We adore our pediatrician. We see her around town frequently, and the kids constantly plague her with endless rounds of "We don't need shots until we're eleven?"
So when the new nurse asked me if I wanted the kids to get their flu shot, I shrugged my shoulders and said, "You have the mist, right?"
She said no, sorry- they were all out. The kids would need to get an old-school flu shot.
Immediately, I felt 2 sets of eyes bore into my skull, as each ankle biter quietly implored me to answer the right answer.
"Sure, I guess so." I replied
Immediately, all hell breaks loose.
The younger kid dissolves into huge, racking sobs in the corner.
The older ankle biter? She isn't going down without a fight.
She starts with yelling.
"Nooooooo Mommy!" No shots!"
I start to do that embarrassing giggle that moms get when their kids dive off the deep end of normalcy. The nurse realizes she should have not asked this in front of the kids, and whispers an "I'm so sorry."
After the yelling, Annie moves on to phase 2.
"FORGET IT!" she says. "I'M NOT STAYING HERE. I'M LEAVING."
The nurse looks at her with wide eyes. I raise my eyebrows.
Annie flings open the exam door, and stalks out into the hallway. She bumps into our pediatrician, who has heard the hullabaloo and is trying hard not to laugh.
"Hey there, Annie. Where are you going?" The doctor asks.
"I am NOT getting a shot today. I AM GOING TO WAIT IN THE CAR." Annie replies.
Annie's sister follows her out, empowered by her sister's brazenness and is adding to the cacophony with sobs of despair.
The exam room door next to ours suddenly opens, and an elderly grandmother walks out, holding her 3 year old granddaughter's hand. The little girl looks at Annie, then at Lucy's tear stained face- and her eyes get really, really big.
Annie moves to stand in front of the exit.
"I'M NOT KIDDING. I'M NOT GETTING A SHOT TODAY." Annie states.
"Excuse me, little girl. We need to get through there." says the kindly grandmother,
"I'M NOT MOVING UNTIL THEY PROMISE I'M NOT GETTING A SHOT." Annie starts to barter.
"You need to move." Elderly grandmother starts to not sound so kindly.
The pediatrician and I are trying hard not to laugh, and I take Annie by the shoulder and not-so-gently guide her into the exam room. The nurse asks her to count to five as I hold her body down, and before she can get to number 2, the needle goes in her arm.
Annie's eyes get big, and she stops screaming.
"Is that it?" she asks.
So yes, both kids got their shots. And realized that shots don't hurt more than the fear of them does. But that 3 year old that witnessed this go down? Good luck getting her to come back.