Flu shot, please!

This crazy girl has been begging me for months to get her a flu shot. I’ve been procrastinating, as always. This morning she got up and the first thing she asked is if we could go to CVS and get a shot. What the heck?! 

Mario, on the other hand, was not ready to get a shot. He’s scared half to death of them like his dad. Maria was trying to convince him it was no big deal – it was actually fun – but he was not convinced. However, he did want to go with us so he could watch Ri. 

Ri walked into Walgreens (CVS was too busy) and hurried to the Pharmacy. I asked the pharmacist if he had time to give a flu shot and he replied he did. Ri squealed in delight. Again, she’s a nut. She took Mario behind the three-fold partition and talked with him about how easy it is to get a shot. They looked at brochures (picking out two “How to Quit Smoking” brochures for relatives who smoke) and Mario asked Ri a ton of questions about how bad the shot would feel in her arm. 

The pharmacist opened the door and came out with the shot. Ri asked me to leave but allowed Mario to watch. Within ten seconds, it was over. No gasp, no scream, no tears. I heard her say to Mario “see, piece of cake; I didn’t even feel it.” Mario came out from behind the wall and pronounced that he would get a shot. He was very proud of himself for braving it. Ri was so excited he was getting one. 

Yes, this is our life. 
Mario wanted me and Ri with him during the two second procedure. When the pharmacist brought out the shot,Mario  hesitated. Ri and I told him he could do it and dad would be so proud, and Mario shook his head giving the ok to the pharmacist. What a brave soldier. He watched it go into his arm and chirped “this doesn’t even hurt.”

A little competition from Ri goes a long way. And I am gonna head back to that pharmacist every year; he was a rock star with the kids. Maybe Mario’s fear of shots will subside now. 

Ok, we won’t leap that far; I will just be thankful for no tears today. 


Mighty Girl

Yea, my daughter is no joke.
She’s not scared to give a poke
And see what the world brings her.
I love that she’ll toss that melon
Right up on her shoulder and have no one tellin’ her different.

She whips her scooter all over town
And not even a hard fall will bring a frown.
No, she just stands right up and brushes those knees all the while smiling away and petting her pup.

Her little brother acts ambivalent to her strength
But he understands her power
And how she’ll go to any length
To protect him from danger and any crazed stranger.

The adventurous gene grabbed hold of her tight.
She braves the high dive, rock climbing and biking in moonlight.

Her laugh is infectious and she loves a good party
She will keep things a rockin’
And make folks be hearty.

There’s never been a baby she doesn’t admire
Of her new niece, Elena, she never will tire.

And don’t you ever get between her and family, you see
Because she adores her mom and dad and all of her kin.
And she will not hesitate to kick you to the curb if you ever mess with any one of them.




Love you mighty girl!


A Mighty Girl

I have a son who at age four pulled a Maxim magazine off the grocery store shelf and proclaimed “she’s hot!”

Why? Not because I, or his sister, dress in tight clothes and short skirts. And certainly not because his dad is riding around with him whistling at women.

I have a daughter who put on a shirt yesterday morning and pronounced “my belly sticks out of this shirt. I’m not pretty.” This declaration after I have told Ri a thousand times that she is beautiful and amazing. And that has been reaffirmed over and over by her grandparents and dad and cousins. So why does she say such nonsense?

Hmmm…. could it be the magazines (Maxim is among many), the tv shows (“America’s Top Model” comes to mind), the media focus on all things thin and “perfect” and superficial, or the companies who market princesses with big boobs and size 0 waists to young girls.

When I was five and begged for a Barbie, I got Dusty. She was a flat-chested “barbie” with sandy brown hair cut in a straight bowl around her face, wearing jean sorts and riding a horse. And Ri wonders why I despise dresses to this day. She was my ideal. She’s who I played with every morning. I grew up in Clifton – I saw all sorts of women walking around town. Big, little, pierced, saggy, firm – you name it. And they were all beautiful in their own right.

But I still squeezed the fat rolls on my belly at night as I laid in bed. “If I could just lose this, I’d be so much prettier.” So even with my forward thinking, feminist parents, I still got caught in the trap.

I appreciate Mighty Girl drawing attention to Disney’s revamp of the young girl in Brave from a strong, every day looking heroine to a dress-off-the-shoulder, made-up princess. Sometimes I catch myself dismissing these pleas for action because I’ve heard them over and over again. But then I get one more plea and am reminded that if we didn’t have such over-glamorization and “sexing up” of our girls, there wouldn’t be so many pleas.

Mighty Girl is doing critical work to help our girls see themselves as soulful, intelligent, strong, courageous, opinionated people – not sex objects and eye candy.

When Ri squeezed one of Mario’s friends the other day, Mario yelled out “My sister is really strong, Quinn! She can hurt you!” And when Mario needed help on his bike, he knew Ri would be at his side (“you got it Mario; don’t be scared little guy!”). I appreciate that Mario sees his sis as a strong girl.

Most recently, Ri has fallen in love with softball. She is not the strongest batter but she has been persevering through missed swings and not giving up.

“Heile Menkedick Ionno’s don’t give up!” she chirps at me, repeating the words I have drilled into her head for years as she takes another swing.

Keep it up, Ri, and don’t worry about bellies. You are beautiful.