Ruby walked out into the waiting room with a big red sucker in her hand.
"You've done such a good job today, Ruby," the doctor complimented. "Max!" he called. "It's your turn!"
In the waiting room, the healthy kids had the option to play with toys while they waited for their turn. Max had taken advantage of that and played with a firetruck on the floor. He was having so much fun he didn't want to leave, but it wouldn't be nice to keep the doctor waiting.
Max stepped into the examining room. Up on the walls was wallpaper themed like the beach and ocean, and drawings from the other kids that they had made for the doctor.
"How tall are you getting, Max?" the doctor asked. "Why don't you stand with your back to the wall for me?" After measuring Max, the doctor wrote something down on his clipboard. "I see you've gotten a bit taller since last time! Have you been eating your vegetables?"
"Only because Ruby and my parents make me," Max stated, his voice a bit grumpy.
The doctor laughed. "I'll tell you a little secret: I'm no fan of vegetables either, but my wife makes me eat them anyway."
Max smiled at that comment while the doctor turned the scale on.
"Go ahead and step up." Writing down the weight, he added, "that's a good weight for a growing bunny."
The doctor patted the examining table, which Max climbed up on. He liked the sound of crinkly paper getting squashed beneath him as he sat down on it.
First, the doctor used a stethoscope to check on Max's heart, a thermometer to check on his temperature, and a blood pressure cuff to check on his blood pressure.
"Say 'ah'." The doctor said as he used a wooden tongue suppressor to check on the inside of Max's mouth and throat. "Your throat and tonsils look fine, but have you been brushing your teeth, young man?"
"Erm…" Max blushed, a little embarrassed. "...maybe not...every day..."
Max shrugged. "Sometimes I forget."
The doctor washed his gloved hands. "Maybe you should keep a post-it note or some kind of reminder on your mirror so you don't. I don't see any cavities yet, but you may want to brush that plaque off before you have to visit the dentist, too! Other than that, I'd say you're quite healthy, Max!"
"Do I get my lollipop now?" Max asked, sliding down from the examining table.
"Not just yet; there's just one more thing we need to do before you go: you need to get a flu shot so you're less likely to catch it."
Max froze, ears flattened.
"Oh, now now, don't need to be scared. Just wait here while I go and get it."
Max could have sworn he had every intention to sit there, wait for the doctor to come back and get the shot over with...but instead his feet took place of his brain and he ran from the examination room, back into the waiting room, and out into the hallway the doctor's office was in.
Panting heavily, Max was shaking and holding his stomach, suddenly feeling very nauseous.
"Max?" Ruby poked her head out of the door. "What's wrong?"
"I can't go back in there, Ruby!"
"He's going to give me a shot!"
"A flu shot?" Ruby asked.
"You have to, Max. It's to keep you healthy."
"I know but...needles are just so pointy and scary!"
"I've had my flu shot," Ruby rolled up her sleeve to reveal a pink princess band-aid. "All I felt was a pinch, and then it was over. You know," she pulled her sleeve back down, "I think they even had Super Bunny band-aids."
"Mm-hm. You even get a lollipop when you're done!"
Max looked down at the floor and rubbed his arm nervously. "...Ruby?"
"...Would you stay with me while I get my shot?"
"Of course! Now, come on: this won't take long at all."
"Welcome back, Max!" the doctor greeted him. "Are you ready?"
"As I'll ever be."
"That's the spirit!"
Sitting back on the examining table, Max could barely look as the doctor unwrapped the needle from its plastic case.
"I'll hold your hand if you want," Ruby offered.
Without thinking, Max grabbed her hand.
"Excited 'bout that lollipop, Max?" the doctor asked.
"Yea-OUCH!" Max squeezed his eyes tight as he felt the needle go into his arm. The sharp, stabbing pain became a dull ache when it was removed.
"Ruby tells me you like Super Bunny. Would you like a Super Bunny band-aid?"
Max nodded eagerly, and a band-aid of Super Bunny flying through the sky was placed on his arm.
Max chose a blue lollipop on his way back to the waiting room.
"I'm so proud of you, Max!" Ruby praised. "You didn't even cry!"
"Well, I wasn't so scared when you were there, Ruby," he said, hugging her.
Ruby smiled. "Come on. Time to go home."
"See you next time!" the doctor called as the siblings walked out of the office.