Keep Your Contagious Child Home Please
This week, I overheard several conversations that sent my annoyed and PMSing rant radar into overload. Some people really need help with their question filters:
1. “Congrats on being pregnant! How far along are you?” Ummmm… She wasn’t pregnant. Enough said.
2. “Whoa. What’s up with your face?” Said by one girl to another about a recent acne outbreak which she gets with her period and from working out. Not that it is anyone’s business WHY she had the acne. A polite person would never ask such a thing.
But the single most annoying conversation I overheard this week involved a mom and her sick child. This mom was blatantly bringing her child to daycare knowing that she wasn’t feeling well and blamed a 103 degree temp on teething. As I sat listening to this, cringing in horror, she actually kept talking. She was talking about how she was giving her kid ibuprofen before school so that her fever wouldn’t show up and so she could still go to work and “slide under the radar”. Next day, she apparently tried to bring the kid back to daycare. Mine, and any other daycare that follows state regulations, requires 24 hours fever free or a doctor’s note before returning to daycare (which she blatantly chose to ignore that little rule). Appointment-less, she bounded into her doctor’s office with both guns blazing, demanding a note to allow her kid back in daycare. Upon examination from the doctor and the discovery of a FULL BODY RASH (how do you miss that??) not to mention a fever still at 102 (AFTER more ibuprofen) the doctor gave her a swift NO WAY are you getting a note from me and sent her and baby home to rest. Turns out it is a case of Roseola. Highly contagious virus. She also refused to tell daycare what the diagnosis was in the case that they wouldn’t let her back in until the rash is gone because she had “work to do.” She was even chuckling about “Totally being that ‘mom’ bringing her kid into school sick” So funny is this lady! (sense my sarcasm and yoda-like commentary).
My mommy judgement alarm was blaring and it took everything I had not to interrupt this conversation and say “WTF?!!” This ranks easily up there on my anger range scale with “those moms” who think it is okay to park their oversized Escalades (still running) in the handicapped parking spots while they quickly run in to pick up their kids, because apparently they are important and do not need to park in regular spots like the rest of us. I digress.
Firstly, let me say that I get it. Being a full-time working mom is flipping hard. Finding the balance between work responsibilities and your children is not always easy. But for me, this is a no-brainer. MY CHILD COMES FIRST. I would never leave my sick, fussy, feverish child with anyone but me or my husband (she dumped her baby off with Grandma, so now poor granny is likely to get sick). I also feel as a parent that has to use a daycare for her child that it is my social responsibility to inform them exactly what my child is sick with so other parents can be aware and prepared for what their kids may be exposed to. Nothing ticks me off more than when Jack gets sick with things like croup and viral pneumonia (both uber contagious) when nothing has been announced. There is NO OTHER way he could pick that up other than through other kids at daycare- we are lucky if we have time to get him a haircut on most weekends. How insanely selfish is it to keep that information “under the radar” at the risk of exposing other kids to an extremely icky and contagious illness. So. Irresponsible. My husband and I also work as a team. When the kid gets sick, we can pretty much assume a 2-3 day stint at home. We take turns staying home and do our fair share. Yes. It totally sucks having to use limited PTO time to stay home with a sick kid. Yes. You’ll have to cancel meetings and deal with the stink eye from the childless folks. But hey, that is the reality of being a parent.
I cannot even express how much overhearing (okay… it started with overhearing and maybe turned into a little eavesdropping) this conversation totally angered me. So, I ask (beg), with the utmost respect and understanding for the working mom, please keep your contagious, sick child away from mine.