The 10 Commandments of Having a Kid with a Cold
‘Tis the season! No, not Christmas, thankfully that’s over with for at least a few months. ‘Tis the season for a different kind of exchange. Not gifts… Germs.
Every parent knows their kids are adorable little germ dealers. My own daughter is like a tiny, hazel-eyed Typhoid Mary, spreading those crazy kindergarten germs around our family every couple of months with her sweet hugs and snuggles… and questionable hand-washing practices. But still, even the best hand washers are going to get colds. It happens.
Here are a few rules to remember when those kid germs invade your home:
#1. Thou shalt have 8,000 little plastic dosage cups at all times. They come with every bottle of liquid medicine and (in my house, at least) they cause a tiny plastic avalanche every time you open the medicine cabinet door. Until you need to give your kid medicine at 3am. Then you’ll only be able to find one, and it will be covered in crusty purple goo from the last time you gave your kid ibuprofen at 3am and didn’t wash it out.
#2. Thou shalt be able to correctly determine dosage at all hours. It’s the middle of the night. You’re standing in the harsh light of the bathroom trying to make out the tiny print on the medicine bottle. Dosage is based on age and weight, but in your foggy, bleary-eyed state you can’t remember how much your kid weighs. Ok, go with age. But is it close enough to their birthday to just round up to the next dosage? Is that too much? Does the bottle say 15 ml or 1.5 ml? Where are the numbers on this tiny cup? Are you going to overdose your kid on pain reliever / fever reducer because you can’t see and you can’t remember their weight and suddenly you’re not even sure how old they are?! Get it together. This is not the time for an impromptu panic attack / eye exam, compliments of store-brand ibuprofen.
#3. Thou shalt not get it right. After finally pouring the correct (you hope) dosage of grape-flavored medicine, your sweet, sickly child will tell you that they no longer like the grape-flavored medicine and that only the bubble gum-flavored kind is acceptable. Go back to the medicine cabinet and start over.
#4. Thou shalt never have a tissue when a tissue is needed. You put a fresh box on every flat surface in every room. You follow your kid around, tissue in hand, ready to wipe at the first sign of lightning snot. You even consider duct-taping a box to your kid just so they’ll always have one nearby. But but despite your best efforts to predict when and where they will need a tissue, they will never ever have one when they sneeze. Ever.
#5. Thou shalt prepare a space in thy bed for the Sick Child seeking refuge. Hey, why sleep on their own snot-covered pillows when they can snuggle up next to you and spread the mucous-y wealth?
#6. Thou shalt wear the snot of a thousand sneezes upon thy clothes. See #4.
#7. Thou shalt feel secure in the knowledge that the Sick Child has been taught to the proper way to cover their mouth when they cough. Until you’re out in public. Then they’ll turn into hacking, bare-mouthed germ volcanoes spewing infectious waste all over everything within a 12-foot radius. (My sincerest apologies to the lady in line behind us at CVS. And to anyone who touched anything in aisles 6 through 9. Sorry.)
#8. Thou shalt let the Sick Child watch way too much tv. It’s fine. It doesn’t happen every day, and if watching Frozen five times in a row makes your kid less miserable (thereby making YOU less miserable), cue it up and let it go.
#9. Thou shalt replace the empty tissue box. Again. Sick kids go through more tissues than you ever thought possible. It doesn’t matter if you just strapped a new box to your kid. It’s empty.
#10. Thou shalt prepare thyself, for thou shalt have this same cold in 2-3 days. Go buy more tissues and duct tape. It’s coming.