There’s a rhino in the room

*Cough* *Cough*
*Sniff* *Sniff*
*Cough* *Cough*

Ah, the sounds of the season. Cold and flu season, that is. As parents try to cover up their sick child by saying, “It’s just allergies”, or “He/she is teething”, truth be told, your kid probably has a cold. Dun dun duuuuun! Lock the doors! Bolt your windows! God forbid you take your cold suffering child out in public. What will the neighbors think?

Don’t mind me, I’m just a working parent with kids in daycare and school, currently dealing with the shunning that comes to cold suffers. I’d like to think I run a tight ship; but in reality, I think at least one of my sails is not tied down properly. I’d call a repair man, but I have a cough – and I’d hate for him to catch my cold. Then again, I send my kids off to school and daycare when they have a cold, so I suppose I could invite the repair man onto this laden ship.

I think I will attached a scarlet colored letter ‘C’ on my chest and the chests of my boys, letting the world know we have colds. Better yet, just for me, I’ll attach scarlet colored ‘B’ and ‘M’ letters on my chest for ‘Bad Mom’; yeah – BM – I’m sure that would go over well.

Before I go too far on my rant (or have I already reached that point?), I’ll share some verbiage I found on WebMD:

“A little sniffle. A slight cough. “I don’t feel good,” says your child. Should this kid stay home, go to school, or go to the doctor immediately?

Usually, if your child has cold symptoms, the deciding factor is whether she has a fever too, experts say. If there’s no fever, it’s probably just a cold. So long as your child feels pretty healthy otherwise, it’s fine to send her off to school.

Children with bad coughs need to stay home and possibly see a doctor. It could be a severe cold or possibly bronchitis, flu, or pneumonia. But when the cough improves and the child is feeling better, then it’s back to school. Don’t wait for the cough to disappear entirely — that could take a week or longer!

This BM has no intention of keeping her kids out of school or daycare, while they battle their colds and are free from fevers or other infections. A cold is not also known as ‘common cold’ because it is some rare and deadly virus. Though I do understand, a common cold can lead to more serious illnesses such as croup. Croup is not a friendly virus. Croup is down right scary, and it is something my family has dealt with on several occasions. Rest assured, if the croup cough is heard, we take steps to isolate our kids from others. But a cold? Buckle up Betty, because my kid is going to daycare/school, and he may even sit by your child. Mwahahahahaa

And don’t waste your time asking me where I think my child found this lovely rhinovirus (or other cold virus). This BM is not on a mission to find the source of the virus. A wise teacher once told me, trying to pinpoint the source is like going on a witch hunt. Germs and bacteria are all around us. If the mail person is sick, she can transfer her germs onto the mailbox handle and the mail itself. If the UPS man is sick, he can transfer his germs as he smiles and passes you your latest purchase from QVC. And, let’s not even think about the grocery stores. Face it. You are surrounded. Surrounded. You should probably just stay in bed and keep your kids in their room.

Perhaps we could all travel in zones, just like airports have zones for various modes of transportation.
The Green Zone is for the healthy people of the world, who carry no bacteria, viruses or germs: Please breathe freely in the Green Zone.
The White Zone is for the people of the world who carry bacteria, viruses or germs. Please do not breathe in the White Zone.

(God help the person who is on the moving sidewalk in the Green Zone, when they cough or sneeze.)

My apologies if I sound cranky. It’s probably just allergies.

Itching With Inspiration

I am itching with inspiration. Itching. And the inspiration comes from an actual itch and Facebook. The itch can be scratched. Facebook? It will be the death of me, if I don’t learn to keep quiet.

I find myself funny; unfortunately, I don’t keep the ‘funny’ to myself. (I don’t keep anything to myself.) Moreover, as I share what I find funny, I soon realize the rest of the world does not see things the way I see things. Amazing. Really, it’s a shame. Poor, poor world. I have a friend that says ‘you might as well laugh as cry’, and I try to remember that sentiment when things get crazy.

Yesterday, I posted what I thought was a funny poem on my Facebook status. “Too much info I sometimes share; here’s an example in case you care, My kid Joe does not have rabies. Nah. Instead this kid has scabies.” Well, the humor in my poem went over like a lead balloon. *THUD* (Actually, my neighbor found it funny, as she literally called me on the phone seconds after I posted the status.)

Other Facebook friends? Not so much. One FB friend, who has a child in my son’s daycare class, proceeded to contact the daycare provider. She was not amused with my mentioning my child and scabies in the same poem. [I admit, ‘scabies’ sounds horrible.] She wanted to request my child not be allowed back into daycare until the scabies was cured. Ok. Fine. I understand her concern. I understand her wanting to protect her child, as well as the other children in the class. But – Charlie was not the one with a rash. In fact, Charlie is rash free.

Again, I understand the Mom’s concern. As a Mom, I experience the same concerns, and I certainly don’t want to expose other little ones to my sick little ones. However, as a Mom of two, my knee-jerk response to illnesses has lessened. Greatly.

When my oldest was a newborn and throughout his first three years, I freaked whenever he was sick and/or was thought to have been exposed to someone else who was sick. I freaked to the point of becoming a freak. (Rumor has it I am still a freak, but for other reasons.) Then, when I had my second child, I found I freaked less. I found juggling childcare and my paid gig was tough, especially when a child was sick and had to stay home. Hmm . . . maybe the kid isn’t sick. Maybe he just has allergies. No fever. He’s fine. Off to daycare you go.

Yes,  juggling work and two kids eased my freaky “Oh my gosh! My kid is sick! Quick! We must go to the Urgent Care Center STAT!” nature. Juggling parenthood and employment eased my freaky “What do you mean he was exposed to chickenpox? What kind of Mom takes their child out in public when they have chickenpox? Argh!” nature. Just like being a Mom of two eased my “He fell! Is he breathing? Is there blood? Do we have to go to the ER?” knee-jerk reaction. Now, if one of my two falls the reaction is more like, “I can’t see any blood from here. Shake it off. Rub it. Move along.”

I admit, my neighbor and I still call each other (immediately) when we fear one of our little ones is battling a scary illnesses or has just experienced a serious bonk of some sort. She and I will talk each other off the ‘freaking out’ ledge.

Back to the rash. I’ve discussed Charlie’s lack of rash, which brings me to Joe. Joe doesn’t have scabies. However, the pediatrician thought it best he (and Charlie) be treated for scabies because our neighbor’s kids had scabies. The rash on Joe’s arm is actually dermatitis, and we are treating it with a steroid cream. Still, last night, we did the scabies treatment, too, which consists of lathering the child in a special cream before bed and washing the cream off in the morning. Treatment also includes washing sheets, towels, etc. Done, done and done. Joe is enjoying a normal day at school, and Charlie is enjoying a not-so-normal day at home.

And Scabies? Yeah, it’s a scary name for a mite that is similar to lice. Scabies mites typically thrive on the body below the neck, whereas lice thrive on the scalp. Scabies is far easier to treat than lice; plus, unless you are sharing a bed or rolling around naked with someone suffering Scabies, Scabies is harder to transmit than lice. You can access the MayoClinc’s website for information about Scabies by clicking here.

I’ll work harder on keeping things to myself, while holding my humor in check. Still, tonight I may have to create a new poem for my FB status; many words rhyme with ‘flu’.