So. I have a nasty cold. I'm not even sure why it's called a "cold" because a.) it's not caused by the cold, b.) I'm not feeling particularly cold and c). cold is the last thing I want to be when I have a cold.
I know where I got this cold and I know who I got it from. I work in a kindergarten classroom so any one of the little rugrats could be a culprit but I'm placing my bets on the short one with the yellow snot shooting out of her nose at lightning speed every time she sneezed all over me, the desks, and the general classroom last week.
Now, I'm sure many of you are thinking: why on God's green earth did this mother send her child to school with a gross cold? And while I'm with you on this one (because of the unpleasant result I'm experiencing), I know how hard it is to discern between "really sick" and "not sick enough to miss school". I usually err on the side of caution, figuring a missed day is no big deal and they'll surely feel better with a day of "rest" (read: glued to the couch watching TV). But I've been known to send my son to school with a fever I didn't realize he had, my daughter with stomach cramps that turned into an appendectomy (which, as it turned out, wasn't her appendix after all!), and have had to rescue another child from a horrendous bus ride more than once when a migraine presented itself right at the end of a school day. So, I get it. We screw up sometimes.
But this child TOLD us she had a cold (not like we couldn't tell from the gallons of snot), and clearly her mother knew as well. Doesn't every mom know that if your child has snot that is an actual COLOR you should keep them from the general public? Gross!
I once got a cold that lasted three weeks from the most disgusting from of direct contact ever. I was a nanny for a child who had a bad cold. I'm not too particular about taking care of sick kids - I figure I'll take my chances - so I happily accepted working even though I knew she was sick. I practice good hand-washing and figured I could shield myself from her sneezes. But when, in one fell swoop, she sneezed all over her hand, then proceeded to put that snotty hand IN MY MOUTH, I knew I was doomed. I mean, how do you even fix that? The damage was done.
I've built up a pretty good immunity to kid sicknesses over the years so it's not often I pick up their germs. When I was 15 I started working at a daycare center. In my first year, I contracted strep throat no less than EIGHT times! The first time I had it, I thought I might die. Never had I experienced such horrendous throat pain. After that, I became an expert at detecting the first symptoms and finally just called the doctor who would prescribe antibiotics over the phone.
Gradually, I became somewhat immune to the kid germs and, after I had a few kids of my own, I seemed to be iron-clad. I almost never picked up their illnesses; I had my own special set of germs. But over the past few years, I've become more susceptible...perhaps it's a result of getting older? Lordy, I hope not!
At any rate, I know what to do. Rest, Vitamin C, lots of fluids......HA! Who has time for that? But I will solemnly try. Because unlike the old days when being sick wasn't as much of an issue - although changing diapers while throwing up is decidedly unpleasant - I now have a job and must be at work Monday through Friday. No longer can I lounge in my pajamas while putting on movie after movie for my delighted toddlers. But now that my kids are older, they really don't "need" me. Really. SERIOUSLY! Do you hear me, kids? Leave me alone! (Unless I text you to bring me a drink, or some Advil, or make me a special treat).
Pass me the Kleenex.........