Madeline needed three immunizations before we could send her back to school. So today, I took the kids to the Denton County Department of Health where each shot costs only $10.00. In reading about it online, I also learned that the maximum charge per family per visit was $30.00. So, any other shots would be free.
The ramifications of this didn't quite make it home to me until I was standing there doing the paperwork, and I realized that Abby and Sam might need immunizations too. Fortuantely I had thought to bring their immunization records along. I mentioned to Abby that I was going to have the lady check her records too, and she immediately began to freak out. All of a sudden she went from the lucky sister who didn't need shots to Danger. After a minute I told her she needed to go sit in the waiting area.
As it turned out, Abby didn't need any shots. But Sam did. So, now he went from the smug little brother to a quivering mass of panic in a split second. He began to cry, and fell to the ground, and for some reason the whole thing struck me funny. It's sad to be laughing while your children freak out, but I just couldn't help it. Maybe it was the drama, maybe it was just the publicness of the whole thing, but I really couldn't keep a stright face. My children accused me of cruelty, and I giggled. I tried to convince them that I was sorry for them, but you know, I was so pleased to be getting that fourth shot for free. My time and money were being maximized. And I really didn't want to have to come back for as long as possible.
So Madeline, who had held it together beautifully this whole time, volunteered to go first so that Sam could see how it wasn't that bad. That was a mistake. As he watched the first, the second, and the third needle sink into her arm, he completely lost it. He began to scream and cry and clutch the door. I tried to reason with him, and pick him up. But he was irrational and getting louder all the time. I began to giggle helplessly again. The nurse offered him a sucker. It didn't help. So finally the nurse stepped in--she's done this thousands of times I'm sure--and began to talk to Sam. He was jolted from his panic by her voice, and asked quaveringly what the shot felt like. She said, "a pinch" and he asked her to pinch him to see what it was like. It wasn't bad. So I sat down on the seat with him on my lap, we counted to three, and the shot was over. He didn't even cry.
We left, and got slushies from Sonic (for half price, hee hee) and went on our merry way. I won't have to do that for at least another year. Whew!