Our pediatrician's office has a "sick" waiting room and a "well" waiting room, an arrangement, which, in theory, would keep the germs away from the well kids. They aren't really separate rooms; they're more like one big room partially divided by a low wall. The sick waiting room is equipped with a giant flat-screen TV showing "Cars", shelves of brand new children's books, and a table heaped with every toy imaginable.
The well waiting room has, like, two ripped up paperback books and one of those "wooden beads on a bendy wire" toys. I don't know the official name of this toy, but all parents must know what I am talking about. This is always the toy you see in waiting rooms at doctor's offices, banks, etc. I've never actually seen this toy in anyone's home or in a toy store. It must come from a waiting-room-supply catalog. It's probably the least exciting toy ever.
Of course, WCK never wants to wait in the well room. She was drawn to the sick waiting room like a moth to a flame. While I was at the check-in desk trying to dig out the insurance card and co-pay, she was already at the sick table, playing with a Disney Mr. Potato Head. (It had mouse ears). I thought, "Ah, I don't want to be one of those paranoid parents. What's the worst that could happen?" I let her keep on playing with the sick toys. In my defense, I knew that within five minutes she would announce that she had to go "pee." Going pee in public never involves actual pee. It involves finding a restroom, checking out the inside of the restroom, and then washing hands. I was right. Five minutes later, the restroom was inspected, and her hands were washed.
Apparently, the hand-washing was not enough. Today, she has some kind of Martian Death Flu. She's been running a fever and either sleeping or watching "The Land Before Time" all day. I called the doctor's office, and the nurse said not to worry unless the fever goes over 105 or she gets dehydrated. So far, she's fine on those counts.
Now I know why the sick room has the good toys: Repeat business for the doctor's office. Very clever.