11/15/2013 10:41 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

A Public Apology to the Mothers of Sick Children Whom I Doubted


At my previous job, where I was carefree and had no children, I worked with a woman who, to my eyes, took a lot of time off for her sick kids. Just when one was done being sick it was the other one. "Boy, Susie's kids are really sick a lot, huh?" I smirked to no one in particular (because I didn't have many friends at this job). In case my lines are too close together to read between, what I'm saying is that I figured she was just using her kids as an excuse not to come to work when she didn't feel like it. Oh and I should also mention that she was a single mom and I was a total a-hole.

Well, now I'm no longer carefree nor childfree, and I could not wait to get October 2013 behind me as I think our son was completely well for about five days last month. First it was the fever-with-a-rash virus. He got better, and I idiotically agreed to a playdate with my cousin's kid (who she warned me was drippy-nosed) because I figured "He was just sick," and that he couldn't get sick again so quickly. Just like with my assumptions about my co-worker, I was a total a-hole, thus allowing my son to get sick again.

So that was a good lesson, followed by another lesson I needed to learn: that it's impossible to keep up with a baby's runny nose. Again, when I was carefree and had no children, I looked with disdain upon the booger-nosed children. Gross. Why can't parents take a SECOND and just wipe their kids' noses so that people like me don't have to look at their snot? Boogers, to me, have always been the most disgusting thing, more so than poop or blood and maybe even vomit. But no, it is impossible to keep up with a baby's runny nose. He doesn't give a crap and won't help you out by wiping it himself; quite the contrary. Any attempts to keep my baby's face clean are met with noisy complaint and attempts at escape. The only solution is to stick a pacifier in his mouth which more or less will hide his crust-ache with a backup solution going a little something like this: just try not to look if you hate it so much.

After the baby got over his cold, he vomited on us (literally). And then after that came the diarrhea. Then there was a fun twist: a demon had arisen from either his vomit or his diarrhea and it haunted the nightmares of anyone who had come into contact with the baby. This virus completely disabled my dad, my mom and me and even sent my husband to the ER. Was the baby sick or well while we went through this? I don't even remember, honestly. I think we put baby in the proverbial corner during this time.

Now we are recovering and the baby has a little cough and I am OVER IT. Just get yourself together, dude, jeez.

So that's where I was for much of last month. Learning many lessons. Cleaning up bodily fluids. Spending a lot of money on Gatorade and Pedialyte. And sending mental apologies to that mom whom I once doubted, because being at work is infinitely better than all this gross nonsense.

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