Kids get sick a lot. Especially toddlers. They are exploring, putting things in their mouths all the time, sometimes they even like to lick things like shopping carts. It's terribly challenging to keep a kid from catching something. But there is something we as parents can do to prevent other kids from getting sick. You know, help another parent avoid a week of sleepless night, Stage 4 clingers, and crusty booger snot stains all over everything in the house. And that's to keep your kid cooped up in the house for the entirety of the sickness, and even however long after they may still be contagious.
And yet it's something so many parents don't do. Because that's damn near impossible. But the worse offense is actually letting your sick child play with other kids. Why, parents, why?!
It's clear we can't keep our kids quarantined for every little illness. I've taken my kids food shopping with me when they had colds. Yes, runny noses and all. There are just times where I have to do something and have no one to watch the kids. So they must come along. Of course if they had Chicken Pox or something extremely worrisome I wouldn't expose them to the outside world ... or rather expose the outside world to them. But for the times they are only a little bit of sick, they have been out and about with me. This is why I am now vigilant about cleaning off the part of the grocery cart where kids sit. I bet you'll be more careful now, too, if you weren't already.
One of the worse offenses a parent can make against another parent and perhaps even more than putting down their parenting style is letting your viral little hotbed of disease play in the sandbox with the other kids, or visit the children's museum or the library or actually set up a playdate and spent time coughing, sneezing, and drooling the germs all over the place virtually guaranteeing the other kids will get sick, too. Might as well just bring the tainted lollipops so we at least get a little serving of candy with your plague.
Put down my parenting style all you want -- I can ignore you. Pass us whatever's going around because you're letting your knowingly sick kid play with others is not something anyone can ignore. Like I mentioned it's basically a sentence of sleepless nights, Stage 4 clingers, and boogers boogers boogers everywhere.
It happens, though. I know. I can't get angry. I'm not. There have been times I was in complete denial my child was sick -- boogers and fever and unexplained tears and all. And that's because of how awful it can be when our little loves are not feeling well. I may have even been guilty of spreading our sick to undeserving playdates. So for the times we have oops! accidentally done such a thing, the only way to make up for the crime is *drum roll* offer to babysit so those parents get a deserved night out. Or make them your best banana bread. Or both.
Have you let your kid play with other kids at the playground or elsewhere even when your child is sick? Does that make a bad mom or dad?
Image via Pink Poppy Photography/Flickr