On Saturday, the girls and I babysat for our friends' 9-month-old son, Derek. We got out some of our old baby toys and wiped them down thoroughly with Lysol wipes (kills 99.9% of flu germs!) Lucy and Elaine couldn't wait for him to get here. As soon as he did, they got right up in his face and talked non-stop and showed him all the toys. Then they each wanted to hold him on their laps.
Note the look of quiet desperation in his eyes...
Then, because it was practically a summer day out, we unearthed our old umbrella stroller and took him for a long walk through the neighborhood. Note that we have a NASCAR-sponsored stroller. Darren bought it--surprise. I used to have to wheel my dainty little girls around it. At least now we had something on-hand for a little boy to ride in that's not frilly or pink.
The girls took turns pushing him. Lucy said, "I wish he was our own secret baby brother." Elaine said, "I want a cat."
I gave him his bottle for lunch, Elaine gave him his green beans, and Lucy fed him his applesauce. He ate it all and then obligingly went to sleep until his mother came to pick him up. "Let's tell her she can go on vacation, and we'll keep Derek for the whole week!" Lucy said.
In the meantime, I found out that our county will be holding a seasonal flu shot clinic today, so I planned to take the girls after school. Then I also found out that Lucy's school will be giving the first installment of the H1N1 vaccine today, so she won't be able to get the seasonal one yet. I also discovered that the school wanted all the parents to be there with their kids while they got the shot. Isn't that why we sent them to school? So they can pick up some of those unpleasant parenting jobs?
Anyway, I dutifully showed up in the school gym this morning promptly at 8:45, which had been transformed into a simulacrum of hell. Needles and bawling kids and piercing screams and parents with their heads buried in their hands. I sat down with a book and pretended to read while I waited for Lucy's class to come in.
She finally arrived, and I went over to her. Her bottom lip was already trembling. "I'm so scared, Mommy," she whispered as we got our forms ready.
"I promise it's no big deal, Luce. It'll feel kind of like if you poke yourself with a pine needle. And I just saw something so funny--I saw Mr. Smith (the assistant principal) getting HIS flu shot!" All of this soothing motivation was akin to polishing the brass on the Titanic. We might as well just sing "Nearer My God to Thee" and accept that there's no lifeboat for us.
The two nurses and I held her and talked her through the 5 seconds it took, then she got her obligatory lollipop and Barbie sticker. I gave her a little chocolate too because Dum-dums can't soothe like Rolos can--everybody knows that.
Now I have this afternoon's seasonal shot with Elaine to look forward to. May the force be with me. I'll leave you with our pictures from last week when we visited Emily's kittens as kind of a distraction.
Look, sad, screaming children, cute kitties!