I kicked her hard enough to tilt the heavily starched white cap pinned to her hair, leapt off the paper covered table and ran down the road towards the school. In those first moments of freedom, I was fairly certain that my antics in the Community Nurses office had ensured that I would be excused from getting my vaccination.
Alas, my next memory is the sound of mom’s car roaring behind me on the gravel road. I was exhausted from running so I gave up and got in the passenger side of the car. Mom’s facial expression gave nothing away. In fact, for a few moments I thought that she was my partner in crime, the Thelma to my Louise and that we would ride off into the sunset, leaving the Nurse and her needle in our rear-view mirror.
Nope! Mom flawlessly navigated a three-point turn and made her way back to the tiny house where the nurse, and my vaccination needle awaited its pound of flesh.
The buxom nurse, red faced and starched hat askew finished the job, jabbing me with the sensitivity reserved for convicted criminals.
I did not cry.
I would not let her see me cry.
I slipped off the table casually and gave her the ‘look’ to further reinforce my superiority and made my way out to the car. At this point, I was much more afraid of my mother than I was of the Community Nurse.
What a horrible child right? Could you imagine being the parent of a child that kicked the nurse at the Health Unit?
In retrospect, my mother should not have been that surprised – I was one of ‘those’ kids who acted on impulse, said the first thing that came to her mind which included mastering all the known swear words. To this day, I recall her sage advice (accompanied by a heavy sigh), “please think before you speak Judy”.
I probably received a spanking when we arrived home, but that didn’t deter me from sharing the story of my heroics with my older sister. I polished that turd of a story to shiny brilliance – the sound of my shoe hitting the nurses shin, the ‘Oof’ of air that was expelled from her body, how I ran so fast that mom could barely catch up with me with her car, the look on the Nurses face when she finally got to jab me with the needle.
I no longer have a fear of needles, nor do I feel inclined to assault a medical professional during a vaccination. Have no fear – I won’t kick you when I get my COVID-19 vaccine. I will still leap off the table, but this time it will be for joy. Bring on the vaccine!