On our first day home with Angus, I cried like a baby. A big, snot-oozing-over-lips and tears-cascading-off-chin, baby. The emotional deluge was in response to my first time preparing formula. Being the acquiescent, youngish lady that I am, I was doing what I was told (“just follow the instructions on the tin”) but was completely thrown when what I mixed looked different to what we had served Angus in the hospital, just hours earlier. And, it was frothy. ☠⛈ FROTHY⛈☠ So, my postpartum, sleep deprived, new parent brain, logically concluded that I was about to either poison our son, or cause him to choke to death on bubbles. ☠⛈BUBBLES⛈☠ And on the several occasions where we have had to leave the dogs, Mysti and Maggie, overnight with other people, I cry as we say goodbye to them, because I worry that they won’t understand that it’s only temporary and that we will come back for them (they’re rescue dogs so I fear that they have abandonment issues. I imagine if they could talk, they’d plead somewhat like Keira Knightley in Atonement as we say goodbye – “come back, come back to me”).
I share these stories because it would seem a foregone conclusion, then, that anticipation of Angus’s 6-week vaccinations would, at the very least, send my lips into a quiver. Nope. I was as cool and as clinically objective as Dr Cucumber. Son, if it hurts then that’s just the needles doing their job. Short term pain for long term gain. Get a cup of cement, Master Angus, and harden up.
When he did get his jabs, one in each thigh, Angus wailed in a way I had never heard before. Did I cry at all? Nup. Did my heart break? Definitely felt like it was stabbed with an icepick; but broken, no. Selfishly, I felt a sense of relief because: (a) I had outsourced the ugly but necessary task of inflicting pain on my child (noice); (b) since I had never heard Angus cry that way before, that meant at home we must have never caused him that level of pain or distress (also noice), and (c) our time of isolation was coming to an end – in 2 weeks Angus the Immunised could *safely* leave the quarantine of our home and really start exploring the world. And Bec can start decreasing her level of bat-shit-crazy by getting out of the frigging house more (very noice).
As soon as we left the room of jabbity jabs, Angus announced with his usual, hair-raising screech that he was a little bit hungry. And Gus the Guzzler guzzled the contents of his bottle with his typical, borderline indecent, grunts of pleasure. So he didn’t seem overly traumatized by his experience. Very, very noice.
It wasn’t until we returned home and I changed Angus’s diaper and saw the bloodstained cotton wool balls taped to each thigh, that I felt a true pang of anguish. I didn’t cry, but I made sure that little Bugs remained cuddled for the next 4 hours, at which point I passed the hugging duties over to Andy. And that was only so I could take Mysti to get her legs lasered and Maggie to have her anal glands seen to. But that’s another story.