Since he entered daycare when he was just a wee three-months-old, I thought O had gotten the bulk of his illnesses behind him. Silly me! You know how parents of kids who used to attend daycare always tell you how their kid is never sick now that they in “regular” school? Well, I believed them! I also believed that since he was sick a LOT in his first two years of life, maybe this immunity-building had occurred at age 2 instead of age 5. I have a super immune-building kid! I breastfed! Well, it could happen, right?

Plus, now he’s in a daycare with much lower ratios, and he has been sick less and less. I had made it! My kid is no longer going to be sick at inopportune times! Ahhh… the naiveté of a first-time mother. The cocoon of false security that cradled me broke apart this month. No, it shattered. Into a million pieces.

The first week of the month, daycare called to inform me O had a temperature and a “loose” bowel movement. I went and retrieved my child. He seemed fine to me, a little warm, but no worse for the wear. Although he assured me when I got there, and on the way home, that he was “a little bit sick.” He’s recently figured out that I come pick him up from daycare when he’s sick. (I see lots of school-itis cases in my not-so-distance future.)

The next day, he had to stay home from daycare because of his fever—couldn’t go back until he’s 24-hours fever free. He split time with his dad and a sitter. They said he seemed fine all day—no fever and no stomachular issues, so back he went to daycare the following day.

That day I got another call. O had a little “explosion” and I had to pick him up again. And you guessed it—he can’t go back until he’s symptom free for 24-hours. Since he had the symptom on a Wednesday, he wouldn’t be going back to daycare the rest of the week. (I work from home on Fridays.) He never had another stomach issue, and it was kind of sucky to pay for a week’s worth of daycare to get about a day and a half of care. Wait, kind of sucky? No, really sucky.

Then this weekend he had a pretty bad fever. It broke Sunday, and I thought he was fine. Then some stomach issues started up and he stayed home Monday and Tuesday, until I was pretty sure he was feeling better.

I’m lucky. I can work from home, and I have very sympathetic co-workers and bosses. I have a friend who pays daycare and nanny costs when her children are sick. (She gets a nanny to cover the rest of the week, etc.) I could never afford that! Luckily, I don’t have to. But there are some people who can’t afford not to pay for back-up care (if they are lucky to find it), while their children are sick. Their jobs could be at stake.

Sickness: It’s a common frustration for a lot of working parents. I wish there were just some way to easily fix it.

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