Thursday, October 4, 2007

Once in a Blue Moon

I totally rocked our flu shots today.

Trips to the pediatrician for me are not always the smoothest of events. My kids' doctor doesn't have toys because of the carrying of the diseases and whatnot. So my appointments often involve me trying desperately to keep two or three kids happy in a waiting room with nothing but a fish tank.

"How many fish do we see?" "What color is that fish?" "Which fish is going to go into the castle?" These questions only amuse for so long. There was one day when we got to ask, "Why isn't that fish moving?" but even that didn't entertain for very long. And my doctor is often behind schedule. And I am compulsively early. We get good attention once the doctor is there, but we pay for it in general misbehavior before, during, and after the visit.

So I was trepidatious about the flu shot clinic today. It's first come, first serve, and it's always chaotic. Sam got a pretty severe black eye at one of these flu shot clinics in the past. It was totally his fault for running in a crowded room, but we don't have the best of track records at these things.

I was so prepared today though. We got there 30 minutes before it was supposed to start. There was already a waiting room full of people that were even earlier than me.

No problem.

The kids watched the fish while I signed in and did the paperwork. When they got a little antsy I whipped out the box of crackers I'd brought. When they got tired of that, I pulled out a Magic Treehouse book that they hadn't seen before. When Jack started to get fidgety, I gave him his Saturn V spaceship toy. When Quinn's attention wandered, I gave him a toy car.

We were model damn citizens.

I'd put some thought into the order of the shots. I didn't want one kid's crying to freak out the other guys. So the child who is least likely to be bothered by hysterical screaming goes last: Quinn. And Sam is a little, shall we say "dramatic" about injury, so I didn't want him going first to set a hysterical example. So when it was our turn, Jack was up first.

I hadn't told them about the shots until they got home from school, so they didn't have much time to worry about it. And Jack, more than being stressed about the shot, was excited about going first. (My poor middle child grasping at anything that puts him at Number One.) So he got his shot, barely wimpered, and I shoved a chocolate chip cookie in his hand.

Then Sam. Louder wimpering, but it was cut short by the cookie I shoved into his mouth.

Quinn gave a surprised little squawk when he got his shot, but he also fell for the cookie bribe.

We were out of there 35 minutes after we arrived.

We were in the car before Sam noticed that no one had given him a sticker, but I had boxes of chocolate milk and juice for them, and he forgot about the greatest injustice in the history of doctor visits. (No sticker! Shocking!)

Sometimes the planets line up.


  1. Every now and then a well placed bribe is worth every crumb!

  2. Lucky you!

    35 minutes in and out without a major meltdown. I am in awe.

    Reminded me of my mother getting us into the doctors office to get shots. Might have to blog about that.....

  3. That was very nicely choreographed!! You go girl!

  4. Wow! that went great. As a 25 year old myself I think they took it better than I would have. I ill have to bring cookies for myself next time

  5. Wow. THAT was impressive! Woo hoo!

  6. You are an awesome mom.


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