Everyone knows what big babies men are about illness. One little sniffle and they’re down for the count. Then it’s, “Sweetie, could you bring me some hot tea with honey,” and “Honey, how about some chicken soup?” Next thing you know, your big baby is asking for tissues, Tylenol, NyQuil, cough drops, the heating pad, extra blankets, Vicks, etc., etc.
I’ve fluffed pillows for my own big baby, laid cool clothes across his forehead, run for warm socks and Theraflu in the middle of the night when he woke up with chills. I’ve administered B-12, zinc drops, vitamin C, and Echinacea. And one time, I even held his hand and shot nasal spray up his nose because he has this thing about his nose. He can barely stand for the doctor to touch it. It’s quite hilarious.
Anyhow, during a routine checkup for my big baby, the doctor asked if he wanted a flu shot. Now my baby knows how bad flu can be for someone who has dealt with asthma all his life. You don’t want flu on top of that. So naturally, he accepted the shot.
I asked him how his doctor visit went when he came home. He told me that all was well and that he got a flu shot. I snorted because I am the exact opposite of my big baby when it comes to health. I am not cautious, I put off going to the doctor as long as possible and usually only go kicking and screaming, I would die in my own bed before admitting that I was sick, I only do shots if they’re in glasses, and I think doctors see you coming with dollar signs dancing before their eyes.
So, I had to rag on him just a titch about the shot.
“Boy, did they see you coming. You go in for one reason and they score big bucks getting you to take a shot.”
“Well, this way I won’t get flu.”
“Do you know how many people get the flu anyhow? And they probably wouldn’t have if they hadn’t taken the stupid shot. You’ll be sorry.”
Now this may sound harsh, but we’ve teased each other quite wickedly for over twenty years of marriage. We totally get each other’s sense of humor. Besides, a few months later, big baby had his revenge. I developed the longest lasting case of flu I have ever had. And no, I hadn’t taken the shot.
Weeks after my doctor somewhat proudly announced that I had flu (I suspect he felt bitter yet superior over my stubbornness), I was still suffering under the effects of the illness. I couldn’t regain my energy which left me listless and not a little crabby.
One day, while complaining about how long it had been since I felt well, big baby reminded me that I hadn’t taken the flu shot. He even suggested that I probably should have and said something like who’s sorry now. Well, of all the gall! Can you believe he’d kick me when I was down? I summoned what little energy I could to retaliate.
“Yeah, well, you’re like an old draft horse, you know?”
“What do you mean?”
“They lead you where they want you to go, and you comply. Just strap on a bag of oats and ole Willy will take the shot. I, on the other hand, am a thoroughbred.”
“Yeah! High-strung, stubborn, and unpredictable!”
(Long, long pause for shared laughter. Still laughing. Still laughing. Finally, we’re winding down.)
“Okay, I’ll own that one.”
So while I still refuse to get the flu shot every year, at least I know big baby will care for his stubborn pony.