I planned and executed a covert military operation. Well, at least that is what it felt like. I took my kids to get flu shots. I can’t tell them where we are going in advance. I drove an alternate route to the doctor’s office. Some people say you need to be honest with your children. “It is the only way to build trust.” Hogwash. Do you tell your kids they look like homeless clowns when they dress themselves? No, you lie and compliment their outfit. Do you tell your child their singing makes you want to stab your eardrum with forks? No, you listen to her sing “Let it Go” over and over again, applauding each time.
I made the rookie mistake of being honest once. My son asked, “Am I getting a shot? Mom, mom, mom, mom am I getting a shot? Is the doctor giving me a shot? Mom, mom, mom I don’t have to get a shot do I? Do I need a shot? I don’t want to get a shot. Do I have to get a shot? Will I? Mom, will I get one? Mom, mom, mom……”
I told the truth. Do you know what happened? My son cried in the house and refused to get in the car. I had to peel his fingers off the door knob. (Children either get Superman like strength when they don’t want to do something or they turn into a wet noodle. Either way it becomes a struggle.) Then, he cried on the way to the doctor’s office, in the waiting room and in the exam room. In fact, he tried to hide under a chair. He wailed while he got the shot and afterward. I was sweating like Hillary Clinton during a congressional hearing on the Benghazi attack.
So, this time I channeled Pinocchio. I told them we were going to the office because my son needed a physical. That part was true, but I refused to answer the question about the shot. Once we arrived at the office I distracted the kids and whispered to the receptionist, “Don’t say anything about the s-h-o-t.” They grew suspicious, but I dodged each grenade thrown my way. I filled out the forms on the sly. The nurse knew the plan. She got the needles ready without anyone seeing anything. They didn’t have time to freak out. There were a few tears, but it was over before a major meltdown. I wanted to stand on the exam table and scream “Victory is mine!”