Dylan has a cold, and thanks to the perma-runner of snot coming from both nostrils and a juicy, say-it-don’t-spray-it cough, he’s been sadly transformed into the sort of child that civilized adults turn away from with a delicate shudder. I suppose another household illness was inevitable, after all, it’s been like four whole days in a row without someone being sick.
It’s no fun plowing through all these childhood coughs and runny snouts and midnight urpings, but how exactly do you germ-proof a kid? I remember when I was first talking about going back to work after Riley was born, and more than one person lectured me on how unhealthy he would get being in daycare — well, sure, he’s been sick a few times, but not overly so. Neither of my kids have been prone to ear infections (despite being formula-fed, which as you know typically results in ear-addled, cross-eyed, inverted-nipple children), and while we’ve had our fair share of snot around here, it certainly seems no worse than the kids I know who stay home. Plus, if you’re that paranoid about germs, what do you do when you have a second child, and your first one goes to school? Add a glug or two of Purell to the baby’s bottle for protective purposes? Expose the toddler to antibacterial UV light when they get home?
It is a big old drag when someone in this house isn’t feeling well, though. If it’s one of the children, then life gets about 392751 times more challenging, and if it’s my husband, then I have to listen to this crap all day long (ha ha! Just kidding, sweetie!) (SECRET EYEBROW RAISE TO YOU GUYS: NO I AM NOT).
More and more I think that someone really needs to come up with a real version of that much-referenced mythical plastic bubble for children. It should have air holes, obvs, and possibly some sort of clever suction technology like an astronauts’ toilet, and you should be able to still give belly zerberts and om nom on cheeks and so on, but it should ultimately seal away all viruses and whatnot while simultaneously keeping your child from harming themselves in dangerous head-bonking, bone-cracking situations until they’re . . . oh, say 20 or 25 years old.