Really, what could be worse than hauling four boys into the pediatrician’s office on a Friday afternoon to get their flu shot?
Oh, that would have be be shopping at the tween store, Justice, with your daughter.
And so went my Friday afternoon and evening. . .
The children had a half day from school and I thought this was the perfect time to get all of them their flu shot. The shot wasn’t a surprise–well, not really. We had a 3:50 appointment and I told them at 3:15 to get in the car because we were going to the doctor’s office. Luke immediately started sobbing.
Before going, though, Luke and Will demanded that I pinch them on the arm as hard as I thought the shot would be. I think they wanted to see if they could withstand the pin prick pain of the shot. So I obliged and pinched a small piece of skin with my thumb and pointer finger and counted to three. It was actually a smart little pinch. Luke sobbed louder. Will said, “Do it again!”
During last year’s flu shot episode, Luke (age 8) screamed like he was being tortured and scrambled under the exam table, which required the nurse and me to pull him out and pin him down. In retrospect I’m sure (having it cause this much mental and emotional anguish) I was breaking parenting rules in at least half a dozen parenting books.
But this year the pinch seemed to offer a soothing effect. Marc did fine. . .although he did follow nurse Marilyn out of the exam room when she left to get the shots; in his nervousness he just wanted to see where she got them. Will determined that he wasn’t going to flinch and he took his shot then turned to a shivering Luke and said that it was easy. Luke started to hyperventilate when it was his turn but he grabbed my hand and. . .it was over.
I also promised two donuts to whomever didn’t cry during the shot. I know. . .another parenting fail but you take four boys to get a shot and see if you aren’t promising them every horrible food item that you’ve banned for the past year.
Then I passed the boys off to Scott at WhataBurger (again, don’t judge) and Maddie and I went off to fall/winter clothes shop because the girl is still wearing flip flops and white capri leggings with everything and I just can’t face another clothes meltdown this weekend–especially since the weather has finally turned cool.
Maddie is in that pre-stage of everything and nothing fits right. She claims that I don’t know her style and maybe that is true because white capri leggings and flip flops in November seem to me to be a style fail. But the reality is that her preferred style is about five years older than her age and we tend to become quickly exasperated with each other during any shopping outing.
Invariably we end up at Justice, because really, where DO YOU shop for your preteen girl whose mother has no idea of her style?
And, this is the point in my day/evening that I most channelled my inner Luke. Justice does it to me. Walking into the store is nothing short of overwhelming. I start to hyper ventilate. . .and shake. . .and find that I can’t stop watching the Taylor Swift video that is playing from the tv hung over the sparkly neon green “SOCCER REIGNS” (glittery crown over the O) tee shirt and matching pants. EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK THERE IS STUFF. SPARKLY STUFF. TIGHT STUFF. STUFF THAT IS JUST STUFF. I am over stimulated by all of the neon colors and the music blaring and the amount of bling that looks like a fairy godmother just said, “Here. . .take all of the fairy dust.” I start looking for the color beige; a place just to rest my eyes. Justice hates beige I quickly realize.
And the pre-teen salesperson comes up to me (I’m staring at the tv with music videos blaring), and asks if she can help me. . .and I blank stare at her and say, “Yes.” Then in a whiney voice I ask, “How do you even start finding anything in this store?” The pre-teen salesperson literally giggles uncomfortably and says, ignoring my question, “Everything is 40% off plus our flash sale is going on so that’s another 20%” and she walks away. I turn to Maddie, “I’m standing right here as vertigo is starting to set in.”
Maddie proceeds to happily pick out skin tight leggings that have the city image of Paris up and down and around the legs. And, I. Have. To. LEAVE.
Literally, I will take four boys to get their flu shot any day. . . just don’t make me go to Justice. Or, better yet pinch me as hard as you think going into that store it is going to hurt.