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One of my easiest decisions as a parent so far was the choice to vaccinate my baby. I feel 100 percent confident that protecting him from potentially deadly diseases is my responsibility as a mother and vaccines are a safe, effective way to do that. I’ve done my research (although the internet is a hard hard place to do vaccine research, especially if you’re actually in favor of vaccinating) and I’ve talked to my doctor and I choose my choice. It’s chosen. My blogger friend Brigid posted a video from the CDC a while back addressing some of the concerns and facts about vaccinations in a non-terrifying way. My feelings can basically be boiled down to even though I doubt my baby will ever be exposed to measles or rubella or hepatitis, it’s the herd immunity that prevents epidemics and I’m doing my part. And for the record, I don’t really want to hear about your cousin’s sister-in-law’s best friend’s baby who totally got autism right after his shots. For every anecdote you’ve heard there’s a child who never had a single shot and was still diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. So, like I said, I am on the vaccination train.
Until this H1N1 thing came along. Suddenly I’m not so confident. I don’t know if I want to add another shot to my baby’s 6 month appointment. For myself, no problem. I will probably get both a regular seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 shot. E’s going to get both flu shots as well (the Navy actually requires him to get them). I haven’t had the flu since I was a kid (I get strep every year instead, so if they start vaccinating against THAT sign me up!) and I don’t spend a lot of time in crowded disease-filled places like malls or day care centers, but again, herd immunity! As parents, we’re doing our part. But my baby doesn’t hang out in those places either. And the info out there on the Swine Flu vaccine is too scary to just dismiss. Younger children need to get two shots instead of one, and Baby Evan is just barely old enough to fall in the 6 months – 24 year suggested age group. Some states are lifting the restrictions on how much mercury can be in the vaccines (I can’t find info for my state but I know California and Washington have). The last time a Swine Flu vaccine was distributed in the 70’s the side effects were terrible and much more widespread than I am comfortable with. I just don’t know what the right choice is this time.
I’m not the only mom who feels this way. One of the mommy bloggers I follow, All & Sundry, just posted something about choosing to get the vaccine (or not). She got almost two hundred comments and every single one made me think “Oh good point!” on both sides. I hope I don’t have to make a decision right away since the vaccine may not be available in time for our 6 month appointment and I’ll get a couple more weeks to think about it. Are you – and/or your children – getting the H1N1 vaccine?
It is amazing how being a parent changes the way you look at something as simple as walking.
My mall is the worst designed mall in the entire world. Instead of flattening out the land before construction they just built the whole thing uphill so every 40 feet there are 2-3 steps. On both floors. I never noticed what a stupid design this actually was until I tried to walk it pushing a stroller. To accommodate the pushers – and probably to comply with the handicap-accessibility laws – the kind mall designers built one single ramp for each set of stairs (actually, four sets of stairs, two on each side of the mall).
In theory, this system works fine. The ramp is wide enough that two normal-sized strollers can pass, so even on a busy day you aren’t stuck waiting and can get from the As Seen on TV Store to the sketchy Asian import/”relaxation” store*as fast as your tacky crap buying heart desires.
But in practice, people are idiots. Lazy idiots who see the ramps as the best way to avoid walking up steps instead of a necessity for people who can’t navigate the stairs. Lazy fat idiots who walk two across so you end up standing in line for your turn to push the stroller down the ramp. Lazy fat deaf blind idiots who move at a glacial pace and don’t even notice the moms glaring and sighing in frustration. I tried just running them over with the stroller but that was about as effective as trying to move a tree out of the way with your car. I commented to the girl with the stroller waiting in front of me how rude I thought this was, and she said “It’s even worse for me since all the old women use the opportunity to scold me for being a teen mother. This isn’t even my kid – she’s my sister!”
It took becoming a mother for me to realize that while children can be inconvenient, they aren’t intentionally difficult or rude. I always thought little kids were the most annoying part of parenting but it turns out it’s other adults that are the real pain in the ass. Where can I go for good old fashioned hold-the-door, mind-your-own-beeswax, take-the-stairs, smile-at-your-neighbor living?
*The mall also sucks as a mall, with about half the store fronts empty or containing temporary displays. Unfortunately it’s where our Old Navy and H&M are so I can’t avoid it entirely. Plus, again, AIR CONDITIONING.
1. I was planning to work out first.
2. You’re only supposed to wash your hair, like, twice a week anyways.
3. I used all the hot water on the laundry.
4. My “natural” scent helps the baby bond with me.
5. Something about the environment.
6. I cleaned the bathroom this morning and can’t bring myself to get it dirty.
7. The shower is upstairs and the baby is sleeping in the swing downstairs and I can’t hear the monitor over the sound of the shower.
8. I can put a hat over my greasy hair but not over my disgusting floors.
9. Babies don’t can’t if you’ve shaved your legs this week month.
10. I am just plain old lazy.