Last year on flu shot day, I paid my cleaning lady to go with me to help wrangle the monkeys. This year, I decided I’d handle the gang solo.
On Tuesday, we had a 4 o’clock appointment at our paediatrician’s flu “clinic.” I expected we’d be in and out. (It was a flu clinic, after all…)
3:50: We arrive. Miraculously, early.
3:55: We sit down in the busy waiting room.
3:56: The boys realize there are no toys in the waiting room for them to play with.
3:56:06 I regret having left our bag o’ entertainment at home. I know better. Stupid pregnancy brain. No worries, I tell myself, this is a flu clinic, after all, so we’ll be in and out.
4:00: The boys start rearranging the waiting room furniture, and drag three chairs over to the large fish tank with the sign reading “Parents: do not allow your children to touch this fish tank.”
4:03: Zach has to pee. The boys abandon their chair project, and the four of us go into the bathroom, but the solo stall is occupied.
4:04: I apologize to the woman and her daughter in the stall for the boy trying to crawl under the stall.
4:05: We leave the bathroom. I decide it’s easier for us to wait outside than for me to keep the boys from infecting themselves with e coli.
4:06: Zach is doing a major pee pee dance, and announces his need to pee about 20 times.
4:10: The four of us go back into the stall. Zach pees. Cooper swears he does not have to go. But everyone insists on flushing the toilet.
4:15: Back in the waiting room. The boys climb onto the chairs and start banging on the fish tank. That same one with the sign that says “Parents: do not allow your children to touch this fish tank.”
4:16: The boys think it is funny that mommy keeps yanking them off the chairs. Such a fun game.
4:19: Charlie suddenly realizes we are at the doctor’s office. He starts shouting “No mama! I don’t want to lay down!! We here for Zach’s penis! It’s for Zach’s penis! ZACH’S PENIS!!”
4:19:25 I debate whether to explain to the curious folks in the waiting room that the last time the four of us were at the doctor’s office, we were the urologist, for Zach’s post-op.
4:21: The boys whine to me for the 18th time they are ready to go home.
4:22: I no longer care that the boys are scaring the hell out of the fish.
4:25: The boys tire of harassing the fish and continue rearranging the chairs in the waiting room. All the while, whining loudly about going home, needing a snack, and Zach's penis.
4:28: I watch other children patiently waiting, and wonder if their parents wonder why I cannot control my children. And wondering WHAT KIND OF FLU CLINIC MAKES US WAIT THIS LONG?
4:29: I decide I am pregnant, and therefore too tired to care, and pretend not to see that the boys are harassing the fish again.
4:30: Finally. We are called back in the examining room.
4:35: I’m given a mound of paperwork (times 3, of course) to fill out. Zach and Cooper are opening, shutting and crawling into the cabinets. Charlie wants to “help” fill out the paperwork.
4:36: The boys have lost their minds. Charlie is furious that I won't let him fill in the address portion of his form.
4:40: Cooper has to pee.
4:41: The four of us head to the bathroom.
4:42: Cooper decides he does not have to pee. Nevertheless, everyone insists on flushing the toilet.
4:43: Back in the examining room.
4:46: Cooper announces that he has to poop.
4:47: The 4 of us, back in the bathroom.
4:48: Cooper decides he doesn’t have to poop.
4:55: The vaccines arrive in our room. All hell breaks loose.
4:55:03 I regret not calling the cleaning lady to see if she was free to come with us again this year.
5:01 We leave. Halle-freaking-lujah.
Flu shots, 2010: mission accomplished. Til next year...