This year we achieved two big milestones together. Toyna turned 10 years old and Yog turned two. These two ages are somehow significant from a development milestone of children and each parent rejoices when their child successfully crosses this stage. These ages also lead to a fresh dose of vaccinations and visit to the doctor to check that all developmental milestones have been achieved. Though Yog has received a number of vaccinations till now, I doubt whether he even understands what a Vaccination means, least of all be able to say that word. Toyna on the other hand was super excited to get vaccinated. It has been some years that she got the last one and she was counting days before I could take her to the doctor for the new set of vaccinations. I was amused to see her excitement and asked what made her so thrilled about getting injected. Her simple response, “Because I am no longer scared of getting injections!” I always believed that there is a wide range of emotions between fear and excitement? How can anyone cross the entire set of intermediate emotions and jump directly from one emotion to the other? Like a child praying for the number of cherries on her birthday cake, Toyna was praying that she gets at least three vaccinations. I smiled incredulously at her wish throughout the drive to the hospital.
The doctor checked both of them out. I was aware that he checked me out too through the corner of his wise eyes. He always does that and I think he is gauging whether I am still capable of managing my children or should he call 911. I think I managed to fool him one more time, so he passed all of us and subscribed 4 shots for us. 2 for Yog and 2 for Toyna. Toynas excitement started peaking as we headed for the pharmacy. Yog had little clue of the trouble coming up, but he simply got excited because Toyna was so. Both of them jumped up and down, made funny faces, tickled each other and laughed like there is no tomorrow. The whole hospital was literally taking turns, first staring at them and then at me, thinking what kind of mother would have her children laughing around in a place like the somber hospital. While I paid at the counter, Yog banged his fists at the door leading into the counter where the pharmacists sit. Hoping to distract Yog, a pleasant nurse commented, “No banging doors! Else doctor will give you an injection!” Toyna laughed loud at this and said, “But we are already getting injections!!”. The nurse smiled and said, “Oh! Then I will have to tell the doctor to give both of you two injections!!!” Toyna doubled over with laughter at this and blurted out, “But we both are already getting two injections each!” The entire pharmacy was now smiling at these two happy children who did not have the least worry about getting injected.
First the nurse called in Toyna for her shots. Toyna giggled as they rubbed the alcohol and found a place to inject. One nurse caught Toynas leg down and the other nurse, who was holding the injection, advised me to catch her arms in case she tried to move during the procedure. I gave one look and told her that Toyna is a black belt in taekwondo. Does she really think I can hold a black belt, 10 year old, by her arms? I advised them to take it slow, so that Toyna doesn’t get too much pain and in return ends up hitting them. Toyna giggled even more at this and I could sense both nurses going a little stiff from the strain. Seeing Toyna giggle, Yog who was now in my arms (just to prevent him from running around) giggled too at the nurses.
As soon as the nurses were done with Toyna, Yog was made to lay down on bed. He screamed his heart out, as soon as he realized what was going to happen. We consoled him and promised him a vaccination party after leaving the hospital. As we stepped out of the hospital, I could feel a number of eyes following us out of the doors and into our debilitated car. I am sure some of them were happy to have such boisterous kids in the hospital and some were extremely disappointed to witness a mother who gave so much freedom to her children in todays age of discipline and competition. Either which ways, I could not care less. I was simply relieved in the fact that what could have been an extremely depressing and painful evening turned out to be a full blown party. To make the celebration complete, we ended the evening with chaat paapdi and gol gappe and the famous Bikanerwala. On the drive back, Toyna kept feeling her injection sores and celebrating the fact that she got at least two injections, even though she had prayed for three.
I am not sure where we are headed as a family. For now, I am happy knowing that if we can live these small moments completely, we would have found where we want to go in the future. I read this somewhere, long long time ago, “Today is a gift, that is why it is called the present!” Well, you can just say that we really like to enjoy our presents, while we can!