“Are you kidding me, Em? Are you really sick AGAIN? You’ve gotta be kidding me. Is your nose seriously runny? Did I just hear you cough? Please tell me you’re kidding… Ugh. You just threw up on my shoe. So I guess you’re not kidding, huh?”
I’m pretty sure Em finished her strep throat antibiotics prescription thirteen seconds ago. Apparently, when the germies found out she was momentarily healthy, they held a press conference for the rest of the germs in the Capital District area, which has resulted in my daughter once again being ill.
I was warned by many a parent that daycare is a cesspool of sickness, and that our family would likely get a fair share of colds and other viruses during her first year of exposure to other kids. But what our family has experienced is in no way a “fair share”. I’d say it’s more of a “monopoly”.
I’m pretty sure that in the past three months, I have spent more lunch hours visiting our pediatrician than I have spent eating a sandwich (you know it’s bad when your doctor greets you with, “what is it THIS time?”). Each time we visit, I feel like I have to apologize profusely to the nurses and doctor. I feel like they must think I am an incompetent mama who never washes her daughter’s hands. I swear I try to do my part to keep Em healthy, but in the mama vs. germies battle, I always seem to come out the big time loser.
Which is why, when I take Em to the doctor this afternoon, I am going to ask that they enroll me in a frequent flyer pediatrician program. If I am going to be using their services so often, it would be nice to get a few “perks” for all my patronage.
Here is what I propose:
· Each time I bring my daughter in with a runny nose and a cough that turns out to be JUST a runny nose and a cough, I accumulate 5 points.
· Each time I bring my daughter in with a runny nose and a cough that turns out to be strep throat, I accumulate 15 points.
· Each time I bring my daughter in with a runny nose and a cough that turns out to be an ear infection, I accumulate 25 points (if you knew how hard it is to try and get my daughter to take the gawdawful ear-infection fighting antibiotic, you would understand why this deserves so many points).
· Each time I bring my daughter in with a runny nose, a cough, and a mysterious rash, I accumulate 30 points (with 20 bonus points if the rash turns out to be something serious).
And so on, and so forth. I propose that at the end of the year, I would be able to turn in all of my points for a relaxing day at the spa, or a vacation for three to a germ-free far-away island.
It’s not that I need extra incentive to pay more frequent visits to the pediatrician. I just feel that if I am going to be taking Em to see her doctor every Tuesday and Friday afternoon, there should be a reason for me to LOOK FORWARD to these visits, rather than just dreading the diagnosis.
There is, of course, a slight chance that Em’s pediatrician won’t be enthusiastic about my proposed program. If that happens, I think I will take my idea to Em’s daycare, and ask them for an INFrequent Flyer program, which rewards parents whose children spend 75% of their school days at home, in bed, hopped up on Tylenol. Maybe THEY will go for the idea.