Kindergarten Shots

As school is starting to creep upon us. I reflected with my mom about the time, I had my kindergarten shots….it was tragic.

Kindergarten is such an exciting time…Your not a baby anymore…Preschool can kiss my ass…You’ve made it to the big leagues…Your going to Elementary school!!!


I took the bus as a kid and have never been more excited. When I stepped on those bus stairs, I was in fucking awe of the 5th Graders. Just being in their presence, I felt like I had to bow down immediately and throw rose pedals at their feet like Eddie Murphy in “Coming into America”. “The royal penis is cleaned your highness.” Remember that part? Never forget it as a kid. Anyways, 5th Grader’s have the coolest shit. They have awesome backpacks, big kid teeth, trapper keepers, the confidence to rule the school…you want to earn the respect of a 5th Grader. They will not let you sit anywhere near the back of the bus. You need to keep your head down, till they give you the okay to move back another seat. It’s a status symbol on the bus. Kindergarten life is so stressful, you need to keep your cool and learn where your place is in Elementary school.

With going to school with 5th graders, comes the dreaded Kindergarten Physical. Fuck me….

It was a beautiful day in 1987. I was rocking out with Barbie and the Rockers, Married with Children, Full House, Pee Wee, Simpsons, Dirty Dancing just hit the screen, Kids Incorporated, and Unsolved Mysteries (Fuck my parents would watch it, it was the “Criminal Minds” of our time.) In the midst of enjoying life…My mom reminded me that we needed to see the doctor to get my physical before kindergarten.

Shit…I hated the doctor…we all did. Well maybe Doogie Howser MD didn’t…wtf kind of name is Doogie? Anyways, getting back to the doctor. Going there was like kid hell and the “1987 kindergarten shot” was the fucking worst. The needles were big and painful. Remember the prick of the finger? Omg that was awful. It was like taking a thumb tack and jamming into your little tip of a finger. I still have nightmares over that shit. I see my own kids getting shots now and I am like, “MAAAAAN THE FUCK UP…MAN UP.” You don’t know what it’s like to be a kid in 1987 and going to the doctor. I sound like a WWII Vet. The needles are thinner and gentler. Unless you live in a house built after 1970 your in the clear of the finger prick. To bad for my kids, our house was built in 1901 haha that’s fucking old, the nurse better prick all those fingers. Sorry rant is over. Where were we…oh yea the doctor.

My Doctor was very nice, but awkward. His name was Dr. Betti….He was a good cross between Mr. Bean and my Uncle Don.
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He would talk veeerrrry slooooww and his eye balls were so fucking HUGE. He literally would shut his eyes mid-sentence and keep talking to you, finish the sentence and then his eyes would open again veeerrry sloooowly. Is this guy taking a nap? Is he sleep talking to me right now? Those eye lids were big too. Again sweet guy, but creepy facial expressions…

Driving to the appointment…
Me: “Am I going to get any shots?”
Mom: “Oh I am not sure” Lying through her fucking teeth…liar, liar, pants on fire.
Johnny: “Oh, you are getting shots.”
Me: “Mom said I wasn’t getting any shots.”
Johnny starts laughing
Mom: “Johnny…knock it off.”
Something is definitely going on.

In my five year old brain…pretty sure there’s no shots. My mom would never lie to me. Yea no shots for sure.

We walk into his office…

Why does it have to smell so sterile? I mean I know why? Could they light a candle or something? Bubble gum flavor? Then kids wouldn’t feel like they were going to their own funeral. The doctors office was always cold too. I have goose bumps and chills from the cold smell.

The Nurse walks out

Nurse: “Christine?”

Oh fuck that’s me, I feel surprised like I wasn’t expecting it. I jump off my sit and start walking behind her. I’m walking down the hallway passing all the baby pictures and Christmas cards on the wall, then the Anne Geddes art. Where the babies are made into flowers or a piece of food. That was a nice touch in the hallway before I walked into a small room of death.

The room was very small and for some reason the walls were brick, the only wall with drywall was the door. Probably because they didn’t want you to hear all the kids screams…but I could still hear them. Waiting in the room, you would suddenly hear a kid screaming like they were getting raped. My god what the fuck is going on in that room? My small little heart would beat a little faster. What are they doing to him? Are they going to do that to me too?

Nurse: “Here Christine, undress down to your underwear and put this gown on.”
Gown? You mean paper? It would crinkle and I would shove it tight under my ass as I sat on the table.
Nurse: “Okay Christine we are going to take your height and weight…”
I jump off the table holding the paper gown so tight and it’s a fucking crinkly mess.
Nurse: “Great your getting so big. Can you get back on the table for me.”
I hop back up and now my gown is all fucked up. Trying to smooth out the crinkles and stick it back up my ass again. Did I mention how cold this room is? I have cold sweats at the age of 5. They should put the thermometer up to 85 degrees like old ladies live here. Then kids might not feel so fucking scared. Blood Pressure is next….I have no idea what it is…fascinated how tight the arm band gets.
Nurse: “Great job, Dr. Betti will be with you shortly Christine.”
Phew got that part over and it’s the easiest. I act like I’m going to war and getting tortured.

I look at my mom
Me: “No shots right?”
Mom: “Oh it’s going to be fine.” She is trying to use any phrase, to avoid the shot question.

Another knock….fuck…my heart beats a little faster. I wish someone would pull the fire alarm or something.

Dr. Betti: “Christine?”
Me: “Yea…” Oh shit, Mr. Bean, I mean Uncle Don, I mean Dr. Betti….
Dr. Betti: “How we doing today?”
Me: “Good”…Actually I’m a wreck Dr. Betti.
Dr. Betti: “So, we are going into Kindergarten. Wow, you must be excited.”
Me: “Yea”…Is he sleeping? No, he’s awake now. Oh wait he’s back asleep.
Dr. Betti: “We are going to check your ears, breathing, inside the mouth, etc…blah, blah, blah.”

We get through the physical and felt relieved it was over…phew.

Dr. Betti: “Okay you can put your clothes back on. How’s the sleeping?”
Mom: “Everything is good, but she’s still wetting the bed.”
Dr. Betti: “Hmmmm, this is a common thing and some kids have trouble waking up at night. Christine do you not have the sensation to wake up at night and pee in the toilet?”
Me: “No.” Mortified…if I did..we wouldn’t even be talking about this right now. Wtf mom! shut your mouth. The 5th graders better not find about this shit.

My mom and Dr. Betti proceed to talk about my bed wetting problem. I did it all the time. I mean all the fucking time. Everyone in my family made fun of me. Had to develop some thick skin with this group. Even at the age of five, everyone would laugh. I owned it. Fuck it.

Dr. Betti: “Okay Christine, good luck with Kindergarten and the nurse will be in shortly with your shots.”
Me: My eyes widen and heart is in my stomach. “Shots, you didn’t say there were shots!”
Mom: “Oh, I didn’t know. We have to do it, if you want to go to kindergarten”. What a fucking liar! How could she lie to me?
Me: “I am not doing any shots.” Tears are in my eyes, I want to go back to preschool.

Nurse comes walking in with a silver platter of shots. I mean sliver platter and the shots are in a row! She is acting like she is at a dinner party and shots are on the menu. So cold.

My eyes bug out…and I slip off of the table.
Me: “Yea I’m good, I’m not getting a shot.”
Mom: “Christine you need to get back on the table.”

The shots looked like I was on death row. Venom was going to seep into my tiny veins and then you die. I’m Serious…I was not going to take the 1987 kindergarten shots. I suddenly panicked and knocked the whole fucking tray of shots on the floor. BAM! Nurse didn’t even see that coming. I’m screaming and crying. My mom is in shock and the nurse is like holy fucking shit. Shots went flying. Tray hits the floor.

Mom: “Oh my god Christine, stop it…calm down.” I was a fucking mess…wiping tears. After a few moments, my mom finally calmed me down. I’m back on the table.
Nurse: “Okay Christine, we are going to prick your finger, it’s not bad.”
Me: “OUCHHHHHHH.” That shit took my breathe away and felt like I was stabbed in the finger. What a BITCH, THAT STUPID FUCKING NURSE BITCH. HOW COULD SHE? THAT HURT. My finger is pulsing.
Nurse: “Okay…there, there…here’s a cotton ball and we will put the band aid on it. See all better.” I’m so mad and exhausted from tears. Jesus….please tell me your not okay with this. I’m a blurrbling mess….
Nurse: “Okay, Christine you need to lay down and I’m going to give you a shot in the upper leg. It’s going to be okay. Your mom is here. Just a small prick.” Small prick my ass, my knee jerked so hard and hit the nurse right in the chops.

This poor nurse had to leave the room. She probably had to ice her crouch, I got her good. She came back with reinforcements. Another Nurse walked in with her. They held me down like I was getting arrested and proceeded with the “1987 Kindergarten” shots. Easily one of the worst days of my life…

Then, it’s funny how a sticker at the end of the visit makes life better. Yes…Barbie sticker…score, while I’m wiping snot across my face.

We get into the car…
Me: “Mom I can’t believe you, I said no shots.”
Mom: Playing stupid and feeling guilty…”Christine it’s okay, we needed to get the shots.”
Johnny laughing his ass off in the front seat of the car…dick.

So…Good Luck Kindergartners!! School is going to be great!! Don’t forget to try and earn some respect with the 5th graders. Advice…throw rose pedals at their feet and that will get you back row on the bus for sure.


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