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Preschool is a wonderful, fabulous, heavenly place where your kid goes for part of the day and interacts with his peers. It’s where children learn to share things, like toys and books and lots and lots of really gross germs.
I don’t know if the kids are licking the toilets as well as each other, but the Muffin Man has been a preschool student for all of five weeks, and he’s already logged two sick days and a bout of diarrhea. The kids are constantly washing their hands – in the morning when we first arrive, before and after eating – but a toddler’s version of “washing” isn’t exactly what I would call thorough. These endless rounds of illness seem to pretty much go with the preschool territory, and supposedly it’s an important part of children building up their immune systems. Which is all well and good, except for the fact that when your kid is sick, he can’t go to school.
Do you want to know what sucks more than having a sick kid? Being stuck at home with one.
3AM Your toddler wakes up crying because he’s coughing or barfing. You stumble down the hallway in an exhausted fog and comfort your crying child. If vomit is involved, this will require the participation of both parents, as one will have to change the bedding and the other will have to hose down the puke-covered child.
3:47AM After several rounds of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, your kid finally falls back to sleep and you stumble to bed.
5:30AM Your second, still healthy, child wakes up ready to take on the day. She is in the best mood ever and cannot understand why you are crying into your coffee cup.
6:30AM Your sick toddler wakes up in the worst mood ever and wishes you good morning by throwing a book at your head.
6:35AM You pray that your toddler does not have a fever, so that you can send The Devil’s Spawn to preschool in a few hours.
6:45AM After ten minutes of trying to take your toddler’s temperature, and him screaming “No! I don’t like that!” and batting the thermometer out of your hand, you finally bribe him with either money or candy to allow you to take his temperature.
6:55AM You deduce, after seven readings from the ear thermometer, that your child does, in fact, have a slight* fever
6:56AM You cry into your third cup of coffee.
7AM Your toddler requests pancakes for breakfast, and because you are a masochist, you make some.
7:15AM Your toddler refuses to eat the pancakes, and throws them on the floor instead. Your other child eats three pancakes and follows that up by taking a drink from the sick child’s cup of milk.
7:25AM You seriously consider sending your sick kid to school. Sure, it’s a dick move, but your sanity may not survive a whole day trapped in your house with this terror.
7:26AM Your child barfs/sneezes/coughs all over you, thereby destroying your fantasy of pawning your little germ factory off on the school.
7:27AM You park both kids in front of TV and pour yourself another cup of coffee.
8AM Your spouse comes downstairs and has the gall to complain about being tired.
8:02AM You consider choking your spouse to death with his tie.
8:30AM TV has lost its magic. Your toddler now wants to build a lego tower, but he refuses to let his younger sibling play, thereby resulting in fighting and tears.
8:35AM Your toddler announces that he is bored.
8:36AM You suggest taking a walk. Mainly because you need more coffee.
8:37 – 8:42AM Your spouse watches* the kids while you shower.
*checks his email/makes phone calls
8:43AM Your spouse leaves, which causes both of your children to cry hysterically.
8:50 – 9:30AM You attempt to get your children dressed, which involves at least one tantrum and some bribery.
9:35AM – 11AM You take your kids to get bagels. It takes an hour to get to your destination because your toddler refuses to ride in the stroller and you have to stop to wipe his nose every two minutes. You feel marginally guilty for infecting people with your child’s germs, but you are thrilled that your outing took up most of the morning and that your kids only had one public meltdown.
11:15AM Arrive home. You are euphoric because your kids are tired and that means it’s almost nap time.
11:25AM Your adrenaline has kicked in and you hustle your kids through their pre-nap routine. Your bed is calling you and you can’t wait to imprison these Hellions in their cribs so that you can catch a few winks yourself.
11:30AM While the older kid goes potty, you deposit the younger one into her crib without preamble. You are sure that this one day of not reading her a story is going to lead to years of therapy, but you are too tired to care.
11:35AM Your sick kid has managed to poop all over the bathroom. It’s like he’s in possession of an exploding ass.
11:36AM You throw a few towels over the mess, take your super pooper into the shower, and hose both of you down.
11:43AM Your sick kid is so tired he’s falling asleep standing up. You try to put him in bed without the usual routine, but he throws an epic tantrum.
12:10PM Ten books, six songs, and a nursery rhyme later, your kid is finally asleep. You collapse into your own bed.
12:15PM You realize that you haven’t eaten anything and you are starving. You drag yourself to the kitchen to get some food.
12:20PM You hoover some cold leftovers.
12:30PM You go back to bed. You are so exhausted your body is vibrating.
12:31PM You realize you forgot to clean up the poopslosion in the bathroom. You decide that you’ll deal with it later*
*leave it for your Husband
12:35 – 2:30PM You enjoy some glorious, amazing, life-giving sleep.
2:30PM Your younger kid wakes up.
2:40PM You go in to pick up your younger child only to discover that she has taken off her diaper and has smeared poop all over herself, her crib, and her room.
2:43PM You take another shower with your second poop-covered kid.
2:50PM Your sick toddler wakes up screaming. Again.
2:51PM Your sick toddler screams and screams because he wants his Daddy, which sets off the younger kid. You consider locking them in the basement for an hour while you watch the newest episode of Empire, and then decide against it, mainly because your neighbor would probably have you arrested.
3:05PM You finally succeed in stopping the tantrums by suggesting your kids have a snack.
3:10PM Your children HATE every snack you offer them. Finally, in desperation, you simply hand them the basket of snacks so that you can recline on the couch for a minute.
3:11PM They descend on the snack basket like a swarm of locusts. Pretzels, nuts, and granola fly all over the house.
3:14PM After decimating the entire stash of snacks, your offspring announce that they are bored.
3:15PM You set them up with art supplies with the belief that this will be a quiet activity that they can do together.
3:17PM Since your children are incapable of sharing, this activity devolves into a fight in a matter of seconds. You are not sure if they are actually injured, or just covered in puce paint.
3:20PM You seriously consider taking your sick kid to the park, but decide to be a responsible parent instead.
3:25PM You take your kids out to the backyard and whisper words of gratitude for the weather in LA.
3:26PM – 3:45PM Miraculously, your children play without incident. You consider celebrating this achievement by moving cocktail hour to 4PM.
3:46PM Your Pinterest search for “Autumn cocktails” is cut short by your younger, previously healthy, child barfing into the kiddie pool.
3:47PM You tell your toddler that it’s time to come inside so you can take the baby’s temperature, which results in yet another tantrum. You fantasize about drowning yourself in the kiddie pool.
3:55PM Your bribe of TV and yogurt pops succeeds in luring your children inside. You say a little prayer of thanks that you live in a world with television.
3:57 – 4:30PM Your toddler expresses the fact that he’s feeling better by jumping on all of the furniture and singing The Wheels on the Bus at the top of his lungs. Your younger child alternates between vomiting, explosive diarrhea, and sobbing. You say “f*ck it”, and pour yourself a glass of wine.
4:30 – 4:40PM You realize that you need to feed your family dinner. You remember that you haven’t had time to grocery shop this week and that the only thing in your house is a can of pumpkin and a jar of capers. You cry, and then you order a pizza.
5PM – 5:05PM Your toddler eats dinner, which means that he takes two bites of a slice of cheese pizza and then says he’s done. Your younger child enjoys a dinner of Pedialyte and saltine crackers.
5:10PM – 6PM You mentally give your Pediatrician the finger and turn on the TV. Too much screen time? F that.
6:15PM Your spouse returns home, surveys the house, and asks what happened. You wonder if it’s possible to suffocate someone with a slice of pizza.
6:16PM You hand your spouse the bucket of cleaning supplies, tell him good luck, and head off to bed, because all of the sudden, you’re not feeling so hot yourself.