Vaccination Day

First Jack then Fiona. I am wondering if the smell of the alcohol reminds them of the last time. There’s a delay after the first shot is given, then the face turns beet red, the mouth opens wide, the eyes shut, the cries and screams start. I pick up each baby after their turn to get shots. I hold them close and tell them everything’s O.K. cuddles and tickles, they are fine. AAAAAAHHHH, I take a deep breath of relief, one year vaccinations done. After the two week incubation period I can go out with Jack and Fiona, not worrying about the measles. It’s the first time I’ve brought Jack and Fiona to the doctor by myself. The morning goes smoothly and we’re in the car by 9:40am. We’re calm and we don’t need to rush. The waiting room is filled with sick children wearing face masks. I think to myself we’ve already had so many flu’s and cold’s I’m not going to worry about this today. In the exam room Fiona and Jack point to everything, “Eh” they point to the otoscope “Eh” they point to the door and the light on the ceiling. They point to the drawers with the masks, tongue depressors and alcohol swabs hidden inside. It’s Fiona’s turn for her examination, I take off her clothes, put her on the scale, 20lbs, a lot lighter than Jacks 25. She’s measured, grew 3 inches. Jack was examined last week, while Fiona was home sick. The nurse comes in with the vaccinations. She remembers us from our visit six months ago. I wish I remembered her name, she’s really sweet and gentle and wears a pin that says I speak Baby.

We leave the doctors and I decide to go to the mall for a chai and to let the babies check out the toddler play area. At Peets I see a customer there, an older man who I saw four months earlier. I was sitting outside with Joanne, Jack and Fiona were sleeping in the stroller. This man asked me if the babies call me “Grams.” I said “no, I’m their mother.” He said he was sorry for putting his foot in his mouth.  He has a daughter who is pregnant with her second. I am older than her but I’m not sure by how much. While I was trying to have kids as the years went by I would say not after I’m 35, not after 36, not after 40. Jack and Fiona were born when I was 42. I was so worried what other people would think, or more that I would die early like my Mom and her parents and leave the babies too soon. Now I see none of these worries even matter, although as I crouched down and played with my one year old twins in the dingy, dirty carpet, mall play area I felt uncomfortable with the old man and his daughter looking at me. I felt like they were wondering how old I was. Jack went over to visit them and try to get a piece of their Peets treat. The old man asked me when I knew I was having twins. I couldn’t think of the answer, Jack was trying to run out of the play area into the mall.  I decided it’s time to leave.

Jack, Fiona, and I go to chipotle and have the best time sharing a quesadilla I feed to them in tiny little pieces. After we buy a frozen yogurt and take our yogurt onto the large fake grass area. I take the babies out of their stroller and have to run and catch them every 2 minutes, they keep running onto the concrete area. I worry they will fall and crack their heads and skin their little knees. I try to entice them with the frozen yogurt. I dip my spoon into the chocolate vanilla swirl yogurt, it’s so good. I give Jack and Fiona tastes, it comes right back out of their mouths, they don’t have the same experience as me. Jack starts to like the raspberries with just a bit of frozen yogurt. We make our shirts all messy, I chase them around the lawn, and we laugh. I’m feeling good. Jack cries once when I start to run from him thinking he’ll chase me. I run back, grab him, spin him around and he looks delighted. I manage to keep the babies awake on the drive home, I’m listening to Sirius new wave, first the Clash then Yaz.  We come into the house, play for a while, I give them showers and bottles, and dress them in clean clothes. Then put them down for their nap. Now I am enjoying my time to write.

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