Okay, maybe it’s a bit of a stretch to call it the ‘plague’… Please humor me since I’m the sick one! 🙂
Before I begin a mini-rant I want share a fact about me – I love kids! I enjoy being around children of all ages and have great respect for parents in general. Convinced? I hope so, because I am being sincere! 🙂 Now that you know my general attitude about kids let’s move on to a different, although related, topic: sick kids. More specifically – taking undeniably sick kids out in public places on nonessential errands…
That probably upset at least some readers, but stick with me for just a few more minutes! My attitude toward sick children is, for obvious reasons, less enthusiastic than my love of being around those that are not. I feel bad to see kids suffering from whatever cold/virus/ailment is bothering them and wish them a speedy recovery! Preferably at home. Where they can rest, drink lots of fluids, be cared for, etc, etc, without being around other people. 🙂 Please don’t get me wrong – I appreciate the struggles of parenting and know there are circumstances that cannot be helped that make it necessary to go out with youngsters that aren’t healthy. Altogether I have seven younger siblings of varying relation (a long story for another day, perhaps). I have lived in a two parent household and a single parent household, so I’m familiar with doing whatever you have to for the well-being of your family. Sometimes it means taking your child with you to pick up meds, or get groceries and ‘sick’ supplies at the store, and sometimes it means going places when they’re getting better but might still have a slight sniffle or a cough. Those things don’t bother me at all. I’m an adult with multiple bottles of hand sanitizer and a decent amount of common sense. What I’m talking about is something else entirely. This discussion is regarding UNnecessary outings with a kiddo that is unquestionably miserable and quite possibly contagious…
I visited a local library book sale last Friday afternoon and watched as an 8-10 year old began coughing and hacking so forcefully and continually that I wondered if she left pieces of lung on the floor. Generally speaking, I don’t pay more attention to coughing and sneezing in public places than the next person. I try to avoid germy surfaces and take precautions since I have an impaired immune system, however, I live in a region populated with seasonal allergy sufferers so it’s normal to have one or two in a crowd that sneeze a bit or carry tissues in their pockets. This wasn’t like that – it was bad enough that at first I wondered if she was choking on something. Thankfully that wasn’t the case! She went in search of her mother and began coughing again. Her mother told her quite sternly to ‘at least cover your mouth a little so it won’t be so loud’ and then held her daughter’s flushed, feverish face against her chest in what appeared to be an effort to stifle the sound. As soon as she finished coughing she was pushed away and told to ‘go back over there’. ?? You know – I’m not even going to comment on that part because it just makes me sound even more judgemental and that’s not what I hoped to convey… Anyway! The same girl then leaned over one of the tables lifelessly gazing at a book and waiting for her mom to get finished so they could leave. I felt a pang of sympathy for her apparent misery but, at the same time, promptly crossed the aisle and headed 6-7 rows away. The book sale took place in a large banquet room at a convention center so it wasn’t difficult to put quite a bit of space between us. Nevertheless, I told hubby about what was going on and it wasn’t long before we bagged our books and left.
We didn’t go anywhere else that evening and hung out around the house the next day, but the damage was already done. It is quite possible that what’s going on with me has been brewing in my system for longer than a few days, but since my immune system is so wonky it’s not unusual for me to show symptoms of an illness quicker than most. So while I’m not trying to blame anyone, it is also possible that this illness is the result of picking up germs at the book sale. Either way, Sunday morning found me struggling to swallow without wincing and yesterday I made the trip to the doctor’s office bright and early. My doc, concerned after an examination and discussion of my symptoms, sent me home with instructions to take two full rounds of antibiotics and restrestrest. Yikes! He never hands out antibiotics that way! I was adamantly advised to return if I didn’t see a fair amount of improvement after 3-4 days of meds. Now on day two and it is the worst it has been. Today I sound exactly like that poor girl did and feel as bad as she looked… I may be wrong, but I’m afraid I haven’t seen the last of the doc’s office this week. Whether I got it from her or not, I kept thinking about that little girl and hoping she was also able to get some meds and that we will both feel healthier soon.
As I wrote earlier – please don’t misunderstand or think I’m a horrible person! Parents have to do what is best for their kids and I get that! I also love books and love seeing the written word spark a child’s interest and imagination so I’m always thrilled to see an adult encourage and nurture a child’s love of books! I am not currently a parent and, although I have opinions about it, would never dream of telling someone else how to parent their child… When and if the day comes that I have a family of my own, I’m sure I’ll make parenting mistakes with the best of them. I’d even go so far as to say I’ve been thoughtless at times and selfishly concerned with what I need to do without considering how it might impact someone else. Some things, however, are just common courtesy. I’m not calling anyone a ‘bad’ parent, I’m just asking that you please be considerate of your child’s health and the health of others around you. If you are aware your child is sick, as this girl so obviously was, please postpone any non-essential errands, or try to find someone – friend, neighbor, family – to either keep your child or go for you. Please don’t bring them to a book sale and set up shop in your preferred section while they suffer needlessly, anxious to go home. Not only will it help prevent spreading their illness, it will probably help them get well that much faster so you can get back to everyday activities!
This is much wordier than I intended and seems a bit pedantic. Oops! Apparently I go on and on when I have nothing else to do but lay here propped up and miserable. I promise that’s not a direct reflection of my attitude – more a reflection of my current state of physical discomfort!
Enough of that! Now that I’ve ranted a bit and realized my cough medicine isn’t going to #1- provide much, if any, relief or, #2- knock me out so I can sleep through some of this yuck, I’d like to know who wants to keep me company… ? Anyone? It probably doesn’t sound like an attractive suggestion, huh? I’m honestly not grumpy – just breathing impaired. : ) And speaking of cough syrup – why do pharmacists assume that adults don’t want or need it flavored? This is, by far, the nastiest, foulest cough medicine concoction I’ve ever tasted! It seems to be breaking things up the slightest bit so I’ll keep taking it, but YUCK! lol
Hope everyone else is feeling good and healthy this week! I promise not to breathe on you and promise to have a better attitude before my next post! 🙂