Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Flu is for the Birds

Each year I take my kids to get flu shots, and each year I vow that I will never take them again.  I will gladly turn the reigns over to Monkey Toes to get this job done.  However, each year I see the little ad in the paper and I schedule all of us to get our shots right after I pick the kiddos up from school.  This year I even saved some mileage by taking the family to our in-town clinic.  So yesterday was all about mentally preparing for this feat.  I'm sure that sounds a bit over-the-top, but past experience has taught me that children are unpredictable in situations that involve shots.  I can never overly prepare.

When I scheduled the appointments, the receptionist asked if we wanted the shot or the mist.  I said we all would like the mist.  We showed up at 3:30, along with my mom (I needed her for back-up).  While the kids sat in the waiting room, I began to fill out the paperwork - all 14 pages.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I had to complete, sign and date 2 pages for each person.  Personally, I think the process could be a bit more efficient, but really, who am I to say?  So after the 14th signature, I met up with my family and soon we were all called back into an examination room.  There, lying on the counter, were 7 needles.  The nurse asked, "you requested the shots, right?"  I replied, "no, I asked for the mist."  By the look on her face, I gathered that switching over to the mist would cause a time delay.  So I told her not to worry about it.  We would take the shots instead.  Immediately following my reply, children began to cry - not just tears, but cries of agony in the anticipation of what was about to take place.  The nurse asked, "Who is going to be first?", in which every child pointed to someone else.  Honey Bunches scrunched down on the floor between the chairs, Cucumber's body was convulsing with sobs, and Gummi Bear was crying, "NO, NO, NO."  The two babies were looking around, not knowing what was happening.  I looked at Sweet Potato and told him to be first.  Reluctantly, he sat on the table.  Next was Pumpkin, who said (not cried), "ouch."  Then there was Sweet Pea, who looked a little worried, but never shed a tear.  Next I looked at Gummi Bear who planted her feet firmly on the ground and wouldn't budge.  I had to pick her up (not an easy task), while she kicked and screamed.  At this point, sweat began to run down my back.  I have no doubt that my face was red.  Gummi shared a piercing scream that made even the nurses flinch.  I then called upon Honey Bunches who insisted that I promised him that he could go last.  Lastly was Cucumber, who I think truly believed that I was torturing her.  Even after the shot, and after we were back in the van and buckled in, her sobs continued.  She claimed that her arm was hurt and she would never be able to use it again.

While in the exam room, I had hoped that the walls were sound proof, but as we exited, I could tell that those in the waiting room heard it all.  Our neighbor was standing there, a big smile on her face, confirming that every scream, cry and holler were clearly detected.  So with my pride in tow, we left the building.  I felt like I had just run a marathon.

Once again, I have vowed that I will never do this again.  We'll see if I remember this promise one year from now.  Oh, and an update on Cucumber.  Her arm is working splendidly today.  So well, that she was capable of slugging her little sister for the remote control before lunch.  And so it goes that our life, as usual, continues.

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