I used to love playing follow-the-leader when I was little. My favourite part was getting the chance to be the leader, although I never insisted. I always waited my turn.
When I was a young adult I landed a job on a dude ranch, taking out trail rides. I loved horses; riding was my passion in life. Yet my first few experiences guiding a bunch of strangers on an equal number of 1,000 pound animals they couldn’t necessarily control, whilst on my own 1,000 pound animal, practically sitting backwards in the saddle so I could watch the aforementioned strangers was a bit nerve-wracking; for $2 an hour, how could I go wrong? Seriously, it was my favourite job to date. But I digress.
All my life I’ve been able to take or leave the role of leader. In most cases, unless I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m happy to take over if no one else wants to. Except when it comes to my kids. With them, it’s my way or the highway, and I don’t mean the kids directly. I’m talking about anyone who looks after them.
I’ve been disappointed by more doctors than I can mention, the most recent being the one who was filling in for our family doctor the day we went for our flu shots. I had mine done; when Alex’s turn came he said no, he didn’t want a needle. I offered to hold him down while they did it but they refused. It had something to do with the fact that he’s 15 years old… that he’s only 60 lbs and has the mentality of a six year old seemed to escape them. But whatever. It was decided we’d try in a few weeks since he was going for surgery (dental) and would be under a general anesthesia anyway. Only when I got there, the anesthesiologist refused to administer it. That was before Christmas.
Last week our family doctor’s office called me to follow up and make sure Alex had his shot. They were obviously expecting a “yes” and didn’t quite know what to say when I told them no, and then explained exactly what had to happen – I wanted another appointment and I needed them to insist he have the vaccination next time. After all, with his heart issues, the flu could kill him. The doctor’s secretary said she’d get back to me in a couple of days. She didn’t. In the meantime I made an appointment to see his pediatrician. Between us we came up with a plan. We’ll try the nasal spray vaccination at the pharmacy but if he puts up too much of a fuss I’ll bring it with me to the pediatrician’s office and they’ll hold him down. The entire process has taken two months so far.
As a “leader” in my family’s care, I am less than pleased. It won’t happen again next year. I’m not waiting my turn to be the leader anymore.
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