Flu Shot Fracas

 
I hear the flu season is going to be terrible this year.  Is there ever a year that they don't say that?  I'm waiting for the day when I open up my newspaper and read a headline declaring a projected healthy winter: Experts Predict Slow Flu Season: Don't worry about shots this year.

  But no matter how crappy everyone else is going to feel, my house will be flu free!  Why?  Because I have spent the past several days jumping through the craziest hoops to get all of my household immunized!  That may not sound like much of an accomplishment, but it truly is.  Babies need to have two flu shots, given in half-doses.  Children under 9 need to get the shot from a pediatric nurse.  And Tysen's work does free flu shots for adults, but you have to be there within an exact window of time.  So that is how our flu shots became a fiasco!

October 6th - Evey gets part one of her flu shot.  Must get it early if the second one, exactly one month later, is to take effect before the flu season.

November 3rd - The Monday morning after Halloween weekend.  I wander around the house in a daze just grateful to still be standing and wondering where to even begin with the mountains of mess throughout the house.  Phone rings: "uuu Honey, you're going to kill me, but today is flu shot day at work and you need to be here at 12:15."  Really.  Change my clothes, do my hair, change toddler and baby clothes, do their hair, take kindergartener to school.  On the way to school my phone rings: "uuu Honey, since Seth is nine, he doesn't have to have a pediatric nurse, so he can come in and get his shot too if you check him out of school."  Great!  Park at the school instead of just dropping off kindergartener, haul the baby and toddler into the school, wait in office forever until they realize that the reason no teachers are responding is that the class is at lunch.  How happy do you think Seth was to see me at lunch?  How much happier do you think he was when I told him that I was there to take him to get a flu shot?  Needless to say, there was some foot-dragging.  Back in the van - book it downtown to hubby's office, circle and find a parking spot, wait at the elevators - Tysen gets off the elevator with a look of extreme caution on his face.  "uuu, Honey, you're going to kill me, but I got the date wrong.  Flu shots are Friday." Really.

Friday, November 7th - Early day at school.  That means that instead of checking Seth out of school (again) when I drop off Lily, I have to go back and get him to go down for flu shots at work.  10:40 - drop off kindergartener, go home, putter for 40 min., go back to school and check Seth out of school, pause and wonder for a moment if I should just go ahead and check Lily & Isaac out too, because school is out at quarter to one and that is really pushing it.   But the prospect of trailing all five around downtown outweighs my better judgement, and I leave them in school.  Back downtown with the pedal to the floor.  Getting off the freeway, phone rings: "uuuu Honey, where are you?  We're supposed to be there (two floors up from where he is sitting) in five minutes!"  Really.  Arrive, park, elevators, forms to fill out, hand forms in: "where is Seth?" the nice nurse asks.  "Over there, hiding," is Tysen's response.  "Oh, we also have the nasal mist, if he would prefer that.  And what about your little one (Chloe); would she like the mist instead as well?"  My turn, "umm, we understood that it was only for adults because there would be no pediatric nurse."  "Well, we do, in fact, have a pediatric nurse.  She is happy to help all of your children." Except the ones I left at school!!!  Really.  End up 30 min late to pick up the school kids - 30 minutes!!!  Just as I turn onto the school's street, my empty light comes on on the van's gas tank.  Quick call to Tysen - "how long can I still go when the empty light is on?"  Get to the school.  The guilt I was feeling at leaving them waiting that long was ridiculous, right?  I mean, by the time they get their packs and jackets, get out of the school, and play on the grass like they always want to - it's not a big deal, right?  I pull up to find them curled up in balls, huddling in a hole by the side of a hill because, as the remaining students waiting for rides thinned out, they were left conspicuous targets for some older boys who kept stealing backpacks, gloves, shoes, whatever they could get, and taunting them.  Made me want to cry!  If they had told me before I pulled away from that curb, boy howdy there would have been some bully boy heads rolling!!!  I thought they were just playing, not trying to hide!!  I'm a terrible mother!!

Today, November 10th - Kept Isaac home from the first part of school to keep an appointment I had made with the pediatrician weeks ago for an AM time before Lily goes to school.  Four little kids and me running (well, Evey doesn't run - she just clings to me like a monkey while I run) through the parking lot, in the pouring rain, with Chloe crying that she doesn't want her poka-dot pants to get wet, to get to the pediatrician's office to wait for forty minutes to have a nurse give them THE EXACT SAME NASAL MIST!  The mist doesn't even require a pediatric nurse!  But Evey did get the second half of her SHOT.

So now our entire family has had our flu shots/nasal mists and we're ready to face the impending flu season.  And my Mom thinks the whole thing is a conspiracy between the government and the pharmaceutical companies!  I'm beginning to believe it.
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