Today I received a somewhat startling email from Dylan’s preschool that began, “Hi Everyone! I need to let you know that your child has been exposed to MRSA.”

(My brain, instantly, in Troy McClure’s voice: “Hi Everyone! You may remember me from such emails as I Need to Let You Know That Your Child Has Been Exposed to Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, and Don’t Forget About Picture Day!‘”)

I know MRSA is basically lurking everywhere you look, sort of like Adam Levine, but holy crap, man. I mean, this is what my kid’s face is like right now:

Screen shot 2011-12-01 at 1.47.39 PM

(Literally right now, since he’s conked out for a rare afternoon nap.) (In case you thought he was unconscious, or something.) (He’s not.) (But how funny is the arms-above-the-head position? Hasn’t changed since he was a newborn.)

Like, that is basically a giant abrasion/OPEN WOUND across his face, from where he faceplanted on the cement two days ago. It’s all, OH HI STAPH INFECTIONS COME ON IN. Would you be freaking out? I am freaking out a little.

In other news, yesterday I got Riley all excited about the Triumphant Return of Relf, the Shelf Elf and then around 11 PM last night I suddenly remembered that oh yeah, I had to find the goddamned thing, and I ended up tearing through all our storage boxes and sent JB out to root around in the garage and it took about an hour before I remembered I’d cleverly stuffed it inside a Christmas stocking last year. Yay for flop-sweat-soaked traditions!

I know some people think the elf thing is creepy or whatever, but really, is a magic elf any creepier than Santa? Or Jesus? Or OPTIMUS PRIME? Seriously.

Besides, is this creepy?

December 1, 2010:


December 1, 2011:


No. No it is not.


40 Responses to “Creeped”

  1. Pamela Zimmer (Stories of a Mom) on December 1st, 2011 3:29 pm

    Yes, I would be freaking out too!
    And no, the elf is not freaky – still need to get me one of those… :)

  2. Brian on December 1st, 2011 3:36 pm

    Optimus Prime on a shelf – THAT needs to happen.

    I’d be freaking about MRSA, at least a little bit, because I know a horror story that wouldn’t apply here but still makes me cringe when I see the letters. Weak immune systems and advanced age are the things to worry about, from what I understand. You’ll be fine.

  3. Heather on December 1st, 2011 3:38 pm

    100% freak out worthy. I’m so freak-outy, I’d probably already have demanded an antibiotic shot in my kid’s butt. At least in my head I would have.

  4. Nolita on December 1st, 2011 3:43 pm

    Creepy or maybe elfin genius?

    The awful MRSA experiences I know about all happened in the hospitals so stay away from there!

    Hope Dylan’s boo-boo heals up quickly…

  5. Deanna on December 1st, 2011 3:51 pm

    I see an awesome scrapbook page every time I see look alike pictures – love them.

    I am right at this moment making a Giant Collage Frame with Santa pictures from the past decade and a half. Am also toying with making one of all past Family Picture Holiday Cards. (How easy is glue them to xmas paper wrapped cardboard and stick it in a big ol’ frame?!)

    There are loads of blog lists and pinterest boards with Elf ideas. Love it!

  6. Cara on December 1st, 2011 3:59 pm

    I would definitely be freaking about the MRSA possibility. And drowning my kid in betadine.

    And I can’t wait to start the elf tradition here.

  7. Nicole on December 1st, 2011 4:01 pm

    I have to say that I think MRSA may get a really scary rap that’s unnecessary, based on my last infection (on my finger) that my dr. thought was MRSA, and I was like “Will I live?”, and she was basically like, “No big deal. We just prescribe you a different sort of antibiotic”. She made it sound like it’s only really dangerous if you get it in the hospital. So honestly, I’m confused, but I would advise a call to your doctor to see what they say…

  8. BabyKMama on December 1st, 2011 4:07 pm

    Uh, thanks, and yuck! I wasn’t familiar with MRSA, but sounds like something I should be!

    My son just received an elf from a family member (thought she was trying to make us all look bad, sending a Christmas gift BEFORE Thanksgiving!) He’s almost three – not sure that he’s entirely getting the concept yet, but we’re having fun anyway!

  9. Kris on December 1st, 2011 4:34 pm

    I hate the your kid has been in the same classroom as a kid who had lice, oops, you may want to check his head and start itching like crazy letters. Those SUCK!!

  10. MRW on December 1st, 2011 5:12 pm

    Well I find the shelf elf a little creepy, but then I also find Santa and Jesus and Optimus Prime to be a little creepy too so, whatever. Your kids like it, so that’s what counts.

    Just when I get used to the numerous plagues that pass through school and daycare there comes the MRSA bullshit. Jesus, aren’t lice, stomach flu, swine flu, etc enough? Ugh.

  11. perl on December 1st, 2011 5:19 pm

    I’d be surprised if my kids *hadn’t* been exposed to MRSA. When we were dealing with a stubborn rash (and suspected it might be MRSA in DS#1 b/c dad brings home alll kinds of nasty stuff from working at the hospital) the pediatrician told us that lots of the sandboxes in our town have cultured MRSA. Icky, sure, but like somebody else said before me, it’s the immunocompromised, very old and very young that really need to be concerned.

    I’d institute extra handwashing and antibacterial gels (but I’m a freak anyways) and forget about it. Those preschool letters really do get me all riled up, though. I think if we ever got a scabies one I’d just lay down and die on the spot.

  12. Amber Lena on December 1st, 2011 5:52 pm

    Oh my gads, that picture of Dylan makes me want to eat him up! They are so cute when they’re sleeping, aren’t they?

  13. Em on December 1st, 2011 5:55 pm

    I bought the effing elf yesterday because my 8 and 10 year old wondered why everyone else had one and hoped an elf would show up here. I conveniently forgot that my 4 year old has been a raw bundle of nerves since Halloween, followed by Disney and “magical thinking” has his little brain in a vice grip of Santa and elves and HOLY SHIT THAT THING MOVES panic?? It sucks to be 4.

    MRSA? Don’t sweat it. First, because sweating won’t help. Second because it is methicillin resistant but there are other mightier antibiotics that will eventually knock it out.

  14. Katherine on December 1st, 2011 6:49 pm

    Wow! Weird wound.
    Don’t stress too much though. My aunt gets MRSA regularly. Some antibiotics and some other stuff and all is well.

  15. Katherine on December 1st, 2011 6:50 pm

    Wow! Weird wound.
    Don’t stress too much though. My aunt gets MRSA regularly. Some antibiotics and some other stuff and all is well.
    It is scary obviously. Just keep an eye on it.

  16. Carrie (in MN) on December 1st, 2011 6:57 pm

    I wouldn’t be freaking out, but I probably wouldn’t send him to preschool until Monday so his face has time to heal, if you can. Also, I mention this as a just in case, even though I’ve never really known whether it was true, but when we were living in Austin in 1997 there were a couple of cases of kids getting chicken pox, taking Advil/ibuprofen to bring their fevers down, and then getting MRSA. The public health types decided it was because the chicken pox was creating lesions and the advil *lowered the kids’ immune systems* (that’s the part I’ve never been sure was true) and made them more susceptible to MRSA. So maybe don’t give him any advil until his face is cleared up?

    p.s MRSA can be a big deal, even out of the hospital. My dad, who is in his early 70s but not immune compromised and is very healthy, got MRSA a couple summers ago (had not been in a hospital; probably got it at his health club) and it was very difficult to clear up. There was a high risk he was going to have to go *into* the hospital for IV antibiotics.

  17. Jill on December 1st, 2011 7:58 pm

    I’m mostly freaked out by the cost of an elf on the shelf. I bought a stuffed elf for $3 at a craft store, named him Roger, and told my 2.5 year old that he watches everything and reports back to santa at night. So far he seems unimpressed by the entire thing, other than to yell “Roger, watch me!” as he jumps off furniture and sometimes show him a toy or whatever.

  18. Trina on December 1st, 2011 8:26 pm

    I would be FREAKING THE EFF OUT. Especially with the cut on his face.

    I have wanted to get the elf so bad. I think I might this year. It might be helpful a little in the behavior department. Especially during Christmas break.

  19. Mandi on December 1st, 2011 8:52 pm

    My brother and his wife and their son have all had MRSA more than once. It starts off looking like a pimple/zit and very quickly (almost overnight)it grows large (as it fills with infection) and I’m told it is VERY painful. The doctor will have to lance it in order to allow the infection to drain. After this, antibiotics are prescribed and within a day or two the MRSA is no longer contagious. The sore will have to remain covered until it heals and frequent hand washing is necessary to prevent any spread of infection.

    MRSA is scary, to be sure. But I’ve held my nephew and changed his diaper (the MRSA sore was on his rear end) multiple time while he had an active infection and I never got infected. If I were you I would try to help encourage Dylan to wash, wash, wash his hands as much as possible. Other than taking normal precautions, like you would for flu or other contagious crud, there isn’t anything you can do to prevent infection in a classroom setting. Hell, you could pick it up on a trip to a grocery store. It’s called community MRSA for a reason.

  20. Michelle on December 1st, 2011 10:36 pm

    MRSA is creepier than the elf and Santa.

    My kids are terrified of that elf. And I think he looks a little like a Chester. But if your dudes dig it then that’s all that matters. For the record, my little guy also thinks that Santa is super creepy and has suggested perhaps the man might consider leaving all gifts on the doorstep like the mailman does and kindly stay OUT of our house.

  21. Clueless But Hopeful Mama on December 2nd, 2011 4:41 am

    I refuse to get the elf, but not because I think he’s creepy. I just know I would forget to move him or epically FAIL the inevitable questions. Already my five year old is catching me off guard with the Santa questions: “How could he be alive all this time, he’d be hundreds of years old? How come he looks different in all our Santa books? Where does his magic come from? Does he pay his elves any money?”

    Does he pay his elves any money?! Yes, I actually got sucked into creating an explanation of Santa’s freaking labor practices.

  22. Debbie on December 2nd, 2011 5:46 am

    Our “naughty” elf Buddy just came back last night. He unraveled our toilet paper from the bathroom to the shelf he was sitting on. My 7 yr. old walked by with eyes half opened and didn’t notice it.When he did he nearly peed his pants.(last year Buddy decorated the tree with their underwear) If this little guy can get my other kid to jump out of bed that fast every day I might just consider keeping him here year round. I, too, for got where I stuffed him. After tearing apart the Christmas bins I still couldn’t find him. Then when I was getting ready to make a hot drink to go in my Starbucks Venti Travel Mug I unscrewed the top and was both a little scared that something had grown in there and then excited because there he was!

    Ohhhh…the traditions of the holidays. Love ’em!

  23. Katharine on December 2nd, 2011 5:56 am

    I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I completely love that you make fun of your kids (i.e. Dylan’s arms when sleeping). So many parents appear to treat their children like little baby gods these days, OH MY PRECIOUS MADISON CAN DO NO WRONG ISN’T SHE HOLY FOR POOPING, and you are so refreshingly down-to-earth. I’ve said it before here, but I’ll say it again, it makes me so happy to vicariously live your parenting chronicle since I won’t have any little weirdos of my own to make fun of.

  24. Jeanette on December 2nd, 2011 6:52 am

    I think I’d be a little more creeped about it flying in and out of the house every night!

  25. Claire on December 2nd, 2011 7:17 am

    I recently blogged about how totally reluctant I was to even do the stupid elf thing but for my kid, it totally works! I mean, he loves to look for the creepy guy and he’s behaving. It’s insane.

  26. sandy on December 2nd, 2011 7:52 am

    We are all probably exposed regularly to MRSA without even knowing it. I work in the health profession, but if you go to the gym, or supermarket etc it lurks. This is not meant to freak you but actually to put things in perspective. Dylan cut looks pretty healed. Watch him carefully and as for everyone….wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands. Good not only for mrsa but flu and colds this time of year!!

  27. Kristin H on December 2nd, 2011 8:18 am

    The Elf is not creepy! We had fun with it last year, but my daughter did question a few times whether it was real or a doll. I wish they hadn’t made it so…plastic looking, you know? I guess it’s plastic, what are you gonna do. But now I’m worried that this year she’ll realize it most certainly is not real, and then will that cast doubt on the magic that is Santa? I don’t know…she’s such a Santa believer that I’m wary of pulling out the Elf again, just in case one thing will lead to another in her mind. Does anyone else worry about that? Possibly I am overthinking this.

  28. Kristin on December 2nd, 2011 8:37 am

    That’s one I haven’t gotten before. So far this year we’ve gotten a letter about strep throat, LICE!, impetigo, and hand, foot and mouth disease! Yuck!

  29. Sande on December 2nd, 2011 9:14 am

    On a completely different subject…our daughter had pictures at daycare yesterday. We were told that she started crying prior to her turn and I am interested in seeing what they look like. All I am picturing is poor Riley and the picture with the turtles and he is crying. I just may have my own rendition….

  30. Angella on December 2nd, 2011 9:40 am

    I want to get a Shelf Elf! You’re the second person who’s mentioned one, and I know my kids would eat that stuff up.

  31. Frannie on December 2nd, 2011 10:00 am

    That is adorable how some baby mannerisms carry onto toddlerhood and beyond, the cute and benign ones anyway. His abrasion seems to have some slight erythema around the top right edges, but overall it looks like it’s healing. I had something similar when I was a kid and everytime I would talk it would open up and slowed the healing. I would be freaked out a little too, even with the alarmist germ-a-grams you get. I mean it’s good to know, but also, Come On. I understand TB or meningitis, but literally “exposed” wouldn’t be the word of choice I would use. I see what they’re doing (prepping for zombie apocalypse, ha. Sorry), but I would be more concerned if they’re more intent on sending letters than actually trying to help the problem or making sure employees/kids are washing their hands properly, complying to health regs, etc. Just err on the side of caution, practice hand washing, keep the wound clean and if in doubt, always call the ped.

  32. january on December 2nd, 2011 10:29 am

    MRSA is major creepy – Elf on a shelf is a *little* creepy, but in a “Woah, Santa is real and really watching” good way.

  33. Maggie on December 2nd, 2011 10:51 am

    I don’t think the Elf on the Shelf is creepy and neither does my older child
    (10) and we had him for years, but my younger daughter (age 6) has a very vivid imagination and gets irrationally afraid of many things. Like thinking there is going to be a shark in the bathtub, WTF?? Last year, she was afraid to go anywhere by herself because she didn’t like the idea of him watching her (can’t blame her there). So, for this year, I have decided not to bring him back. It kind of bums me out, but it is better than her being terrified all the time (more than usual, that is).

    As for the MRSA, that would creep me out too!

  34. Brandy on December 2nd, 2011 11:07 am

    WHERE OH WHERE did you find that adorable advent calendar? I have been looking for something like it all over the internet!

  35. Linda on December 2nd, 2011 11:11 am

    Hey Brandy, I bought it at Goodwill, but Target sells a few that are similar. This mirrored one is pretty cute:

  36. Heather on December 2nd, 2011 2:24 pm

    Ok looking at those two pictures I have to know did your two guys really grow that much in one year or is it just the angle the pictures were taken? Im busy comparing where their heads hit in relationship to the fireplace and holly hell they look like they grew a foot each!

  37. Erin@MommyontheSpot on December 2nd, 2011 7:09 pm

    Holy ick! I would totally be freaking out! We got the lice letter. I bought a ton of Fairy Tales stuff and even made my own lice repel spray with essential oils.

    Yes, I know. I need help.

  38. Victori, BC on December 3rd, 2011 2:31 am

    I agree that MRSA tends to get a bad wrap and I think it’s mainly due to how it’s portrayed in the media.

    It seems like evey few months MRSA is in the news, and many people dont really understand what it is. But because it’s in the news and the media uses statistics and numbers, it seems to cause a lot of fear.

    MRSA (or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is just what it sounds like, a Staphylococcus aureus infection that is resistant to being treated by Methicillin.

    Methicillin falls under that antibiotic category of beta-lactams (so does penicillin and amoxicillin). After years of antibotic abuse, Staphylococcus aureus has become immune to beta-lactams.

    Methicillin is just one of many antibiotics out there though. MRSA is commonly treated with another antibiotic called vancomycin.

    Just incase any one was inderssted in knowing more about MRSA…

  39. Dana on December 5th, 2011 12:29 pm

    It wasn’t until this year that I heard the masses freaking out about the “creepy” elf. I think ours – Bixbean – is sweet as can be. And so do my kids. Which is all that matters around our house.

  40. Molly on December 18th, 2013 7:16 pm

    I think the elf is wierd and Jesus is real u may not believe but I do I go to church so yeah :( :/

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