Sunday, February 12, 2012

I would like... punch another parent in the face right now. I rarely feel this way. Unless you are doing something to endanger your kid I am basically eh, to each their own. This parenting gig is hard enough without other people telling you that you're doing it wrong.

Norah had her school Valentine's Day party on Friday. We made valentines for her friends. Cute, right?

Since she only goes a half-day on Fridays, I picked her up after lunch and then took her back at 3:00. I was one of about eight parents (roughly 50%) that were there for the party. It was cute and the kids seemed to have a good time having snacks and exchanging valentines. There was one little girl, S, who was not having a good time. That would be because she was face down on the table with dripping eyes, a dripping nose, a dripping mouth, and a cough that made her sound as though she should be in a tuberculosis ward. Fantastic, especially given the fact that I can pretty much guarantee Norah played with her all morning. For some reason, her teachers seemed to not notice the hacking or the fact that a lot of the other kids seemed to have picked up a bit of a cough as well. At one point one of the other moms said that she should have brought respiratory masks instead of baby carrots. S's mom picked her up as we were getting our stuff ready to leave and at least appeared to be unconcerned at her daughter's current state of being very, very sick.

I did my best to run interference between Norah and the afflicted, but sure as shit, by Saturday afternoon she had developed some major congestion and a raspy smoker's cough. At dinner she had such a bad coughing fit that her dinner ended up on her dress, the table, the floor, and in my hands (gross, right?) By 1:00 am she was at the side of my bed because she couldn't catch her breath due to the coughing and her sore throat. (BVZ was already in the guest bedroom, having been banished for Nyquil induced snoring). We were up from 1:00 to about 4:00 am, taking steam showers and sipping mugs of warm water with honey. I probably got a full cough to my face at least 73 times.

Look, I get it. Having a sick kid when you have to go to work is the worst. The school guidelines are that you have to keep your kid home for barfing, the runs, or a fever, but everything else is pretty much left to the discretion of the parents. When working full time I had the luxury of a flexible schedule and paid time off. That was essential because BVZ did not have a flexible schedule and it would have been incredibly difficult for him to stay home with a sick kid. Not impossible of course, but very difficult. With no family in the area at the time, our options were pretty limited. I can only speculate as to why this mom sent her kid to school so very sick. Maybe she's a single mom without anyone to help. Maybe she doesn't get paid if she doesn't work and the loss of even a single day makes a huge financial impact. If you keep your kid home you still have to pay the school, so it's a huge double whammy. Maybe she doesn't understand the basic concept of how quickly a virus can travel amongst pre-schoolers.

Regardless of her reasons, her actions now have far reaching consequences. I guarantee at least half of the kids in Norah's class are now as sick as she is. I guarantee that Louis will get sick too and likely get another ear infection, which means weeks of doctor visits, co-pays, forcing antibiotics down his throat, and many more sleepless nights. It also means that Reid will probably get sick as well, and who knows who else (I already have a scratchy throat). I am empathetic to anyone who feels caught between a rock and a hard place. Really, I am. I just hate that in this particular situation her problem has now become my very big, dripping, snotty problem.

(It would seem as though Norah has inherited my uncanny ability to close her eyes in just about every picture she's in).


Natalie said...

I completely agree with everything you said. I'd also like to point out that a lot of adults do this too. They go to work or just out in public really sick. One of my nurses in the hospital came in for her shift sick. Really? In a hospital? Stay home!

Maryellen said...

What a bummer!

JAMS' HOUSE said...

Punch her.