I was that mom today. You know the one who should have just kept her kids home, but instead takes them, to say, dance class. Then the sick child in question has a giant coughing fit in the middle of the class. Then all of the other parents in the waiting room of the dance studio look at you funny and start asking about symptoms...I hate that mom. I hated being that mom.
Here is my excuse. I have been keeping her home from school, and trying to take it easy, but she is going bonkers, and therefore, I too am going bonkers. She seemed pretty perky this morning, she begged to go to dance class...then there was a giant coughing fit during dance class. Then her baby brother started sneezing and wiped his nose on my shirt while I tried to console a tiny sad ballerina about not getting to finish class. Then the other parents started inching away from me and looking concerned. What an embarrassing fiasco.
When to keep a kid home and when not to keep a kid home is a mystery to me. Obviously if there is vomit, or diarrhea, or fever, or tons of green snot, there is no leaving the house. But the endless cough that happens after a cold? My kids, and every other kid I know, seems to be always in transition from one illness to the next. I believe it has something to do with building an immune system, or something. However, I don't want to be the jerk parent that puts personal schedule above the health of others and sends the wee one off to play with others while carrying some vicious strain of pig or fowl flu. What to do?
My husband was raised in a go to school at all costs household. He had to be running a temperature and bleeding out the eyes to get out of school. I was raised in a, "whatever man" kind of household. I could go to school, or not go to school, whatever man. I think my in-laws maybe went a little too far. I think my parents didn't go far enough. I am looking for the middle here. I look to other parents for clues, and get many different answers. My pediatrician has small children that attend the same school as my daughter. I have seen them at school with noses of the snotty variety. I like my pediatrician. I think she is a smart woman. I don't think she would endanger other kids to suit her own needs. My sister keeps her kids home until the last sign of any ick or sick is gone. My sister is also a smart lady. Not a doctor, but a smart lady none the less. I know people who can't miss work, so they give their kids Tylenol to mask a fever and send them off to school. Not ideal, but work is work.
Well, for now, there is more chicken noodle soup, and another day spent on the sofa reading and trying to put off the inevitable movie watching.