Snot Police

We all know kids are leaky, germy little petri dishes, and in a daycare there are dozens of little “patient zeros” for every kind of bug, cold, flu and virus in existence. Not only is your kid going to get sick, but he is going to be a carrier of all that crap and cause you to get sick. Without developing debilitating, germ-related OCD, there is almost no way to avoid it.

I know there are lots of people who get great peace of mind from a strict regimen of hand santizer, twice-hourly hand scrubbing and avoiding physical contact with anything or anybody. And maybe that works for them. If they actually avoid getting sick, more power to them.

I just don’t have that kind of stamina. I play the numbers. The way I figure it, if I allow myself to experience emotional anguish over the thought of human contact, and spend a significant amount of time battling situations that could possibly lead to exposure to sickness, I’m letting the germs win, anyway.

We wash our hands regularly, maintain clean eating surfaces, try to avoid the most peaked looking kiddos, wipe down shopping carts and take vitamin c.

I’m not being cavalier, this is my prevention plan for two parents with office jobs in suburbia USA. If we lived in a plague infested area or one of worked in a biological waste dump, I’d like to think I’d handle things differently.

As it is, I understand that my kid is not always going to be eating food off of surfaces designed for food service. I also understand that he, as a boy, will go from washing his hands to (for example) touching the cats butt in the blink of an eye, and I’m not always going to catch him. Sure, I’ve considered loading a squirt gun with Purell and hosing him down every few minutes, but I’m doing what I can to keep him from being weird.

His school, THE source of all of his illnesses, has a very strict policy for sick kids. Which is HILARIOUS because, did I mention it is the source of all of his illnesses. My husband and I both work in small offices, and we have absolutely no social life. Given that we don’t regularly come into contact with the drool of our colleagues or people on the street, we have to assume, when one of us comes down with something, that little drippy red-eyed kid in Chris’s class is the source. But somehow we end up being the criminals if we try to send our guy in with a runny nose. Fevers, I get. Spots, sure, but having a runny nose? Mucous is like a toddler’s career.

Never in my life, could I imagine that I would have lengthy, heated negotiations about the consistency and color of snot, given my chosen profession as a business writer.

Your son has a runny nose

Yeah, he got it when the other 7 kids in his class has a runny nose.

Well, I looked at it, and it’s cloudy.

You looked at…? Um….I thought it just couldn’t be green.

It’s green-ish.

So what, now I have to hold a paint-chip up to my kid’s mucous in the morning? Most of the times, it’s not even running when I drop him off. I don’t know how to predict what’s going to come out of there during the day, heck I’m exhausted from just making sure things don’t go IN there. I didn’t even know this was something I was going to have to think about. Now, I have to be all tactical, so I can avoid censure by the Snotzis.

If I give him nose drops and Triaminic an hour before school, that should stop the running until after lunch. Best case scenario, I only have to take a half day.