It’s hard for me to grasp right now that it’s November. It seems like we’ve spent the last two months mired in one illness after another, and this week looks much the same. Baby Genius is slowly recovering from his latest cold, but lo and behold, when my wife woke me to say good bye on her way to work this morning, she sadly informed me that she had caught his cold. I would really prefer not to be next. Really. I’m fairly dismayed at the number of illnesses we’ve got running around here, and I know it won’t get better. BG isn’t even in daycare!
Ah, but it doesn’t have to be daycare, does it? For awhile, BG and I were going to story time at the local library most Tuesdays, and when we didn’t make it, we would pick a day and go to the library just to read. There’s a decent kids’ section where he can crawl around. But in their efforts to make this a kid-friendly zone, the library staff has placed in a box some big blocks. Fabric blocks. Fabric blocks which clearly cannot be disinfected. When we go to the library, BG insists upon getting down to crawl around. You’ll never guess what he goes for first–not in a million years. Okay, I’ll give you a hint: they’re cube-shaped, microbe-soaked toys. Yes, the blocks. And what does Baby Genius do with said blocks? He puts each one in his mouth. In an effort to lighten up and let the kid enjoy life, I often just let him do it, while attempting from time to teach him that blocks don’t go in the mouth. Sadly, my lessons are lost on him, and those microbes? Well, each one of them finds a new home traveling through my son’s immune system.
Then there are the swings. We should be wiping them down, but who remembers to do that when their kid is diving out of their arms?
But the worst of all is our Mu.sic T.ogether class. We sit in a room with lots of other squirmy germy kids, and BG shares their instruments. While there is a “wet basket” for those toys that have been mouthed, this clearly deals with only one source of germy evil. Those instruments that have been handled by the germy kids are the same instrument my kid mouths, and you can see where this cycle goes.
And then there are J’s students. I don’t even know where to begin with them. They are college freshmen living in the petri dish that is dorm life, and while my wife is fastidious with handwashing, there’s only so much one can do.
I know, I know. I’m acting like I’m the first parent in the world whose kid has gotten sick. Frankly, I know I’m lucky that he was sick only once in his first year, and I’m really fortunate that so far he has not had any secondary infections, but I want my boy to be well for awhile. I want my family to be well too, and I don’t want to sequester us in our home forever.
So, what does one do? How do you keep your family healthy with a toddler. Or, are we simply doomed for the next year or two? (please, please tell me I’m not doomed!)