Cheers erupted through the dining room. Only one child, after jumping up and down a few times out of sheer joy, realized something must be up and suspiciously asked, "Why?"
"Well," I began slowly, "the bad news is that we first have to swing by the doctors' office to get our flu shots."
Cheers were soon replaced with loud sobs.
I got them calmed down, sent them off to school, went to my own school to teach, but their appointment got closer and closer and I couldn't put it off any longer. I picked up the kids and drove to the office. Tears started as soon as the van doors closed. I repeated our shot mantra over and over: "It's just a pinch and then it's over," but A screamed, "But some pinches are longer than others!" I tried to redirect by asking for descriptions of the donut they were going to get afterwards, but A cried, "I just can't think about that now!"
Side note - While I try as a rule to not reward/bribe children with food, especially desserts, sometimes nothing else will do.The actual time inside the examining room was fifteen minutes, but somehow once we entered the small room (the better for our screams to bounce off the walls and deafen Mommy) all time stopped. By the time we left, all the children were semi-calm once again, but I still ended up having to physically restrain all three of them while they each wailed at the top of their lungs. A jumped out of my arms three different times until I finally had to sit in a chair and hold him on my lap with both arms AND a leg, only to have him begin to laugh through his tears as soon as the shot was over, explaining, "It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would!"
Great, buddy. I'm so glad it's didn't hurt YOU as much as you thought it would. It sure hurt ME just as much as I thought it would! I hate having to hold them down so some scary doctor or nurse can inflict pain. I feel like I'm betraying any and all trust you have in me. I know it's a necessary evil, but it still breaks my heart each and every time.