My husband's office has a health center where we usually get the basics of health care, including flu shots. This year, they couldn't get the juvenile dosages, so they recommended a free county flu shot clinic that was coming to a town near us today.
Addie's parents were fine with the plan for me to take the girls together and asked that I try to get her vaccinated too. I was happy to have this done before my two new babysitting charges start in a couple of weeks.
We arrived at the flu shot clinic a few minutes after it opened (9:30 a.m.). There was a line. Knowing that it takes about 4.5 seconds to administer a flu shot (including the time it takes to undress/redress the child), I figured that it wouldn't be long until we were out of there.
I was wrong.
For an hour and a half, I grabbed this girl and then that one as they kept trying to run into the road. I told them over and over to stop putting gravel in their mouths. I had to remove numerous cigarette butts and other miscellaneous trash from their hands as they continued to explore their limited area of ground. I had to hold this one and then that one when they refused to obey the command to "stay next to me". It was hard.
About an hour in, the county workers announced that they were out of the adult vaccine, so a few people stepped out of line and we ended up behind a woman who had three young children. This was our saving grace. It also made me thankful that we live in the friendly Midwest, where strangers are just friends you haven't met (name that TV reference). This lady's oldest child was a boy about 10 years old, and he was so cooperative in keeping the little ones happy. He played "ring around the rosy" with Olivia, Addie and his two little sisters while his Mom and I had to fill out paperwork. Olivia decided that he was her new best friend and insisted that he hold her for awhile. He was an angel to comply.
When we FINALLY got into the building, there were toys. It was so helpful in passing the time during the next 25 minutes that we waited INSIDE the building. But so many kids handled those toys today, and I am convinced that both girls will have a raging cold by the end of the week. But at least they won't get the flu. Sheesh.
A neighbor spotted me as I was called in to the vaccine room and went in with me to hold one girl while the other was getting her shot. And her daughter followed me back out to the car carrying one of the girls so I wouldn't have to struggle with both. Angels, these people.
The least painful part of the whole morning was the actual shot. The nurse was super fast, and Olivia didn't even cry (this from the kid who screams bloody murder at the mere SIGHT of a nurse). She pouted when I handed her off to my neighbor, but I think she was so surprised to be finished that she forgot about it almost instantly. Addie acted as if nothing had happened at all.
I rewarded the girls' impatience by taking them both to Denny's for lunch. In reality, this was my strategy to make sure that they would get fed before nap, because I KNEW that Olivia (at least) would fall asleep on the way home. After the morning I'd had, I couldn't risk a short nap because of hunger.
So, it's over. And next year, we'll be paying for a doctor's visit, because I'm NOT doing this again.