Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Herd immunity.

Last year, before I started this blog, I was kind of concerned about Miss Anna, because while we knew she could talk, and she did talk around the house, she almost never talked to anyone who wasn't a close family member. Everyone, including her pediatrician, told me to give it time, and sure enough, within the year she had started preschool, come out of her shell by a mile, and was much more social.

Today was Anna's three year checkup and Lily's one year checkup, so the whole bunch of us, minus Tim, went to the pediatrician's.

"Hello Mrs. Cirque," the receptionist greeted me. I don't have an uncommon last name, but with three kids under the age of five, even just well visits make us frequent fliers at the doctor's office, and they recognize me by sight and, when I call in, by name.

"The circus is in town!" I announced, walking up to the window and forking over far too much in co pays and receiving forms informing me, that once again, our insurance was being wonky and insisting Lily wasn't covered by our plan. And then we waited.

"Mommy is this doctor for kids?" Mary demanded as I tried unsuccessfully to keep Lily from attempting to crawl into the bathroom, the office, the hall to the exam rooms.

"Yes it is," I said.


The father who was waiting for his teenager tried not to smile. The late high school boy sitting nearby looked ready to sink into the floor. I tried to explain how you could see the "kid" doctor until you were out of college if you wanted, gave up, and was grateful when we were called into our exam room.

The girls were weighed and measured. Lily babbled and cooed at the nurse. Anna eyed her suspiciously but acquiesced to stepping on the scale and being measured. And then we waited for the doctor.

"Let's see how Anna's doing," he said in a friendly voice. Anna looked at him with trepidation but to her credit didn't hide in my shoulder.

"Does she sleep well?"

"Yes," I said.

"Does she know her ABCs and count?"

"Yes," I said. "Anna, want to count my fingers?"

"One, two, fee, four, five!"

"Very good," the doctor said. "Does she-"

"I WANNA COUNT YOUR OTHER HAND! One, two, fee, four, five, SIX!"

"Er...I think you counted Mommy's thumb twice," I said, as it was now the doctor, and not Anna, giving odd looks. She managed to not make me the Six Fingered Man this time around and all was well.

"Does she eat well?"

"Anna, do you like to eat?"

"Can I have a juice box? I want a juice box," she muttered to me.

"She eats well," I confirmed.


"Later," I whispered. "Later."

"Great," The doctor said. "Does she-"

"I want a juice box with lunch like we had yesterday. We have juice boxes at home but not in the car," she said to the doctor.

"Oh," he said.

"So I want a juice box. I want a juice box. Mommy, can we have a juice box? Can we have one now? Later? I want one now..."

Somehow, we got off the juice box tangent and made it through the exams. And then it was time for vaccinations. Being a good mother, I had anticipated Anna needing some sort of booster and had bribed her with a McDonald's hamburger (don't judge!) if she didn't freak out too much.

"Do you want to do flu vaccines for everyone today?"

"Please," I said, as we are looking at a long year of a new preschool for Mary. He moved towards Mary first, explaining the FluMist was just drops in your nose, it just tickles, one, two, three, all set!

"AAAAAHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAA IT HURRRRRRRRTS!" Mary started screaming. I tried to talk her down. Nothing doing. I tried consoling her. Nope.

Lily got two shots, plus her flu vaccine, and cried. I hugged her. She tried to eat my hair and stopped almost immediately. Mary screamed on.

Anna got her FluMist and started to whimper, but didn't cry. She got two other needles and cried. I hugged her and petted her hair and said she had done very well and we would absolutely go to lunch. Mary screamed on.

She cried as we left the room. She cried as she received a sticker. She sobbed as I said goodbye to the receptionist and sniffled to the car. I told her only girls who didn't scream got treats for lunch. She screamed on. Anna got a hamburger. Mary hollered. She finally calmed down a half an hour later and had some non-hamburger lunch.

"I didn't like that," she said of the FluMist, after we were back home and I was attempting to talk to her about what had happened.

No kidding, kid.

I guess we know which one got the theater major genes.

I just can't wait for her checkup in October. It's going to be epic.

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