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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Hartgrove Mahoney

Beat it, kid

... which is what I said to the little kid who was coughing all over my daughter.

Okay, I didn't actually say that. His Mom was standing right next to him.

This happened at preschool, it's a Mommy and Me class that I started Avie in because I thought it would help her to have some structure in her day. I mean, she is already scheduled but her play time is a little willy-nilly. I figured that a preschool would teach her some neat things through play, like how to play with others, shapes and colors and cool new songs. Plus, since it's a Montessori school, I know she will learn some practical skills like scooping, pouring and cleaning up after herself.

The first time was great. She had so much fun! She was the most "mature" of the other kids there... quiet, obedient, sweet and curious. None of the other kids would share and a few of them were pretty out of control at times. Avie's favorite part was the music class. She danced around on the rug like a loon- the other mothers watching with smiles on their faces- and she sang the ABC's at the top of her lungs!

I was so proud of her for listening so well to directions, too. She really did everything that was asked of her, like putting toys away, pushing in her chair when she left the table, etc. I couldn't wait to get her back there again. I even thought, maybe she will be okay here without me one day!

Well, then the second class happened and I changed my mind. Avie still enjoyed it, and she was still the "coolest" kid there. But, two things concerned me. First, it was the snack. I've blogged about Avie's snacks before- fatty, salty and aiming for four food groups- and I guess I expected all kids to eat that way. Yet, once again, I have been jaded by my CF obligations. This school supplies their version of a snack, which is a tiny cup of about 5 animal crackers and another tiny cup, half full, of raisins.

Oh, but they are organic.

Luckily, this time I brought some backup food, like a good CF Mama! I sat down with my bag at the tiny picnic table, with Avalyn and the other mother-kid duos. I pulled out her enzymes and said, "Avie- can you tell your new friends what you do before eating?"

She enthusiastically replied, "Em-eyes first!" and then I explained to the interested mothers what I was doing and why. When Avie started to eat her tiny, toddler school snack, I brought out the additions that I had packed. But she refused to eat them! They were her favorites too: cheese, black olives and ham! She wanted to eat what the other kids were eating and nothing else. Yikes.

I remained the best duck I could (you know, calm on the surface even though beneath that I'm feverishly trying to stay afloat). This sucks! Basically, if I have to figure out a sneaky way to get her an additional snack. Like, two small breakfasts and then we go to school. Yeah... I will let you know how that goes once I get it figured out.

The second thing that concerned me was the chesty, wet hack that came out of the boy standing next to Avie as soon as we got in the door. I wasn't sure I'd actually heard it, until it happened a second time. Fortunately, the kid's head was facing away from Avalyn- but still! I had to do it- I had to ask the mother, "Is he sick?"

She smiled at me and said, "It's just a little cough"

Oh come on, lady. Cough, cold, measles... don't take your kid to a preschool with other kids!! This is a Mommy and Me class, meaning you are there with your child. You are not at work. Conceivably, you could be at home with your child. Your SICK child.

I calmly replied that I would have to keep Avalyn away from her son because she is more prone to getting sick (why did I feel the need to justify this? I could have said, okay, just keep him away from my child). Anyway, she was very nice about it- which I appreciated. But, at the same time that also kind of bothered me. It's like she totally understood why I wouldn't want Avie to play with her son. So again, I ask, why are you even here with him?!

I want to be clear, that this was not a quiet little dry baby cough. It was a grown man's chesty, phlem-thrower.

So... I guess there is no "sick-policy" at this school? Or, the teachers are too chicken to confront a Mother and say, "Beat it, Mama!"

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