Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dear Selfish Parent..ok, maybe you are just ignorant.

This is going to tick off someone but I'm ticked off . Go write your rebuttal on your own blog that I won't get to read because I am busy following my 3 yr old around with a whoopie bucket when he coughs.

Dear Alex's Mom,

Thank you for sending your child who had croup THE NIGHT BEFORE to preschool with my son last week. I hope that you really needed that 2 hrs of solitude and the letter L was so compelling to your son that he just had to go to school that day. Instead of sitting at home, drinking whatever hot beverage he will consume while watching entirely too much Nick Jr, he was playing with my son. My healthy son. During Sharing Time they exchanged not stories of the weekend, but germs. My sons healthy germs, and your sons sick ones. I am very sorry that your sons illness progressed too far and he ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. That is not something that any parent wants to go through but am grateful that he is ok now. I hope that your copay is low and your insurance sufficient to cover most of the costs.

While it would seem common sense to me to not send a kid whose cough woke the entire household to school the next day, obviously this is a learned behavior on my part. Or maybe I'm just parenting gifted. I do realize that there are germs that carry viruses everywhere, that we can get sick from any number of common daily activities. However, just like recycling, supporting a president I didn't vote for and picking up litter --I like to think of the WHOLE rather than just my part of it. All humanity. What is best for the group? Sending a sick kid to school is not best for the group. The end of a cold? Sure. A cough that will disrupt the entire class and make the teacher hoarse from saying " into your sleeve please"? No.

Being inside the petri dish that is a classroom, of course, my son caught this virus. Over the weekend we had to put him on prednisone because of his croup. Come school time on Tuesday it was just a cold, but he had a disruptive cough and runny nose. Did he say " Mom! I feel fine! PLEASE let me go school?" You betcha. Did he go? Hell no. I'm the parent. I decide, not him. I easily gave up my two and a half hours of MeTime that day. Yes, he missed Pajama Day. Well, no, not technically since he did stay in his jammies all day at home. Today he is missing Show and Tell because the virus progressed ( just like your sons!) to bronchitis. He has been coughing so hard he barfs. Yesterday, he barfed up the antibiotic he is on. I've been trying to coordinate his food and beverages to match my furnishings, just in case. When I called the school today to report his absence I heard that there were FIVE kids coughing Tuesday.( Obviously those parents need this letter as well. Please forward it on to them.) That is at least six kids out of the 14 that are in the class. Your son makes number 7. HALF of the kids sick with the same virus that you spread. I did not ask how many were kept home that day, I was too busy easily connecting the dots to your error in judgment.

I am happy that I can stay home and make his days enjoyable and comfortable while the virus lives it's lifespan, but if you know anything about me it comes at a cost. I have few skills that would translate into a decent paycheck at this point in time. I have not been alone for well over a week. ( Not even in the bathroom, but that is a story for another day). I had to miss a volunteer meeting. I had to miss coffee with my friends. I have not been anywhere except to drop off and pick up his siblings from their activities. Oh yeah, and to the doctors office. I know that there is this ONE year that kids get sick ALL THE TIME. Usually the first year that they are in school. I'm glad that this happens when he is 3, not when he is in kindergarten. Nobody likes paying tuition for missed classes. I'm not complaining, just saying that this is what ALL parents have to go through at some point. Just part of the ride.

At the beginning of the school year the teacher passed out the health rules--not suggestions, or something that does not pertain to you, RULES. Obviously there were some some gray areas. Let me fill them in for you:

1. If your child has a fever ,keep them home for 24 hours AFTER the fever breaks. Fever: temp over 99.8
2. If the child throws up ( unless they have a digestive condition that makes this happen frequently) keep them home for 24 hours AFTER the LAST episode.
3. If you child has diarrhea keep the home for 24 hours after the LAST episode.
4. If your child has a severe cold, even without a fever, keep them home until they won't disrupt the class every 3 minutes with a coughing spell or ridiculously runny nose. Take this time to teach them to blow their nose, please. Into a tissue, not on their sleeve.
5. If your child coughs so hard he needs a steam treatment in the middle of the night, keep him home until you and he get a full nights sleep. Croup is deceptive, they are FINE during the day but at night it's not a restful sleep for anyone.
6. If your child stays home for any of these reasons, please give them a bath before they come back to school. Get the funk off of 'em.

These all seem so common sense to me, but obviously I am in the minority. Accept the fact that - especially the first year of school-your child is going to miss a lot of school. If you work, have some back up plan in place. Even following the rules, a sick kid is going to come to school. Little kids don't usually act sick until they are really sick. They play through the discomfort. If my kid gets a virus from a situation like that, I really can't be upset. But when you KNOW your child is sick and you let them go to school for purely selfish reasons-- I'm going to be ( insert curse word) mad.

Let's all just file this incident under " learning experience". Isn't that what school is about after all?

Noah's Mom


  1. I like the "I gave him tylanol and the fever is gone" excuse. Nope that is not the same thing as no fever.

  2. You go Susan. Print it and pass it to all the parents in his class. The first day I dropped the olders at daycare for three hours. There was a mom picking up when I did. She was told by the daycare provider that he just didn't seem himself. She gave him Tylenol and he slept for 2 1/2 hours. Then mom says "Yeah, he was throwing up all night." Oh my Goodness! It says in the paperwork you have to sign the same thing your teachers note says. What's up with these people? In this world there are too many people that are all about themselves.

  3. You said it well, Susan! I may just have to come steal this sometime.

  4. The whole daycare/school sickness thing is tough and stressful. I echoed many of the same sentiments as you the first year the girls went to daycare. I dropped them off one morning only to hear a parent say, "We're waiting on the results of his strep test." I had to hold my left arm down with my right to keep from slapping her upside the head. GRRR. I'm probably speaking out of turn, but it sort of sounds like Noah's school needs to be more on the ball about sending kids home (um, following their own rules). When the girls went to KinderCare, the caregivers were strict on the 24-hour rule re: fevers and vomiting unless you had a doctor's note saying they were good to go. Needless to say, after almost 8 months of healthy kids, I am not looking forward to them getting sick b/c of school germs. They've been in school a week. I figure by the end of next week they will have caught something. Hope Noah is doing better.


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