Why I'm Glad My Kids Are 'Mean' to Their Sick Friends

For almost 10 years, I've been trying to teach my children kindness and acceptance. Play with everyone, include this child or that child, treat everyone as you would want to be treated. Just be a nice person. You know, like they tell us to in the parenting handbook.

Well, is it too late to take it all back?

You see, last week, I got four emails from the school nurse. (Those poor school nurses -- is there ever any good news that comes from them? It's either some horrible contagious illness or the harassment for some form which we need to drag our kids to the doctor to have filled out. It's almost like they're asking to have their email and phone numbers blocked.)



Last week may have taken the cake, in terms of crappy news I wish I could un-know from that office. It seems a bad stomach bug is passing through the fourth grade and half of the students were sent home throwing up. We were warned to take every complaint seriously and err on the side of caution. Fantastic. And then, as if that wasn't bad enough, was the reminder that lice was still making its way through each of my children's grades. It was enough for me to pull them out that very moment and just home-school them. (Almost.)

My children, however, are oblivious to the terror I live in. I warn them again and again to wash their hands and observe some personal space at school, but it seems to fall on deaf ears. Lily is incapable of keeping her hair pulled back and playing with the hair of her friends. Evan is incapable of keeping his hands to himself and Ben's idea of thorough hand washing is running the sink and dipping his pinkie finger in to prove to me that it is, in fact, wet. It begs the question: Do they want to get sick? Don't they remember the lice comb? Have they confused me with a mother who enjoys playing Florence Nightingale?

I don't want to raise hypochondriacs, exactly, but I don't think it's too much to ask for a little more diligence on the matter ...

• If she/he sneezes or coughs, stay away from him/her for a week.

• If she/he has a sibling who has been out from school, err on the side of caution and avoid him/her for at least five days.

• If she/he is cold, you will not let him/her borrow your hat.

• If she/he is thirsty, you will not let him/her share your drink.

• If she/he scratches his/her head, you are no longer his/her friend.

I really don't think it's too much to ask. Just be a little less nice, a little less accepting, and a little more selfish, kids.

For your mother.

Do you think this mom is being a little too paranoid?


Image via Scary Mommy 

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