This past Thursday was an important day for our family. Four of the five of us would now have received our first doses of the Covid vaccine. I could almost smell the sale racks at Winners and Marshall’s.
But like most Schlotzhauer outings, the kids were able to turn a task as simple as getting vaccinated into a circus.
Hanna drove herself for a couple of reasons; 1) I made her, 2) her appointment was scheduled 30 minutes before Ellie’s and we thought that might make for a lot of sitting around and/or multiple ways to lose a second set of car keys so, Ellie and I drove several chevrons behind.
Hanna arrived at the clinic on the University campus and quickly realized she was the only person without a parent or handler (in the history of the clinic) and texted three times to let me know she had been dropped out of a plane without a chute. Strike one, Mom. She also texted to let me know the van “fell” into park while she was at a stoplight. Hmmm
She followed the arrows around the footpath to the various kiosks and arrived at the first station. They asked her if she was taking any blood thinners. Apparently, this was a real stumper. It’s a bit like when the customs agent asks if you have any bags of confetti in your car and you think, maybe?
The next level offered another confusing challenge, this one with both physical and mental roadblocks. When the wizard behind the counter asked in her trickiest voice, “Can you turn around and put on this new mask?” Hanna accepted without hesitation. She selected the foot she knew she had the best chance at balancing on and began to spin while at the same time swapping out her mask. After two full turns, she noticed a couple of people snickering at how masterfully she was winning the coordination challenge. In fairness, by the literal definition of her instructions, she did exactly as she was told.
She made it over the gate and past the troll bridge, wondering if she had forgotten to take her blood thinners and approached the final task. The kind volunteer leaned over to her, “Are you nervous?” and she burst into tears.
I walked up to the podium with Ellie completely unaware that her sister was on the other side of the wall searching for her lost car keys, trying to escape the building.
The girl at the desk asked Ellie a couple of warm-up questions, “When is your birthday?” “What school do you go to?” Then she pointed to a waiver/consent form taped to the table and asked Ellie to read it and agree to the statement.
I knew what was about to happen was going to happen when Ellie paused, cleared her throat and took a deep breath.
In her best presentation voice, Ellie began to read the notice aloud as if she were auditioning for a voice-over in a cartoon. Think perfect enunciation but mostly, loud. “The purpose of this vaccine clinic is to provide…….” The girl behind the desk looked confused. Even behind a mask, I could tell she was smiling, “Oh, just in your head is totally fine.”