Friday, November 21, 2008

it's so hard to be The Hater

The Hater is the son of a registered nurse who married a registered nurse. His Mom is coming to our house for Thanksgiving; she sent me an email asking if she needed to bring a flu shot with her for The Hater. That's really the only background you need for this post, which was my reply to her:

Your son is so bad. Don't let him reply to this email and love-y you up to his side. Don't let him give you those soft brown eyes and try to convince you otherwise, either. He's a pro at this and you need to be aware to stand your ground.  When it comes to flu shots, he has a mental block. Want proof?

The Hater's Flu Shot Saga

The first flu season we were married he thought I'd just be able to sneak him a flu shot from work.  You are partly to blame for this because you've always brought one home for him, and he has no concept that we work in entirely different venues.  That's nothing personal, it's just what he knows.  Of course, this conversation came up after he had already missed the flu shot clinics they offered at his school...

So the second flu season we were married he thought I'd be able to sneak him one home from work.  This was, of course, after I had already gotten all over him the previous year where I didn't work in a place where we just had flu shots sitting around for the taking.

The third flu season we were married I started reminding him in September that he'd have to take a flu shot when they were offered at school because I couldn't steal one for him.  I brought this up at least once every other week, then nearly daily after the hospital started posting flu shot reminders.  One day he came home from work to tell me that he forgot it was flu shot day until after it had already happened.

By the time the fourth flu season we were married rolled around I had changed jobs.  I worked in a clinic where I could steal him a flu shot.  But I knew I wouldn't work there forever, and I really wanted him to learn to associate getting his flu shot at school, to plant the seed so that next year he might remember.  It didn't make any difference because he forgot again.

It probably won't surprise you that I went through the same reminder system for the fifth flu season of our marriage.  Except I added writing reminders to him on sticky notes and sending random emails to his work address.  He was so ready.  And then a work-related trip landed on flu shot day, and he had to miss the clinic to take the kids out of town.

Which brings us to this year, the dawn of the sixth flu season of our marriage.  This year he came home and started the "hey, they're going to offer flu shots again this year at work" conversations before I even prompted him.  He knew the date by heart and would tell me "in three weeks I get a flu shot"; "in two weeks I get a flu shot"; "next week I get a flu shot because you can't steal one at work for me"; and, yes, even "flu shot today!".  I was proud because we had come so very far from the first flu season of our marriage.  It actually looked like he was going to get his flu shot at work.  I called him on his lunch break, and he was quick to tell me when and where he needed to be to get his flu shot.

Around 4-4:30pm that day I left work for home.  I called him to see if he'd left school yet to see if he could stop by the grocery store for a few things I needed to cook supper.  He said he was leaving and would stop by on his way home.  He came home with a bag of groceries, and while I was putting them away I asked him if he needed any Tylenol after his flu shot.

He made a bad face and squinched his eyes before answering, "I forgot my flu shot today."

me:  What?  But you were so ready!
him:  I know, but I forgot!  You asked me to pick up the groceries and I totally forgot about it.  Can you get me one at work?
me:  You know I can't do that.  You'll have to go to one of those community clinics to get it.
him:  Fine.  Then I won't get one this year.
me:  What?
him:  Or I'll just wait until I'm home for Christmas when Mom can bring one home for me.  She can do that.

So, to answer your question:  No, your son has not had his flu shot this year.  It would be wonderful if you could bring one with you.  We'd really appreciate it.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to go about the flu shot campaign for the seventh flu season of our marriage.  I really have a good feeling that next year may be "the one".  At the top of my list is, obviously, to continue the reminders without asking him to deviate in any way from his usual routine on the actual flu shot day.  Maybe you could also bring a square, 18 ga needle for me to use to give him the flu shot this year; this might help him to remember.  Any other creative and/or painful ideas are welcome; please let me know if you think of any.

genderist and your grandbaby, who has been especially squirmy today 
(and who, incidentally, have already gotten their flu shot)

Her reply went something like this, "Well, well, well...  I will bring the supplies and not tell him we're going to do it.  Next year he'll have to get a flu shot because he has to think of his baby first, who can die from the flu."  She didn't realize that I'd cc'd The Hater to my reply, so I quickly emailed him and told him he'd have to play along at Thanksgiving when she brings his "surprise" flu shot.  I'm secretly hoping she'll also bring a "surprise" 3" needle to attach to the syringe.  

1 comment:

Molly Jane said...

This is pretty much the funniest thing I've read all day. Thanks for sharing. Now, I need to run and get a flu shot...I have a baby in the house for cryin' out loud.