What Flu Shot?

As my Twitter feed intimated, Graham got his seasonal flu shot yesterday.

I spent more time than I should have feeling mildly guilty about this because, as I look back on the day, I’m not certain if (or how) Graham could remember ever getting that flu shot.

Reason #1: A morning playing hooky

Usually during the work week, I scramble to get myself completely ready – showered, dressed, makeup and hair done, coffee poured, snacks packed into Graham’s backpack, etc – BEFORE I go and get Graham out of bed. Thereafter, he is immediately transferred to the changing table for a new dipe and playclothes (down to socks and shoes), carried into the bathroom where he brushes his teeth while I spike his hair, and then is carried downstairs to grab his cup of Cheerios for the car ride to school.  It takes a whopping 10 minutes (and that’s if we’re being slow that day).

Yesterday? Our appointment wasn’t until 9:30 am.  Too early to go to school prior, so it was all jammies and Yo Gabba Gabba and playtime with toys and hot oatmeal with bananas.  A g-r-e-a-t toddler morning.  He was so very, very happy when we left the house.

Reason #2: Field trip!

Actually going to the doctor’s office was like a day at Disneyland.  Okay, not really. But if you’ve raised or cared for a toddler, you know – they LOVE going places. From Walmart to the tax accountant’s office – every place is ripe with places and objects to explore and delight in. The doctor’s office was no exception.

Graham was the lone toddler in a room of babies stowed in carseats. Each of those babies were accompanied by at least one adult. An audience. The opportunity was not lost on Graham, and he delivered quite the performance for everyone. He greeted them by running up to them and waving, “Hiiii.” He pointed at their kids and said, “Ba-beee.” He then spent the remainder of our waiting time running back and forth between a bookcase and the sitting area, carrying one book at a time, where – upon arrival to a large apholstered ottoman – he would open the book, slam the book shut, applaud (“YAYYYY!”) and then run the book back to the shelf to swap it for another.

Reason #3: Refined sugar

Yes, Graham cried when he got his shot. What I hate the most is the betrayed, scared look he gives me when I lay him on the doctor’s table. It makes me feel like such a bully, especially given that he’d been such a good boy for me all morning.

However. The nurse came prepared. 0.1 seconds after I pulled Graham’s pants back up and hoisted him onto my hip, our sweet nurse shoved a basket FULL of Dum-Dum suckers right under Graham’s nose. He looked into the basket in awe. But he was frozen and didn’t make a move.

The nurse picked a sucker and gave it to him, which he held, paper-intact, and stared at, hiccuping and still tear-stained. I took the paper off to give him full access to the blue, cotton candy-flavored treat. Again, he just stared. He held his prize out in front of him all the way back through the waiting area and didn’t actually have a taste until we were out in the fresh air.

And hoo boy. The memory of that flu shot was completely muscled out by the artificial sticky cotton candy goodness that was clearing blowing his mind. He wiggled and wriggled, so happy he was to be eating this treat.  No room for tears, this was awesome.

So that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Graham came to completely forget his flu shot. I dropped him back at school for an in-progress game of flashlight tag that was happening in his classroom. Just before I walked out of the room, Graham shined his flashlight and lit up his face just enough so I could see the absolute glee at how amazing his day was. He couldn’t believe it.

And I left daycare with a smile on my face too.


  1. Grandma Sue says:

    Great story! I can picture his sweet smiling face.

  2. Love, love. I’m still in awe that you get out of the house in 10 minutes from wake up time…maybe I have some room to trim down what sometimes takes over an hour :)

  3. Mich – that’s if Graham is content to chatter or lull back off to sleep in the mornings, allowing me to get COMPLETELY ready. It’s diaper change, clothing change, teeth-brushing/hair-doing (he does one while I do the other), then march downstairs and out to the car. He eats Cheerios in the car on the way to school, then finishes his snack in the classroom. Such a beautiful thing when it works! Then there’s the mornings that it doesn’t… (and we didn’t get this routine down until just the last month or so!)

  4. I didn’t get a sucker with my shot on Wednesday..just a stupid sticker which I wore proudly all day!

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