Yesterday was Ian’s second vaccination.
I don’t know what I expected. I had probably been lulled into a false sense of security by the success of the first.
It was bad, folks. Really bad.
As soon as Ian got a sense of what was going to happen, he resisted. I spoke to him gently, holding his face in my hands, looking into his eyes, and he listened and sat quietly, but the minute I tried to fold up the sleeve of his T-shirt, he pulled it down again and made it clear he wasn’t going to cooperate, twisting away from me, saying “No-no-no, please, mummy.”
This went on for five minutes. Maybe yes … he sat quietly … then definitely no.
Another nurse was called in. She held Ian’s arms from the front. I rested my hands on Ian’s shoulders from behind. And it all kicked off from there.
Ian started shouting, twisting himself this way and that in the chair. “No!” … “No!” … “NO!” … “NO!” … “NONONONONONO!”
I could feel him escalate from resistance to all out panic, and I raised my voice to call a halt to proceedings.
I shouted twice : “Stop! … Stop!” But the nurses couldn’t hear me through my face mask, over Ian.
I ripped off my mask – my one earring went flying across the room – and in desperation I shouted right in the nurse’s face –
And just like that, it was over.
In the ensuing silence, I held Ian around his shoulders, leaning my head against his neck, and I wept hot tears of shame and remorse.
Capacity bedamned, my son had shown us all, clearly and unequivocally, that he did not consent to this fiasco.
The nurses fussed over me like mother hens – I was offered tissues and tea and reassurances and a glass of water – and all I could do was hold my son’s hands and apologise to him as tears streamed down my face.
I was broken.
We left as soon as I could extricate myself from the nurses’ care, and I bolted for the car with Ian beside me.
Two days later, and Ian seems none the worse for the experience.
I am still recovering.
All I will say is this : Never again, people.