I dropped off my son at school the other day. Another mom hovered at the door telling the teacher: "Julia was shivering so hard last night, we had to wrap her in three layers of pajamas." The mom added,"She woke up in the middle of the night and climbed into our bed."
Then I heard: “…a fever this morning…”
A little more information: “but she was acting fine this morning, so I brought her to school…”
And finally, a surprised: “Oh, you think I should take her home? Ummhh…okay…sure…but, like I said it was a low fever, and she slept just fine from 3 AM on.”
Thank goodness the teacher couldn’t get the sick child out of her chair fast enough. I’m standing there, my mouth open, looking at the now empty seat wondering how many germs are silently waiting to jump on my child two feet away. And what about the chunk of half-kneaded Play-Doh the little girl had been rolling around? Would the teacher throw it away?
As the mom quietly slipped her daughter’s coat back on and slid out the back door, I stood there in shock wanting to scream: LYSOL? Anybody! LYSOL? Can you Lysol Play-Doh, anyway? I wondered how rude it would be if I sprayed down the seat or at least quarantined it for the next three hours.
Okay, maybe I overreacted. On the other hand, probably not. It’s flu season after all, and the news coverage on flu shots is more popular than Brittney Spears (What’s that? She’s not popular anymore? Well, surely I made my point). Regardless, I’ve got three kids plus a husband that sleeps in hotel beds almost more often than he sleeps in our bed. (For, any curious reader out there who just can’t help herself—he travels for work). I’m in charge of the home front. If one child gets sick, it’s all downhill from there. If I get sick?...shudder…Let’s not even think about it.
Granted, I don’t expect parents to take their kids out of school or daycare for sniffling, a brief sneezing fit, or even waking up with a slight headache, but come on—if your kid has green snot (well, snot, period), a cough that sounds like an exploding lung, or "obviously my kid is sick because she has a fever to prove it,” don’t send her to school. PLEASE!
And if you do? Take the Play-Doh home with you.