The guiltxiety one feels before taking her child to get shots is not unlike the OMG-I-can't-do-this-but-oh-fuck-I-have-to feeling reserved for breaking up with a significant other. For confrontation-phobes such as myself the idea of breaking up with someone used to be so horrific that I'd wait months of sleepless nights to break up a relationship no matter how long the relationship even lasted. A one week relationship would quickly turn into three months on account of my being allergic to confrontation, paralyzingly afraid of inflicting pain on anyone, douchebag or otherwise.
Until finally, I'd give in. "We need to talk," I'd say before lighting four cigarettes at once.
Even though it's been a cazillion years since I was a young'n lookin' for love in all the wrong places, I still remember the feeling well, the feeling of knowing something they didn't. Of knowing that our "getting together to talk at the coffee shop" wasn't because I wanted to discuss the latest episode of Friends or whatever but because, I was about to do something painful and mean, that even though it was, "for the best! We are clearly a terrible fit," it would seem, at the time, for the worst. It was vomit inducing at best. I've never broken up without throwing up. True story. So gross. The end.
Last Tuesday, the morning of Fable's two-year-six-shots-due-check-up, I woke up in the morning panicked. My guilt was palpable, so palpable in fact that I spent twenty minutes on the toilet tending to my stomach issues. Sorry TMI but that's what happens to me when I feel like shit. I personify "pun intended."
That morning Fable and I cuddled for at least seventeen minutes longer than usual. And then we read Olivia sixteen times to our usual twelve. I let her have a cereal bar for breakfast, filled my purse with animal cookies, let her bring her baby dolls (and stroller) in the car with us, played her Lady Gaga's Paparazzi on repeat, sang along with her, drove the slow way down La Cienega... Parked three blocks from the doctor's office so we could enjoy the fresh air, fallen leaves.
And then I broke the news. "Fable," I said. "You're about to get shots. A lot of shots. And it's going to hurt and you'll likely cry. It's okay. I'll cry, too. It's not you, it's me. I don't want you to get sick and/or die from any preventable diseases. One day you'll understand. For instance, your Gooey almost died of polio when she was little and that sucked and now she has a two inch leg difference which is a super big pain in her ass. Anyway. You're just going to have to love me despite the fact that I'm hurting you right now."
But Fable wasn't listening. Here I was finally with the balls to tell her the truth and she didn't want to hear it! And clearly she knew what I was talking about because my children are geniuses. They can hear everything in such an advanced way...