Jab! Jab! Jab!

Yep, that’s what they call immunizations over here in London. So because I try really hard to sound like a local (saying things like “put that in the bin, darling,”) that’s exactly what I asked for yesterday. As soon as we got called in to see our pediatrician (or paediatrician to be exact) I sat the girls down and announced to their doctor, “Hi, we’re here for our flu jabs!” Actually first I said hello and inquired as to his health, seeing as how I’m exceedingly polite around the man responsible for my childrens’ health. But then I demanded our jabs.

And let me tell you, he did not disappoint! Poor little Eva had come running in calling, “I first!” Little did the silly darling, ahem, I mean dopey kid realize. She looked a bit hesitant when the cold spray hit her leg but then she didn’t even cry. Or at least she didn’t have time to before I shoved an M&M in her mouth.

Then it was Zoe’s turn. She found the whole thing mildly amusing until the bandage went on. That was apparently very upsetting, having a sticky piece of tape on her body. But she got over it within seconds, M&M’s notwithstanding.

Oh, did I mention that I had mine a few weeks back and their dad got his at the office? Yes, we are a family unified by flu shots.

So, just in case you were wondering if you should make that appointment, thinking maybe this year it would be too much trouble, wishing you knew what Dr. Zibners thought of the flu shot, there you go. I believe in protecting not only my family from flu but making sure we don’t cause serious illness or even death in anyone else who might not have been well enough or old enough to get his own shot.

The CDC estimates the annual death rate from influenza to be between 3000 and 49,000 people a year in the United States. Okay, I admit that is a ridiculous range, but their best guess is made difficult since many people who die from the flu have other health problems or were never actually tested for influenza before they died. In other words, this is no joke. The flu is not a runny nose for a week. It is serious stuff.

And I am also completely serious when I say that I actually carried two bags of M&Ms with me to the pediatrician’s office, knowing full well that he usually keeps his own bag in his top desk drawer. I wasn’t taking any chances. I thought it was more than fair that they get rewarded for their mother’s stubbornness with chocolate. Twas the least I could do. That and to call it a trash can.

Now go get jabbed.

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