Ellis had to get his flu shot this week. Like most little ones, Ellis hates shots. The only thing he likes doing at the doctor’s office is watching the buses go by outside the window. I knew it was finally time to ride the bus.

Our normal outing looks like this:



But we went to the big city (Chapel Hill) and Ellis got to ride the bus for the first time. It was thrilling for him.


The city buses are free! (Thanks Chapel Hill). For a boy who loves all things that go, the journey is definitely better than the destination. So we rode the bus, hopped off and got some noodles … and got right back on another bus. Ellis could have ridden the bus all day. When we were walking back to the car he yelled “come back here bus” to each one we passed.


Parenting is a lot like riding the bus. It isn’t really about where you are going, it is all about how you are getting there. Before kids, getting a flu shot was just another quick errand.

Now, it is much more of an event.

First we have to drive to the thrift store to pick out a special toy (a rubber shark). We then have to pack back into the car. Use the potty. Arrive at the doctor’s office early so we can ride the elevator a few times. Sit in the waiting room and give pretend shots to the new shark and to baby brother for good measure. Go back into the exam room. Count the buses that go by out the window (3). Get the flu shot. Cry. Go pick a special toy out of the treasure box. Also get a sticker. Ride the elevator two more times. Go across the street to the grocery store to pick out the biggest cookie they have. Purchase said cookie and brag a little to the checker that Ellis just got his flu shot. Go outside to sit in the grass and eat giant cookie and watch buses go by. Wait two extra minutes to hear the bells chime.

That one little errand turns into a big production, but that is where all the living is with a toddler. Bus rides and flu shots are the big things of life lived with a little one.