By Kristi Guest Blogger from The Fischer Family
Dear Daycare Parents,
Let’s talk about daycare etiquette. Specifically, let’s talk about sick kid etiquette.
Let’s start by agreeing that you and I, we both love our jobs. We work at the same place, for the same employer who is really great and provides us with a daycare at our school. And we are in the business of educating kids. And we all know that being sick from school is hard. Really hard. Those damn sub plans are more work to write than actually going to work and teaching with a sick kid on your hip.
Yes, kids get sick. My kid, he started daycare in May after series of unfortunate events with a nanny we loved. And he has been really sick since May. Those damn germs have gotten the best of him. Honestly, I can’t tell you last day his nose wasn’t running. The cold, rainy, moist weather the past two months has not helped but the biggest culprit is your kids. Yes, you read it right. I blame you and your kids are the problem.
There is a policy in place for a reason. I know, I know staying at home with a 2 year old who is sick is not easy. They still have more energy than we ever will when they are sick. They are whiny, their nose needs wiping; sometimes there is puke and always nasty diapers.
But, when they run a fever I am begging you to keep them home. The rule is in place for a reason. 24 hours FEVER FREE. Not 2, not 12, not 20. 24 hours FEVER FREE. That means if they are running a fever on Thursday morning, they should not be at daycare on Friday.
And you shouldn’t be proud to tell the rest of us dropping our kids off that your kid’s fever was 104 the day before. Because that means that you aren’t following the rules. And my kid suffers.
And you shouldn’t try to smooth it over by telling us that your kid “missed his friends”. Honestly, he doesn’t. Your kid wants to be at home in his pajamas, with Toy Story on TV, curled up next to you.
And when you leave and your kid’s eyes are watering, his nose is dripping thick green snot and he is coughing uncontrollably, you would think that something would tell you that your kid should not be at daycare. But it doesn’t. And my kid suffers. So does yours if I am being honest.
Every weekend I feel like we are in triage mode. Trying to put our kid back together after whatever germs he comes home with during the week. We are wiping noses, giving Tylenol, keeping our kids separated to spare our infant and paying our pediatrician’s salary with 8 sick visits in the past five weeks at $20 a pop. This is the first weekend we haven’t been at the doctor since I went back to work after Thanksgiving.
We have had croup and strep twice, once it even came along with vomiting, and fifth’s disease and every other viral illness out there. And yes, I know that my kid can pick up and spread things around as well. But honestly, I don’t know how since we spend most of our weekends nursing him back to health at home instead of getting to enjoy him. We take his temperature almost daily just to make sure.
In December my child was out of daycare for three weeks. Yes, you read me right. Three weeks because his little body just couldn’t fight all the germs anymore. And maybe it was a good thing because the week after Christmas, his nose for the first time since May was not running. But, I still believe that if you and I followed the same sick policy we might not have been there. That I might not have had to miss almost a week of work two weeks after I returned from maternity leave with my second. We might not have had a 2 year old with a 104 degree fever that wouldn’t break, who didn’t eat for days, who screamed for days that “he hurt” and begged for medicine.
So, do me a favor. Next time, you think about bringing your kid to daycare follow that good ole rule…if you have to ask yourself if it okay, it probably isn’t. Do us all a favor, write those damn plans and stay home. I will if you do.
Another Daycare Parent
Kristi, is a urban Chicago mama who is yearning to be a suburban mama. She spends her day as department chair at a large high school in Chicago suburbs and returns to the Windy City at night. She is busy raising with her husband Brady (27 months) who is a sweet as can be and Cate (5 months) who has made Kristi question her sanity. When she is not commuting with her kids or teaching other kids, she enjoys working out, doing yoga, shopping and spending time with her husband. She blogs at The Fisher Family about her crazy busy life as a working mama and you can follow Kristi on twitter @mamaofthefisch.