1. Chantsy says...

    I don’t know what’s in the water but this has been our worst year yet 😩 Three kids under 7, 2 in school and since mid September (so what, like five weeks??) we’ve had, brace yourselves, THREE colds and a stomach flu. There’s been no break, no time to come up for air, we’re trudging through the mud here!! I absolutely cringe telling family that we are “sick again”, I’m sure by now they think there’s something wrong with our house or we are feeding our kids a healthy diet of candy. Please, parents who have been there, please tell me it gets better??

  2. Lynne says...

    Ugh, yes. My 3 year old has hand, foot, and mouth and has now most likely passed it on to my 6 year old who woke with a fever. Despite my days of trying not to let them share or interact in any way. So many toddler meltdowns for wanting to share his germs with his brother.

  3. Ashley says...

    Yep. Day one of fall break: visit grandma in AM; spike a fever in PM. Sorry grandma! So long fall break plans :(

  4. Lizzy says...

    Hugs and tea to all of the parents, caregivers, teachers, and partners of teachers dealing with this today!

  5. Jenny says...

    I don’t have kids, but I do work in a large open-plan office, and the germ paranoia is real. I’ve taken my hand washing game to the next level, dry skin be damned!

    On an unrelated note, I just wanted to say how much I love reading Cup of Jo, including the comments. You’ve all built such a wonderful community full of people who are interesting, smart, and most importantly, kind. Comment sections usually fill me with dread – I enter them with bated breath, anticipating the pettiness and vicious anonymity. But reading the comments on Cup of Jo is like being part of a warm round-table discussion with women I would like to be friends with. So I just wanted to say to all of you: thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, jenny! you make me teary! thank you so much for the incredibly sweet note. xoxo

  6. Escondista says...

    I am due to give birth to my second baby during prime cold and flu season with a toddler in daycare.
    Other than vaccinations, hand washing, and sanitizer – does anyone have any good ideas for this (common) situation?

    • Annie says...

      My toddler caught a nasty cold 2 days after we brought home our newborn. Enlist as much help as you can to keep the older one occupied. Lots of fluids for everyone and an excessive amount of handwashing.

    • Abby says...

      We went through this exact scenario last winter. We also used the medical face masks when we (the adults) were sick, so that we didn’t pass it to the newborn. It was unpleasant but worth it. At one point my spouse and I both had bronchitis and at another point he had the flu. Neither of our children caught anything and my toddler came out of the winter with only a cold and a bout of pinkeye…which I call a win! And the newborn never got sick.

      And then just the constant reminder that it is a temporary phase :). You got this and congratulations!

    • Catherine says...

      I did some research a few years ago when the flu was extremely bad (everyone at my sons’ school was getting sick). It turns out that the sanitize cycle on most dryers is really effective at killing germs. During that season, I threw my boys’ jackets in the dryer and ran a sanitary cycle every afternoon after school, without washing them more than necessary. I did eventually ruin the zippers, but they didn’t get the flu. I still make them wash their hands after school and wash their jackets or coats weekly during the worst months.

      If it’s a stomach bug, try to limit the sick person’s bathroom use to just one bathroom if you have it, while everyone else uses a different one. That makes clean-up so much easier.

    • Danielle says...

      Having a new baby and a toddler in the middle of respiratory virus season can be tough. Make sure everyone around the baby who can be immunized gets the Flu shot. Wipe down commonly used surfaces- door handles, switch plates, tablets, remotes- with your disinfectant of choice on a regular schedule. If you’re able, breastfeeding can share your antibodies with the baby and help protect him/her. It may help to leave your toddler’s daycare belongings in a designated spot at home to avoid spreading those germs around. Keep yourself rested.

      At the end of the day, remember that even if you all get sick, it happened because you love and care for each other, because for better or worse, affection spreads germs :P.

    • Rachel says...

      Pediatrician here! Breastfeed if you can, you will give that baby so much immunity through breastmilk. And realistically, kids have on average 6-8 colds a year. This translates to about ONE a MONTH in the winter, which makes it seem like they are sick nonstop. This is totally normal but hard to deal with as a parent!

  7. MJ says...

    Daily elderberry syrup happening over here. A rare scientifically backed preventative measure for cold and flu :)

  8. Savannah says...

    On the night before my husbands birthday last year our two year old was super fussy so we let her cuddle in our bed (my husband is a mad cuddler and I can’t be bothered so he was ecstatic). 2 AM and I wake up to what i think is the cat ralphing but is actually our daughter throwing up all over me! I’ve been with my husband a decade but watching him that night snuggle our girl (knowing we were pregnant again and in for more of the same down the road) and wash nasty sheets I don’t think I’ve ever loved or admired him more.

    • Lisa says...

      Same. There was one night where, due to a combination of a cold and too much cake (our son had spent the afternoon with his grandmother and great aunt), our son spent the night throwing up, repeatedly, on my husband. He took it all in his stride, comforting our poor vomiting baby while I felt like death in the early morning sickness stage of pregnancy

  9. Erin says...

    We played a version of this game today where kid wakes up, looks weird, complains that his stomach hurts. Mama (that’s me) says “Do you need to go potty?” Kid insists he does not. Three minutes later, he has a great idea! He needs to go potty! He does, and feels much better! Where *does* he get these great ideas?!? LOL.

  10. Lorraine says...

    Say it ain’t so! I am not looking forward to germ season now that my younger child started school this year! Ack!!!!

    I’m enforcing strict (likely insanely gratuitious) hand-washing and hand-sanitizing already. This coming from a mama with emetophobia. Heaven help us all!

    • Alyson says...

      Bless you!! May I ask… how do you handle that? As someone who can’t wait to start a family, being having this phobia is my only hang up. Does it get better? Thank you!!! :)

    • Lorraine says...

      Oh, it hasn’t really gotten easier but I’ve at least realized that it’s mostly the anticipation that I have a problem with. I was faced with it once without warning and I was surprisingly OK! I try to remember it doesn’t happen often at all. I actually asked a therapist about it and she suggested I read a daily mantra (something like “My kids might vomit, and that is OK”) to help reduce the fear. I need to start that back up. I’ve read up on others’ experiences online too.

      Otherwise, I rely on my husband and one time I even called him to come home from running errands – and wow, perfect timing. Best of luck, fellow phobic future mama! xo

  11. jeannie says...

    This is spot on and hilarious!

  12. EC says...

    I LOL’d. Unfortunately it’s missing the “double whammy” square where both parents get the stomach flu at the same time. That was us on Tuesday!

  13. Sally says...

    So true! Last night my little one slept in my bed last night as she was so fitful and I was hoping it was just the effects of her immune system rallying for the vaccines she got yesterday. But no I’m sniffly/headache-y/drinking hot tea like it’s my job and wondering if we both don’t have something worse. Move quickly indeed.

  14. Natalia says...

    Sadly, I’m playing this game today;)

  15. Kim says...

    So apropos! If you can, get your flu shots, everybody!