I've never been one to stand up myself, mind you. But say something or do something to a family member or friend, and the claws came right out.
Becoming a mother did not help this tendency.
During Rachael's first hours on earth, I wanted to rip out my IV and gouge it into the throat of the nurse who was pricking her heel for the requisite blood tests. You make my baby bleed and cry, I make you bleed and cry - it seemed perfectly reasonable. (I didn't do it. But I really wanted to.)
When Amelia spiked a fever at just two weeks old, warranting a trip to the emergency room, I may have actually growled at the doctor who wanted to perform a spinal tap on my teeny baby. They coerced for hours; the answer never changed. And two days later, when we were still there and they refused to discharge her despite her fever being gone and no reason for it ever found, I threatened to remove her IV myself and leave anyway.
Her pediatrician called me "adversarial." Now we attend the same church. I still can't bring myself to be friendly when I run into him.
Today, our foster daughter - who I'll just call "Dots" for blogging purposes - called me from school in tears, with severe pain and swelling in her right side. I picked her up and headed straight for the doctor's office. Worried about her appendix, they sent us to the hospital instead.
Now, Dots is terrified of needles. She pales at the mere thought of getting a shot, she has to have a hand to hold for a finger stick, and I've seen her very nearly pass out onto the floor during a blood draw. So when the topic of labwork came up today, her otherwise pleasant demeanor took an immediate nosedive. After four sticks in her arms with no good vein found, she was...well, not being pleasant to the nurses who were trying to take her blood. She told them that could try one more time, and that was it. (She will be an excellent Mama Bear someday.)
Although she freaked out more than a little at the idea of a needle in her hand, I reassured her that it wasn't as horrible as it sounded, and it worked great.
But once again...you put my child - whether she's my child or not - in a situation like this, and someone will inevitably incur my wrath. In today's instance, it was the Physician's Assistant (PA) who grumped into our little cubby and immediately told Dots that she'd need a pelvic exam - something that she was not physically or emotionally equipped to handle today. She immediately told him that that would not be happening, and I confirmed her opinion. At that point, he started questioning us - asking, "what do you want for me to do for you then? How are we supposed to know what's wrong with you? If you already know what's wrong, why are you here?"
He left just before my claws and fangs appeared...but then, he came back. And he came back at Dots' worst - when she was crying and terrified of the needles attempting to find a vein in her arms. He grumped back in and started criticizing her for not being more calm...and that's when Mama Bear appeared in all her glory.
I wasn't rude. I detest rudeness. But I was firm. And maybe just a hair louder than usual.
And I told him to GET. OUT.
He did. And he didn't come back. Lucky for him.
Don't mess with Mama Bear, people. Especially don't mess with her kids.
Dots is fine, by the way. It wasn't her appendix. Being a reliably crappy hospital, we still don't have definite answers, but knowing what it isn't is a load off for today.
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In an interesting side note, here's a pic of me in one of my favorite roles to date.
Last summer, my girls and I performed in Shrek: The Musical.
I, of course, was Mama Bear. :)