Yesterday I loaded the toddler into the car, picked up the kids from school, and headed to the pediatrician for annual checkups! What fun! You see, my oldest two kids have birthdays that are 4 days apart, so we can double up on things and get a two-fer in for trips to the doctor. (Our pediatrician is almost an hour’s drive away. We moved when my oldest turned 1, but the doctor is so good we’ve kept going back to her rather than find someone closer.)
It’s also fall, which means flu shot time, so everyone (myself included) was getting a shot yesterday!
The kids, understandably, don’t like shots (I know a few adults who still cringe at getting a shot) and so they spent most of the day moping about it. My 8-year-old was especially upset at the prospect of getting a shot. She was in such a foul mood that when the doctor asked her about things like school and reading she said she didn’t like it (she loves school and is reading all the time).
So we headed down the highway and everyone got progressively grumpier as we went. That is, except for the toddler who hasn’t been sleeping well and passed out in the car in about the first five minutes.
The appointments went fine. We are very thankful that the kids are generally healthy and so we don’t have too many concerns about that. My oldest, however, got a bit of a surprise when the doctor told me he needed some vaccine boosters before going into 6th grade next year. We could either get the shots out of the way yesterday, or come back in June. “Poke him full of holes!” I said. So he got 4 shots while the rest of us got one a piece. I told him that when they were done he’d be able to drink a glass of water and it would come shooting out of all the holes in his arms, but kids today don’t watch Tom & Jerry and Looney Toons, so he didn’t really get it.

The girls went first, each of them sitting on my lap. The toddler didn’t mind at all, and the 8-year-old freaked out a little bit. However, once the soccer-themed bandage was on her arm she was suddenly all smiles. My concern with the kids is always that the older ones will set a bad example for the younger ones at things like the doctor or the dentist. If the toddler saw her siblings pitching a fit about getting a shot she’d probably do it too. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.
My oldest got two in each arm, the poor guy. I kept telling him it wouldn’t be that bad and to calm down, but he didn’t really listen, at least not at first. Every time the nurse showed me the needle so I could see what was on the label he flinched around to see what was going on. The first two shots went in the left arm and he had worked himself up so much that he was clenching. It hurt and he made it known. The other two shots went in the right arm and I told him he needed to relax his muscles and it would be a lot easier. He finally listened and those two shots didn’t cause a problem.
After that we were in the car and headed home!
It’s funny how kids will get themselves so worked up about something like a doctor appointment or a shot and once it’s over they flip a switch and are happy-go-lucky again. Of course, it helps to bribe them with suckers and Subway for dinner when everything is done.

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