The worst part of today was getting a flu shot, and not even because of the shot. (Thanks, Dr. Powell, for intimidating me with your concern and browbeating a concession out of me—"It's not too late!" It's never too late for you people, is it?) No, the worst part was that Ethan was there with me, and he pulled the whole red-rimmed eyes, quavery voice act: "Mommy, I don't want you to get a shot!"
Noah got to the clinic in time for me to send a simpering Ethan out to the waiting room, and then we arrived at the Nadir of The Worst Part: I had to pretend like I didn't get the shot to spare Ethan's feelings.
"Well, I did get a shot, but it didn't really hurt. Look, I got a Band-Aid!"
"Bu-ut I di-idn't wa-nt you da getta shot," he said, faltering through emotion.
"Just kidding! I didn't get one."
So for the rest of the evening I've had to go around acting like nothing happened, like I wasn't impaled by the point of Modern Medicine's spear, that my arm isn't slightly achy. In short, I didn't get to milk this situation, not even a little.
* * *
I don't know what it is about Ethan today, but he's been super emo, walking around holding a hand mirror, frequently looking at his own sullen face. <—True Story
"I don't like this attitude you're making!" Ethan stormed at his father, who claimed he couldn't stop to pick up the sand shovel Ethan dropped because he was hauling a road bike up three flights of stairs.
"I want ALL the beans [ed. note: peas], in a grown-up plate. I'm not sharin' 'em," he announced during his pre-dinner aperitif of Diet Mountain Dew, which he also requisitioned illicitly.
And tonight, while watching episodes of the Pink Panther, nibbling at his pot stickers and picking at the Peas of Requirement, he glanced over at his parents with melancholy.
"What's the matter, Ethie?" I asked.
"I miss Bonnie and Cody," he murmured.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"No," he sighed, lifting the mirror to his face.