‘Tis that time of year once again. Time for…. The Sicky Ickies. Every fall my kiddos have fallen prey to the germs of their peers, spread especially well by sneezers who lack arm control, goober pickers, and snack sharers. Sprinkled about a classroom, to the naked eye these little joyful children appear innocent enough. Look a bit closer and you will begin to see a parent’s worst nightmare. You will see… a cesspool of unrelenting germs hell bent on causing tummy trouble, ear infections, pink eye, the flu… you name it, they got it. Now that we’re talking about it, can you excuse me, please? Just gotta wash these hands REAL quick.
Our oldest child’s teacher requested some Clorox wipes and you can bet your bippy I sent in two containers the next morning. ANYTHING we can do to prevent The Sicky Ickies in our home, we do. I am definitely not a germaphobe in a lot of ways. Even as a registered nurse, I know that exposure to some germs is necessary to building a strong immune system. I share food with my kids and don’t care if they double dip in the community ketchup. A little dirt on their hands and clothing will not hurt them. Around the end of summer though, I step up my germ game to pro status. I just taught him, and yet my three year old can wash his hands better than most surgical technicians. My oldest has a slightly exaggerated fear of germs and I am not ashamed that I have played on that a bit recently in order to gain some cooperation.
Son: “Hey, Mom? What happens if I don’t brush my teeth?”
Me: “Well, son. Your teeth may fall out and you’ll get the bubonic plague. Poor Timmy from down the street. RIP, ‘Timmy who didn’t brush his teeth’.”
Me: “Yeah, pretty sure he didn’t take his vitamin or clean his room, either. Might wanna get on that, bro.”
This year my youngest has gotten a bad cold twice already, most conveniently on the weekends. You know, the kind of cold bad enough to kill the relaxing weekend vibe, but good enough to return your little dude back to school on Monday. Nothing crazy. However, this is the first year that my oldest has NOT gotten The Sicky Ickies yet (I am SO knocking on wood right now). I’m thrilled because I feel like now that he is becoming a big kid, we may be past that snot-nosed, germ sharing glory of the preschool years with this one. Hallelujah! I also feel like because I just typed that, I have doomed his fate and the Sicky Ickies are now imminent. (Nurses don’t say the ‘Q’ word until they have punched out and are off their shift completely. It’s a thing.)
As I am typing this, my youngest laughs maniacally and literally coughs directly INTO my open mouth. Sometimes I do slack a bit on the germ front with my kids precisely because of things like this. No one tells you they will literally cough into your mouth, wipe snot on your new sweater, and vomit into your hair. It is truly disgusting. And we put up with it, because we love those little walking viral incubators.
Take your vitamins, wash your hands, and remain diligent, dear parents. I currently possess only a mild cold this week and it has been a pain in my @*$. It is easy to forget that we can also catch the Sicky Ickies, and when we do that it makes the sick child experience go nuclear. Pretty hard to take care of your sick child while you are shaking with a fever and diarrhea – not a pretty situation for anyone. Hopefully this season of the Sicky Ickies passes quickly and avoids your home… and mine.
I may actually hand out hand sanitizer and flu shots on Halloween.