the top of her lungs she was screaming: “NO YOU CAN’T MAKE ME DO THIS! OW, YOU BROKE MY ARM! YOU’RE HURTING ME! YOU LET ME GO RIGHT NOW! I’M NOT GETTING THIS SHOT AND YOU BROKE MY ARM LET ME GO I WON’T DO IT OW!!!”
“Relax or the shot will actually hurt, and yes, you are still getting it. No your arm isn’t broken. Now just relax.” I manacled her wrists and pulled her arms tight against her sides to minimize the flailing.
In went the needle with a quick jab.
Bit more kicking and screaming and hollering went on and then stopped as she realized that struggling after the shot just seemed silly.
We walked out to the car. I told her that I wasn’t embarrassed by her behavior but that she probably should be.
“I don’t care,” she said.
“Okay. I’m okay with that.”
We rode home in utter silence. Not a word was spoken. I had traction control turned off
As we pulled into the driveway she said
“And Dad, I don’t feel any grief about the $6.00.”
There is no doubt that it was the equivalent of a sneer and two extended middle fingers.
I laughed so hard I think I pissed her off a bit.
Cruel Wife looked at me and said “If you had even a tiny bit of doubt that she’s your daughter, it should no longer exist. She is your girl.”
Apparently that is a classic trait of my personality, to tell someone to f*ck right off even if it destroys me in the process of doing it. One time I was fired and re-hired in the space of ten minutes. I was in the right but my handling of it could have been better.
I’m so proud of Lemurita’s wording when she’s pissed off. She is going to be such a force to be reckoned with.