This afternoon I picked the girls up from school and headed straight to the drug store to purchase Starlight Mints for Meredith. Although she’s no longer contagious, her cough is so annoying that her teacher sent her to the nurse’s office this afternoon for a cough drop. Because the nurse isn’t allowed to give medicine that hasn’t been prescribed by a physician (I had a blanket prescription written at the beginning of the school year that covered Tylenol and Tums, but I totally zoned on cough drops.), Meredith was given a Starlight Mint and sent on her merry way.
And a merry way it was. Meredith LOVES the mints. She has never had hard candy before, which probably blows your mind. Or maybe it doesn’t. Here. Let me tell you why my kids have never had hard candy before: Once, when Meredith was a year old, she choked on a tiny cracker in the back seat of the car. And it scared the crap out of me to the extent that I rarely give anyone (including Jeff) foods with high choke potential. I don’t allow the girls to have gum. They cannot eat popcorn unless a drink is nearby. Most importantly, no clove cigarettes.
As I was saying, Meredith LOVES the mints. And because coughing kids break my heart, I threw caution to the wind, put on my Laissez Faire hat (it sparkles!), and drove straight to the drug store to load up. While there, I noticed that the pharmacy was offering flu shots for $24.99. What a bargain! Maybe?! I don’t know!
Me: Hey! Girls! Do you want to see Mommy get a shot?!
Harper: Will it be in your butt?
I grabbed the forms from the pharmacist, was baited and switched with “We are currently out of the $24.99 version, but can we interest you in the much prettier $29.99 version? It contains no preservatives!”
Me: I’ll take the pretty one! After all, it’s not MY money, it’s my HUSBAND’S money! And he doesn’t want me to get sick, because if I’m sick, Who Will Cook the Lasagna?!
(The lasagna is in the oven Right Now. It’s vegetarian, and is loaded with peas and mushrooms. My windows are cracked, so that’s what you’re smelling. It’s a soft food, you know. No choke potential. Stress-free dinner.)
A few minutes later, the pharmacist called the girls and I into the back room for the shot.
Pharmacist: Let’s talk about your fever and vomiting.
Me: Gosh, I can’t remember the last time I threw up, and I know I don’t have a fever.
Pharmacist: On the form you just filled out, you checked Yes to “I have had a fever or vomited in the past 24 hours.”
Me: How weird! I have no recollection of checking the Yes box. That pen must have been sort of like a Ouija board but not really!
Pharmacist (who apparently works in a position where there’s not much room for joking around): Have you had a fever or thrown up in the past 24 hours?
Me (totally sober now): No, Ma’am.
Pharmacist (who knows she can’t trust me as far as she can throw me, and I outweigh her by at least twenty pounds): Do you suffer from Guillain-Barre syndrome?
Pharmacist (Wait! She’s asking me all of the questions from the form! She probably thinks I don’t know how to read. Sometimes the illiterate are really good fakers, as evidenced by several made for television movies!): Are you allergic to eggs?
Me: I will not eat them on a train.
So, here I sit. The lasagna will be ready in fifteen minutes, and I’ve been vaccinated. And I hesitate to tell you this, but my kids have been vaccinated, too. Some of you think that’s fine, but some of you CAPS LOCK DO NOT THINK THAT’S FINE. And that’s what makes the world a special place, don’t you think? We’re all just doing our best, it’s just that some people believe they are doing it Better Than Others.
Today I give thanks for the Canadians.