I’m Officially “That” Person

September 12, 2008 6:53 am

When my son was born, we went into full-on First Child Mode. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about, you did it too. We washed our hands a thousand times a day, we kept Germ-X by every doorway and made our visitors lube up with it before entering the house, even if they weren’t planning on touching the baby. It was so bad, we even refused to take the poor kid out in public.

Graham was about two months old when I finally ventured out into the world. Our first trip was to the mall, I went with a friend to get a bite to eat and escape the confines of the house. My guard was up the entire time, I was scanning every surface like I could see the Outbreak Monkey heading our way. While walking through the mall, a woman TOTALLY TURNED HER HEAD TO POINT IT TOWARD MY NEWBORN SON and let out a hacking cough. I did what any good mother would do, I yelled at the woman “COVER YOUR MOUTH” then rushed away once I realized I had just yelled in a complete stranger’s face. Friends and loved ones joked about the seriousness that our germ-fighting measures involved, but I didn’t care. I had this fragile little baby to take care of and I wasn’t about to let some jackass get him sick.

Graham is now twenty months old. He survived his infancy (thanks to Germ-X) and is a happy and healthy child. He recently started school and with that came a whole new set of germs. When I picked him up from school on Tuesday, he had developed a nice little cough. I asked his teacher what the protocol is for sick kids at school and she told me “if you kept him home every time he got sick, he would never be at school. Bring him in on Thursday.” A quick trip to the doctor revealed that Graham’s earache had resurfaced and that he had a pretty nice cold as well. Jamie and I decided that we would play it by ear on Thursday and depending on how he felt, bring him back to school.

When Thursday morning came, Graham sounded terrible. I decided to keep him home with his sister and me. Believe me, I wanted to send him to school (six Graham-free hours a week is all I get, come on!) but I just couldn’t send him in good conscience. We bummed around the house all day but were getting stir crazy by mid-afternoon. When a friend called and invited us to the mall, I jumped at the chance. I warned her that my kids were sick and she gave me the all clear so off we went.

Walking through the mall, I noticed that Graham’s cough seemed much worse. Louder, somehow than when we left the house. I’m sure I was just imagining things but he really was coughing a lot. We walked over to Baby Gap and Graham let out a pretty decent coughing fit. I was holding my hand over his mouth and looked around to notice SEVERAL people with strollers giving me the eye. Somehow, I had transformed into that person, the one with Patient Zero in tow getting everyone sick.

Until Graham is feeling better, I’ve decided that we’re in quarantine. No more school, parks, mall or Gymboree. It’s the only way I’ll be able to sleep at night, knowing that I’m doing my part to keep the world germ-free. Am I the only one out there who takes other people’s health into account when I have plague-spreading potential at my camp?

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  1. Miss Jack

    Oh, you KNOW my take on this one! Keep him home! He’ll get better FAST if he’s home relaxing and taking it easy. We’re on day six. The runny noses seem to have subsided but, there is still a slight cough. I did send J back to school on Wednesday. He had no fever and the live virus he had was not contagious anymore. Plus, the BIG factor….he was feeling better. Better enough to be running around the house asking his dad to chase him. That was when I knew he was better. Take heed, the cabin fever won’t last long and Graham WILL get better.

  2. Cyndi

    Laughing tears at the moment – I was THAT mom, too and just recently thinking about how times had changed when I let one of them eat something that fell onto the park picnic table (that I had not cleaned or put one of those sticky placemats on 😉 )
    Their second day of preschool we got a note about Fifth Disease – sheesh! I’m hoping we have a more balanced approach to germies now, but I also try to limit the headaches (for us and others) when I can.

  3. Krystal

    yeah, i actually am THAT mom – but not by choice. My sons’teacher knows how hard it is at home so unless the kids are running a fever, she keeps them in the class and lets them lay down so I don’t have to pick them up early. Once we have them home, then they stay home until they are better.

    Thanks for the comment – you are more than welcome!

  4. HeatherPride

    My husband and I were pretty much the last couple in his familiy to have children, so when my first was born, we had a slew of funky, slimy, germy toddlers and preschoolers just waiting to ooze all over him. Now, provided that he was born with a condition called esophageal malacia (in which his esophagus was not fully developed) and the doctor warned us that he was NOT to be around sick people because if he got sick it would be VERY SERIOUS, I was outraged when my husband’s relatives would show up at our home with their runny-nosed children. The worst offenders in my experience without question, were relatives. I’m still steamed over it. (you can probably tell.)

  5. Christy

    I think I might have you beat on this one, b/c not only did I do all that crazy hand washing and Lysol shit when my oldest daughter was a baby? I also washed all of her toys EVERY NIGHT after she went to bed!

    Now, I mostly figure if my kids just have colds, for the most part their fine; if they have a fever I keep them home. As a mom, you know what to do and it sounds like your instsincts are just fine! 🙂

  6. mrsbear

    I try really hard not to be THAT mom, but as long as my kids aren’t dripping funk or running a temp, I’ll set them loose on the world. My son’s had a cough for a little over a week now, he knows to cover his mouth with the crook of his arms to contain whatever is flying out. If I kept him home from school ever time he coughed…well, I’d have to teach him something cause I think that’s called homeschooling.

  7. April

    thank you.

    thank you, for deciding to go the quarantine route. i let my kids play on the pay toys at the mall last week (without quarters mwhahahaha) and a little boy came over and practically left his lung in my son’s lap. needless to say, our entire family now has the plague.

    i have some very not nice things to say to that little boy’s mother if i ever see her again.

    Aprils last blog post..Saturday (September 13, 2008) & Sunday (September 14, 2008)

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