‘Tis the Season for…. Sickness

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.

13 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season for…. Sickness

  1. Anonymous says:

    paying for daycare when your child is too sick to use it just kills me. Your scenario has also happened to me; and the 24 fever-free thing is a real drag.

    Hope your little one is over it now, and things are back to normal.


  2. This sounds like it could have been written by me. My kiddos have been sick non stop since we started daycare 8/08. UGH!

    I also HATE to pay for daycare when they are not there! It stinks.

  3. Wordy McWord. I am so over the constant illnesses and negotiating who’s going to stay home with a sick kid-o (and feeling bad if it’s not me).

  4. Just had my first 24 hour stay home with my son over a suspected pink eye. Fortunately, he was in a good mood despite whatever was going on with his eye and I took it as a rest-in day. I hope it doesn’t happen again though – can’t afford to miss work while paying for daycare. Once is enough.

  5. caffeinatedmarketing says:

    I just did 4 days of Croup with our 5 year old.
    My husband would stay home one day, I the next (and TRY to get work done).
    I am only on week 6 of my new job & for the first time I felt guilty NOT being at work when my child was sick. It this economy I can not afford to get laid off AGAIN & I do really love my new job. Odd, but true.
    Thanks for reassuring me that I am not alone!

  6. serahrose says:

    Oh, man, I hear you. My daughter’s two and since I work from home, I managed to keep her out of day care until a few months ago. She goes two days a week, Monday and Friday…her first two weeks, she went the first Monday and the final Friday because she was sick the rest of the time….I paid a helluva lot of money for all that sick time. Erg. We should totally be given a few tuition-free sick days to use at will.

  7. Mary–It is a drag–and he IS feeling better. Also, the 24-hour fever-free thing? He didn’t even ever HAVE a fever on my watch. Ugh.

    Kari–I hope your children start to feel better soon. Now that O has been in daycare awhile, the sicknesses have definitely let up. He still gets sick (obviously), but not nearly as much. (I should watch what I say here, though… the sickness gods might be watching.)

    Kris–I’ve noticed on your blog how your DH has been sick. The negotiating is another bad part, too.

    Omie–Good luck. I hope your son doesn’t get sick again anytime soon.

    CM–You are DEFINITELY not alone. I feel guilt no matter what happens–I feel guilty if I leave my sick kid alone, guilty if I’m not at work. It’s really a no-win situation.

    Serahrose–That’s a great idea! I mean, you get sick days from work, let’s get some sick days from daycare. I love.that.idea. Now it’s all about proposing it to a daycare somehow…

    I understand why we still have to pay (the daycare still has to operate!), but it gets soooo frustrating.

  8. I suddenly feel like I have company. My first almost 4 years (he will be 4 tomorrow yeah!!!) with my son have been so eventful. He had ear infections every three weeks for the first 18 months of his life until I finally begged the ped for tubes. Each infection took 4 FULL days out of daycare. Oh did I mention it was just me to stay home with him. I had a divorce, quit a job, lost a job, got a new job…then his stomach started to go nuts almost monthly. Vomiting, severe headaches, mucho pain. 6 months of diagnosing and one 3 day hospital stay turned into a surgery requiring 6 weeks recovery…guess what… NO DAYCARE… still had to head in every Monday to drop off the check…. He will be headed back on the 29th. I truly hope we have a happy and HEALTHY New Year.
    I wish the same to you and yours.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Your poor little boy is sick and he wants the love and comfort of his mommy. Daycares breed germs-if you’re going to stick him in one, can you at least care for him when he gets a fever?

  10. Anon–If you read my post, you’ll see that I did go and get my son when the daycare called me to tell me had a fever. I know a child needs his mommy when he’s sick, and I make dang sure he gets that.

    As for “sticking” him in a daycare and daycares “breeding germs.” Well, you are entitled to your opinion. I, unfortunately, have no other choice than to put him in some sort of childcare situation while I work. Either that, or we starve, and I’m thinking “sticking him in daycare” is better than starving to death with no roof over our head.

    And daycares breed germs just as much as schools (or workplaces) do!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sorry-I assumed you were married. I used to work in daycare and it’s my experience that they only call a parent if the child is really sick..and even then some parents in my daycare would not pick them up and they’d be so sick and alone, so I’m jaded now. I have 3 kids and after my daycare days I vowed to keep them out. But I understand you have no choices but if you think your child may sometimes fake sick that is because he wants to be with you but the daycare people don’t usually call if he is faking. Good luck with this season!

  12. Anon–

    No apologies necessary. Just stating your opinion.

    The “faking” sick was tongue-in-cheek. He’s a smart kid, but at two I don’t think he has figured that out just yet. 🙂

    At his old daycare I nary got a call ever asking me to come pick him. (Sometimes I thought I should’ve!) This newer place to seems to be a bit more conservative with the illnesses

    I don’t want my child to be sick and alone at daycare, but when I’m getting calls for a “99 degree” fever and he can’t come back the next day, it gets frustrating. Especially when I still have to pay for the service!

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