A little hand sanitizer goes a long way.

Well, we had another week jam-packed with firsts. I guess that tends to happen when you have a new baby, right?

Anyway, it all began on Monday when Charlie and I both woke up not feeling so hot. Or, I guess I should say we were feeling too hot…literally. I had to work, even though it was MLK day, and I could feel that I had a slight fever. Charlie’s temp never got over 99.7, but still a low-grade fever. I had a bit of a sore throat. Charlie had a cough, was sneezing a ton and had some pretty funky looking boogies. Over-share? What, you’re not used to me doing that by now?

We thought maybe it was the dry air overnight; our Rinnai heater likes to act up on us sometimes, shutting off in the middle of the night. Or the middle of the day, when no one is home. NBD. (Note: we’re getting it fixed Monday.) Plus, often times the heater just doesn’t do a good job of heating the second floor in the cold, Maine winter. So, we sometimes use a space heater in the bedroom. We had that on the night before we woke up feeling sick. We thought that, in order to feel better, a good night of sleep and a humidifier would do the trick.

Tuesday morning, I woke up with a full blown fever and feeling like certified doo-doo. Charlie wasn’t doing much better. Tristan, however, stole the show. He had woken up with the stomach flu. You know, one of those virulent, explosive, double-ended stretches of misery. 36 hours of pure agony.

We kept him quarantined to the downstairs while Charlie and I stayed upstairs, tending to our own ailments. 24 hours later, I woke up knowing immediately that Tris had given me the gift that keeps on giving… That’s right, I was the lucky winner of not just ONE, but TWO – count them, TWO, strains of the flu.

I won’t go into all the gory – and yes, I do mean gory – details, but when all was said and done, we each missed about 3 days of work. We didn’t feel comfortable sending the C-Man to daycare, A) not knowing if we would be able to make it to pick him up, 2) not knowing if he was still contagious, and d) wondering if he was going to pick up some other flesh-eating bacteria to bring home to show Mommy and Daddy.

Let me just say, thank god we had Nana to watch him while we were out of commission. (Unfortunately…I think he brought the bug with him to their house. Sorry guys!)

Now, let me preface this next statement with the disclaimer that I’m clearly a new Mom. And I know very well that I may come to eat my words. But I’m going to state them anyway.

What kind of jerk-wad parent sends their child to daycare with a fever? I state this because for about the past week, there has been a sign up saying “We’ve sent a number of children home with fevers over 100. Please remember your child must be fever free for 24 hours to return.”

I’ll start with the reasons this does not piss me off.

  1. I get that a child may break a fever while AT daycare, having no fever when originally sent in. Totally not the parents fault, I get it, it could happen.

That about sums up that list.

Reasons why this pisses me off greatly:

  1. Who doesn’t know when their child has a fever? I knew something was up with Charlie when his temp was off by 1.1 degrees…can you not tell your child is ill?
  2. If you know your child is ill, or has been ill – why do you want him at daycare? Not only will he infect his classmates, but most likely he will infect his teachers, spreading the virus throughout the entire center until a week later, your child is sick again. Way to go, Smarty McSmart-Parent.
  3. “The entire center” stated above includes 8 week old babies who, if they get this same illness, could land in the ER. Ever think of anyone but yourself? This would be a great time to try it.
  4. You don’t have enough PTO from work? Can’t stay home to watch him? Well, that just makes you a plain douche-canoe with no real excuse.
  5. You should be aware that it’s flu season. The note is on the board in big red letters. You really want to be that parent?

When we brought Charlie back in to daycare on Friday, they had said that a lot of families had come down with the flu around the same time we had it. I understand that it just happens, it’s flu season and now we have a child. We’re going to get sick, period. But, it is just irritating to know that people send there kids into a center with 40 others knowing that they are most likely contagious.

Maybe some day in the future we will make the same mistake, and I will understand. But, we kept Charlie out for 4 days for a runny nose, mild temp and one green poopy diaper. Perhaps that’s a bit of extreme caution for a sick kid but, hey, we’re new at this and I certainly don’t want my baby in the hospital, so, ::insert fart noise made with tongue::

This milestone is now fading into the past. We have made it through our first round of illnesses. And, I hope it’s the last – if only for this flu season. I don’t know how likely that is, being that we still have a few months of it left and Charlie seems to be sitting in a cesspool of snot germs each day at daycare. For now, it’s lots more hand-washing, disinfecting and hand sanitizer for this lady. We shall see.

Other firsts that happened this week amongst the madness:

  • Charlie can now hold his head up. Only the slightest wobble now – way to go big man!
  • We discovered that Charlie has a favorite corner of the living room. He can just stare at it for hours, and if you turn him so it is out of view he will start to cry. I am left wondering who is sitting in that corner making faces at him that we adults cannot see.
  • Tristan learned that if you stay out past 10 pm with co-workers for happy hour, your car will get locked in the parking garage and your sick wife will absolutely not wake up your infant son to  drive in town, in the snow, to pick you up. Good thing his parents love him so much. Important to note, as a parent, if your car is locked in the parking garage at night, your child no longer has a ride to daycare in the morning. This gives a whole new sense of urgency to the phrase “Dude, where’s my car?”

And my personal favorite:

  • Mommy was able to bring a fussy Charlie to calm and eventually sleep, just by singing their favorite song. It was one of those moments where time just stood still. It’s rare that Charlie fusses just to fuss, and even more rare that he actually enjoys my off-key singing. But having just been sick it has been one of those weeks where he has just been inconsolable at times. Tonight, I sang him our traditional song – “Cheer Up, Charlie” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He just stopped and stared at me with his mouth wide open, and then fell asleep on my chest while we rocked.I think I could have lived in that moment for the rest of forever.

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