A pediatric nurse shouldn’t have neck tattoos, black fingernails, lip piercings, or anything else that makes her appear sad, recently paroled, or Goth. I was already nervous; my son Silas was nervous, and then Ms. Front-Row-at-Marilyn-Manson, RN scoots in the door yawning. “Oh, sorry, long day so far. You’re here for a Polio vaccine today?” I’m a conflict avoider, so didn’t ask if this particular shot required its administrator to be alert. I nodded, smiled, and shrugged off the ample evidence that she’d been up all night training ferrets with a warlock.
Silas could sense that I was uneasy and added some “oh h-to the-hell-no” of his own.