The Day Care Dance

Mar 18 2011 Published by under [Et Al], [Life Trajectories]

Sick kids are shape shifters. At any given time you are left guessing how sick they really are, because they will go from appearing to be on death's door to running around and singing, all within the span of an hour. Lethargic to laughing, and back.

As a parent, the question we have to answer on a regular basis is whether or not a child is okay for day care. The problem is that "okay" can take different forms depending on the demands of our lives. It sucks, but the reality is that there are some days where we are willing to push the envelope because our schedules are jammed up and the consequences of one of us staying home is a missed deadline, canceled class or some other undesirable result.

I know that in the grand scheme of things, making sure the Wee One stays healthy is more important than any of these things, but this is where the shape shifting comes in. Sometimes it is virtually impossible to determine how sick a child is. No fever but a cough? How bad is it? Sometimes she's better by the afternoon, sometimes not, but predicting the end result is harder than filling out a winning March Madness bracket.

Day cares are half full of sick kids all the time because all parents are weighing these decisions almost year-round. If we took a day every time the Wee One looked like she was a little sick we would both burn through our sick and vacation time by April every year. So, we play the game and hope not to lose too badly.

Yesterday we lost, but today I get to snuggle with a cuddly kid who is in pretty good spirits for someone as sick as she is.

7 responses so far

  • highnumber says:

    This is Truth.

  • BugDoc says:

    What is that all about? My kid has a horrible upper respiratory infection , couldn't eat any dinner and wanted to go right to bed last night, so I figured she was really sick. By the time she took a bath and got to bed, she was perky enough to bounce off the ceiling. Going to sleep apparently wasn't an option anymore....

  • proflikesubstance says:

    I have no idea. We've had the same thing, but even worse is the waking up like she's 100% and then crashing at day care around noon. They lull you into a false sense of hope that they are better and then meltdown a few hours later.

  • Every day spent in day care means a stronger immune system.

  • Dr. O says:

    Yesterday we lost, but today I get to snuggle with a cuddly kid who is in pretty good spirits for someone as sick as she is.

    These are the best times. Staying home with Monkey when he was really sick was an experience to be forgotten, but the *good* sick days we've had together - well, they're something I'm a little thankful for.

  • Patchi says:

    We abide by the daycare rules: fever, rash, vomit, diarrhea. Most of the time if none of those symptoms are present they will feel better running around with their friends and napping at nap time there. We'd much rather spend our vacation days on vacation.

    Then again there are days when they call from school telling you your child has pink eye because you forgot to wash the "sleep" out of their eye and they tried to rub it off - and you take them to the doctor who prescribes antibiotic drops "just in case", which you apply so they can go back to daycare the next day. Sometimes you just can't win...

  • Thank you for this post and for all of you admitting that
    you take your wee ones to daycare when they are sick-ish. I do the
    dance too: how sick is sick? If Tot is still happily running
    around, then. . .daycare he goes!

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