The grippe

A minor cold has settled on my household. My husband thinks he has allergies, but I think he has incremental sniffling. My youngest son sports varsuvial flows of snot in the charming manner of 2 year olds. I’m congested and sneezy and sniffly. And my eldest son has a bit of a cough. Welcome cold season!

So I, of course, sent everyone in for everyone’s activities today because we do not stop living our life when we have colds or the world economy would come to a screeching halt. I was sitting on traffic in my morning commute, yuppee cup of Starbucks in hand, when the Bluetooth car stereo rang and displayed the name of the school nurse. This is how you know you live in the 21st century. The school nurse said Grey had a cough and was too sick to be at school.

I took the next exit and went, in the driving rain, to pick up my son. Any time I have to go to his school, the rain miraculously drives. It’s thematic.

I pick up my sick kid. I found him in the nurses’ office, looking fine, proactively eating his lunch. He’s an innovator like that. The nurse confided that some kids had gotten pneumonia lately. (Pneumonia is a secondary infection, folks. It’s not generally contagious. Sending him home will not prevent pneumonia.)

Ah, modern parenting. I still dialed in to my conference call (9 to noon). I’m probably getting as much or more done here at home with my son.

Childcare is the weirdest commercial purchase. It’s a huge cost. At the height, it easily dwarfed our mortgage payments to put two kids in a medium-cost center that doesn’t even provide a hot lunch. And these childcare facilities can basically refuse to provide the service you’ve purchased at any time. Today, for example. He has a cold, but I still needed to pick him up and provide the childcare myself, even though I did not and do not believe he’s very sick. (And if you’re wondering, we do pay for Kindergarten at our public school.) You know you can’t possibly pay someone enough to take care of your child, and when you map it out by hour it seems ridiculously low, but it’s still your biggest single line item. Then there are the holidays off you don’t get, the in-service days, the snow days, the half-days and your complete lack of options on the topic.

Ah well. I’m getting my work done – being lucky enough to work in the sort of job where I can. I am getting to spend some quality time with my neat kid. And his cough has completely disappeared after the first hour… as I knew it would. And TGIF.

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

5 thoughts on “The grippe”

  1. I was at home with the baby today for the same reason. I put in 2.25 hours at the office and then was paged to get the poopy baby. He ranneth over at the back end multiple times today…but it was a pleasure to be with him. I was able to do lots of other stuff and meet with my oldest’s new teacher at his new center, and take Thing #1 and #3 to get #2 at #2 and #3’s daycare center, so Thing #1 got to see his teachers and some friends and have a bit of closure. Multifold costs I inherited by having to duck out today–I’ve got Big Projects at work, but at least my boss tossed me some work I can do at home. Somehow I have to scare up 6 hours to come even this weekend… :/

    Love those babies, though. They’re tons of work and wipes but astonishing creatures regardless.


  2. I think schools are among the most inconsiderate institutions in our society. And I am a part of them. We think the world revolves around us. We start at inconsiderate times and close too early. We call parents to get kids when that is not possible. No wonder employers prefer unencumbered employees! School schedules and policies are designed for an agrarian society with a stay at home parent. When will we catch up with reality? We could do better than this.


  3. Yep, yep, and yep. Aura just missed her first chunk of school due to the Sore Throat and Short-Lived Fever of Doom. You should see me popping elderberry extract like a fiend.

    Hope everyone is on the mend now…sending positive echinacea-laced thoughts your way.


  4. Yep, yep, and yep. Aura just meissd her first chunk of school due to the Sore Throat and Short-Lived Fever of Doom. You should see me popping elderberry extract like a fiend.Hope everyone is on the mend now…sending positive echinacea-laced thoughts your way.


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