Armless Fun

October 6, 2008

Pandemonium at Child One’s school. Girls weeping at the gates, and a rather ominous ambulance stationed outside. Obviously business as usual, I think – until Child One herself staggers out onto the pavement, clutching her arm.

‘It hurts, it hurts,’ she yodells, causing every pigeon in the vicinity to shoot upwards into the air and scattering my posse of Mummies. I am slightly irritated. We had just been having a very serious discussion about handbags, as lovely JAGS in the Village has a new consignment in. I take a deep, healing breath. There have been times – rare, I admit – when I have wondered whether my first born has a slight tendency to drama queenism. Could there be the faintest tinge of divatude lurking here? And if so, where on earth did she get it from? A complete puzzle.

But back to the grievously wounded child. ‘What’s the matter, my precious?’ I coo, though I might as well not bother, my dulcet tones are so drowned out by wails. Child One mumbles something indistinct into my shoulder – she is so tall these days! – and I gently ask again, like the devoted Mummy I am, ‘just stop that noise and tell me what’s going on this instant!’

‘Don’t you remember, Mummy? I told you 50 times!’ This mantra, I need hardly say, never works. I need to be told 51 times, at least. I look blank.

‘It’s Injection Day, Mummy,’ she says, raising her eyes to Heaven. Ah yes, I do now dimly recall Arm Against Cancer, the government’s clever scheme to innoculate all Year 8 girls against cervical cancer. This has caused heated discussion amongst the Mummies during our regular foregatherings in Cafe Rouge, sometimes even elbowing the handbag topic out of play. The injection has to be administered three times, and protects against the two viruses responsible for 70 per cent of cancer cases.

Government propaganda on the jab says there is usually only ‘mild stinging’ as a side-effect. I really think they should have told the girls this. Child One continued to clutch her arm for three days, yelping away. Someone fainted right next to her in the queue – before the injection – and several of her friends had to be held down by three or four nurses each. One girl got an instant fever. And a lot had aches and pains. And they asked them all before the injection whether they were pregnant. Arg! And the next injection is at the end of next month. I can hardly wait.

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  • jenny smith October 6, 2008 at 5:48 am

    Hi DD, sorry to hear of such trauma. My daughter is also in year 8 but i’ve not heard anything about the injections yet.

    When I was also in the “second year” (old money talk), we had those awful BCG injections. They were awful and uncomfortable and there were also horror stories like that. But basically everyone was ok. You may have had one yourself.

    By the way, thank you for your sweet comments on one of my blogs. I’m sorry but i didn’t see it until last night. You must have thought i was so rude not responding. Thank you so much. Very new to this and it means a lot to me.

    JS xx

  • DulwichDivorcee October 6, 2008 at 5:59 am

    Oooh, you’re about to have fun, then, Jenny. But it is a good idea. Yes, I remember the BCG – still have a delightful scar, though naturally I say I was bitten by a shark off the coast of Bali …very glad you liked the comment and keep up the good work! xx

  • Potty Mummy October 6, 2008 at 6:59 am

    Of course, it would have to be a rather small shark, given the bite radius… (sorry, am I taking that too literally?). Hope your saturday afternoon was lovely DD. Was there red medicine consumed? Say there was, please… That’s certainly what I imagined as I dished up beans on toast to the boys…

  • rosiero October 6, 2008 at 7:07 am

    Ouch! And no, the scar is from fighting off the Dulwich Puma in the back garden!

  • Lindsay October 6, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Perhaps the next injection will have a milder reaction?

  • blogthatmama October 6, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    I think a dogfish is actually a small shark, that must be it.

  • DulwichDivorcee October 7, 2008 at 3:35 am

    Dearest PM, tragic you weren’t there, no red or even white medicine alas (we needed you to lead us astray) but lashings of Earl Grey tea. And actually yes, it is a small and rather dainty bite mark now you come to mention it! x

  • DulwichDivorcee October 7, 2008 at 3:39 am

    Did I say small dainty shark mark? Of course it’s really a puma puncture, you’re right as ever, Rosiero!
    Lindsay, I think you’re right, the second will be better, not sure anyone’s nerves can take another major jangling!
    You know, Blogthatmama, it’s really not a dogfish out there, or a foxfish ….if anything it must be a piranha, but I will still believe it’s a pumafish ….

  • Hadriana's Treasures October 9, 2008 at 2:58 am

    Yes – the next time we will have to have lashings of red and white medecine. That will fortify us when dealing with children and injections (well at least me anyway)!

  • DulwichDivorcee October 10, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Now you’re talking, Hadriana, I look forward to it! x

  • (Very) Lost in France October 13, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    DD – they haven’t brought it in in France yet as far as I’m aware. THANK GOD. DD would probably take to her bed for a week and that would be before the injection. She’s sworn never to have another injection after a stream of nasty reactions/experiences and would ‘sooner die than have another needle stuck in me’. Do you think our girls have been talking? VLiF

  • DulwichDivorcee October 17, 2008 at 5:03 am

    VIL, I bet they’ve been MSNing, the little scamps!

  • scatterbrain October 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I’m very grateful I only have a son.

    I’ve been lurking a bit and have now decided to say hello. Your writing is very funny.

  • DulwichDivorcee October 20, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Hello, Scatterbrain, lovely of you to pop in. Lucky you with a son, they always love their mummies. I fear it’s not quite that way with girls ….x