Friday, June 10, 2011

Past Deadline: Stop Licking Doorknobs

Warning: this column is icky.

The winter and spring of 2008 was horrible. Boychild was in Senior Kindergarten and for some reason that year he seemed to pick up every germ going. We dealt with antibiotics, probiotics and every biotic you can think of. Strep throat and Barfies were the highlights. I was losing my mind.

After a reprieve of several years with just the standard fare of occasional ickies in the winter, 2011 – the year Girlchild is in Senior Kindergarten, coincidentally – has come along and totally kicked our butts.

I am losing my mind again.

I am starting to think that my children go to school and lick doorknobs. Or, possibly, I am just The Worst Mother Ever. Whatever the reason, this year has left me with a pretty major complex about keeping my children healthy.

The kids have had so many germs this winter and spring that I have completely lost track of what has come and gone through this house. Groom-boy and I have been relatively unscathed, fortunately, unless you count the stress of trying to figure out who will look after sick kids whilst we are working.

I think we both had the Thing With the Cough, though. That was a fun one. It was one of the ailments that afflicted our short people early in the season. It started out innocently enough – as a cold – but it came with a cough that never seemed to go away. For weeks there was coughing. It sounded like a TB ward – not that I know firsthand what that sounds like.

That was the ailment that got shared with the grown-ups. After all, when one coughs for weeks and weeks, one starts to get lazy and forgets to cough into one’s elbow, thus spreading the Joy throughout the abode.

The Thing With The Cough was tricky, too, because for some people it turned into such nasties as pneumonia or bronchitis. Just ask Nanny. Coincidentally, she got saddled with looking after certain afflicted short people by times. Poor Nanny.

The rest of the horrible winter featured an array of ailments, such as The Thing With The Fever, the Barfies, The Sore Tummy Thing Sans Barfies and, most recently, The Thing With a Fever that Makes You Tired with a Sore Throat. Oh, and I musn’t forget pink eye. Three times for Girlchild and once for Boychild.

“Stop licking doorknobs!” we screeched while doling out vitamins. “Don’t rub your eyes!” we’d shout. “Wash your hands!” we beseeched. “Go to sleep so you can get rid of these things,” we hollered (keeping the swear words carefully in our heads).

My children will never receive a perfect attendance award at school. Not only that, but they couldn’t even coordinate things so they were both off at the same time – they always tag teamed the bugs. Just to keep it interesting, they brought home a wide variety of new and different germs.

Last week was particularly fun. As May steamrolls into June, one would think we’d be past the point of all these stupid germs. I suppose, though, when it is almost constantly raining (or at least seems so), that keeps people inside more than usual in the spring, which gives them ample opportunity to lick doorknobs.

I lived in fear as I heard tales of the latest afflictions circulating around schools and dance classes. There seemed to be a Thing With A Fever that Makes You Tired on the move simultaneously with another round of the incorrigible Barfies.

“Surely we have had those things already,” I thought. “Surely we are already immune to these stupid germs.”

Sure enough, though, Girlchild was felled by The Thing With a Fever that Makes You Tired with a Sore Throat thrown in. And it was the week of her dance recital – the culmination of a year of classes.


I kept her home for the first performance, but she recovered in time for the second. Meanwhile other little dancers were succumbing to the Barfies.

Horrible season, please end!

On the weekend I sprayed the entire house, its contents and the children with Lysol™ and covered them with plastic wrap. The bubble will be installed over the house this week.

Okay. Not really. But I thought about it.
Published in The Perth Courier, June 2/11


andrea frazer said...

IF it's any consolation, my son came home a few months back and barfed like crazy then felt better. I asked him what happened at school. "Nothing. Other than Zoey and I playing KILL THE ZOMBIES and whoever lost had to lick the pavement."

Steph said...

HA! I love it. Not the barfing part....