A few weeks ago, we (the three of us) were at our first real birthday party - you know, the kind with a few big kids, even more adults and a table full of edible finger foods. It was lovely and we were all having a good time and then, it arrived - the nastiest, greenest, runniest nose I have ever seen.
I kept my horrified reaction to myself, tried to put myself in his mom's shoes and tried to remain pleasant. And then I at one point I was able to actually step out of myself, see my not so pleasant reaction and some how find my "relaxed, laid back, no big deal attitude." Until we got into the car. Oh my lord. I felt like someone had just unleashed the queen of all character judgement and damnation - I had no idea I had it in me. It went something like this:
"Isn't there some unwritten rule in the code of parenting that you keep green snot away from birthday parties. I mean, what was she thinking. She wasn't thinking - she just wanted to be at the party. No respect for other people." There may have been some additional 4 letter words, but you get my idea. My loving and smart husband agreed completely - and that was all I needed I put out the fire. Or so I thought.
Inevitably, 2 days later - I had a green goo sighting on the nugget.
I quietly cursed her but somehow tried to access my non-judging mind. Nearly impossible as I tried to keep the germs from spreading to my husband who was about to fly to Thailand in a few days. Don't know if it hit him sometime during his retreat, but will find out shortly.
Finally, the nugget was drip free last week and on Wednesday we went to visit our first parent-led pre-preschool play group. And there, sitting delightfully at the snack table was green goo monster #2 - unconscouis;y spreading the love. Great, not again. I mean really - how hard is it to say "We're sick and a can't make it." Our time there was limited as was our contact, so I just prayed. We've been sick, I thought - it can't get us again.
So Friday comes along 2 days later and the nugget and I have a swim class to make-up. Not more than 15 minutes into the class, a dad with his curly haired little girl of no more than 6 months, joins the class late. I look towards her and let's just say her supply of green goo beat them all. And what takes the cake, is that with one quick jerk of his hand, it was gone without a trace, cleaned off by the chlorinated water we were swimming in. I wanted to bolt.
Swim class really???? Don't people know that green means infection? Don't people know that swimming with a cold is really not that good of an idea? Don't people think about other people?
Now, you may be thinking that I am extremely harsh and that kids are always sick and you can't blame the parents. And that I should be so lucky to be in a situation that I can stay home if the nugget is sick, but I am not talking about school or daycare or riding the bus - situations where a runny nose is just part of the reality. I am talking about optional activities like birthday parties and swim class. It simply would have meant being the adult and changing plans. I know, you are thinking, just wait until its your turn.
Well today, it was my turn. Because as I had feared, the green goo is back and with a vengeance this time. The nugget is a cranky, clingy, watery-eyed, stuffy nosed, coughing little man and I am right there with him. We are quite a team.
And today, as irony would have it, we had a birthday party planned that I was really looking forward to, actually really looking forward to.
But instead I had to be the adult, had to be the mom who knew the potential consequences. So the nugget and I stayed home and missed an important 1st birthday. And yes, being that mom sometimes sucks.