September 1, 2021

a hypochondriac's germy home, a scene setting for HOME ALONE

This morning felt a little like the opening scene (at least if my memory serves) of Home Alone. Don't worry, no one was left at home while the rest of us jetted off somewhere fabulous. I'm talking about the oversleeping. The sheer chaos. And me channeling my inner Catherine O'Hara.

Allow me to set the scene: 

Mini and Curly walking around the
 zoo with me and our little people.
I JUST started back to babysitting. A few of the families needed care 2 weeks ago, but Mini and Curly handled their babysitting needs, for the most part. The family with the 18 month old twins returned for the first time this school year on Friday, Aug 27. 

This year the twins are only coming Monday and Fridays. They are going to a 'school' aka daycare the other days. Last year they were here three days. The grandma took care of them the other two. I think the idea was to give grandma a break. The news made me cringe a tad. I've never had anyone pair my services with an actual daycare. Some families only work 3 days a week - so they only need a coverage those days, or those who work full time have grandparents take a day or two opposite me. 

I'm crazy about the twins. They are super cute and Seriously. I also rank their mom as one of my favorites that I've ever worked for. She's great. 

The reason I cringed when I heard that they'd be attending an actual daycare - germs. I knew whatever they picked up at the other place would find its way here. To my home. 

Yesterday after they left here, the mom took one twin to the doctor. We thought she was getting a tooth. Kept saying CHEEK, CHEEK. And crying while eating. 

Turns out she (and of course now her twin sister) have the dreaded and highly contagious HAND, FOOT, MOUTH DISEASE. 

This happened once before - maybe 5 years ago. A kid (who was not attending a daycare - so clearly it can just happen . . . the daycare element just seems to increase the chances), anyway - that kid ended up with HFM and the other kids I sat for got it. Then the first kid got it back. Then a handful of my kids got it. My kids were in like 4th - 8th grades. It was Christmas break and they could not hang out with friends or do anything. Not to mention they were MISERABLE. I remember tossing boxes of popsicles down the basement stairs to my infirm offspring. "EAT AS MANY AS YOU WANT."

So, I'm worried. I do not want this thing to make my kids miss school and sports and the things big kids do. Typically it hits kids under the age of 5, so fingers crossed. 

Oh fun, a polar bear swimming.
Before I went to bed last night, I stared at my palms:  ARE MY HANDS ALWAYS THIS BLOTCHY? WHY IS MY ONE PALM SO DAMN ITCHY. 

Of course yesterday is the day I had all 6 kids. Three two year old boys and three baby girls 18 months to 13 months. My schedule doesn't usually include the whole crowd (typically it's 5 and one day it's 4), but one family asked to switch from Friday to Monday this week. One guy's mom had a baby over the summer (which brings my grand total up to 7), so he was here to see buddies as is the plan for him once a week while she is on maternity leave. Um, this was his FIRST time back. 

As of last night when I went to bed, Wilhelm's folks were still planning to send him. Of course they were. He doesn't get dropped off super early, so I set my alarm for 7 am KNOWING I WOULD NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS SLEEP THAT LONG. 

I woke up when my alarm went off at 7:00 am. 

Hello, what is going on? 

Eight hours of sleep? Could it be that I'm getting this damn toddler virus? Hoping it's just my body deciding to be kind and let me sleep. We didn't have to catch a flight, but holy heck I walked downstairs into a shit storm of neediness. Enter me as Catherine O'Hara - next time, which I'll post on Tuesday due to Labor Day on Monday. Have a great weekend.


Nicole MacPherson said...

Oh nooooo I hope you don't catch it! My nieces and nephews had it once and it was so gross! Gah, fingers crossed it passes you by!

Suzanne said...

Ugh ugh ugh! Not HFM!!! Here's hoping NO ONE ELSE gets it!

Ernie said...

Nicole- Lad had this when he was 2. We were at my sister in laws rehearsal dinner and he bit his cousin. We found out later that he had HFM. Poor guy just didn't know what to do to soothe his painful mouth. Of course to the other family members he became THAT cousin . . . the one who bites.

Ernie said...

Suzanne- I only had one family (Wilhelm) who was still considering sending their tot to me this week. I decided to just close my doors till after the holiday weekend. That way we will know who has it and who doesn't come Tuesday. I'm taking a big hit to my poor bottom line, but life is busy and a few days off is not the worse thing.

I just hope the twins who go to daycare 3x a week do not continue to drag really awful stuff in our direction. Time will tell.

Kari said...

OH MY WORD. HFM is the worst. Ella caught that in first grade when it was going around. Gah.

Kara said...

My nieces and nephews kept passing around HFM over the summer. Well, the ones under 8 did. The older kids were able to not get it. But it's yuck! Good luck!

Eli said...

Yuck! HFM is so gross. I think it's unusual for kids to get it a second time, although there are different variants... Hopefully all of you will be spared!

Ernie said...

Kari- Yes it is the worst. It's official. According to Kari and I . . . you heard it here first. Costing me a small fortune. Not that I am not finding things to do in my newly free time.

Ernie said...

Kara- That's what you call kissing cousins, apparently. Why can't there be a vaccine for it? As long as all these scientists are working round the clock in their vaccine shops . . . get it figured out.

Ernie said...

Eli- I would tend to agree, but the folks I sit for have had kids get it twice. So they tell me. A weak case? Who knows, but dang I hope the ones in my care stop spreading it to one another. It will be interesting to see who ends up with it and who steers clear. Like my family room was like a giant Petri dish.

Charlie said...

Once again I am exhausted just reading your posts! How the hell do you cope with 6 tinies who are not yours and still stay sane?! Hats off to you my friend!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Lucky for us we never experienced any of that HFM crap. It sounds like a nightmare!
You exhaust me with all these kids coming and going. I could never keep up!
Praying that you and your kiddos all stay healthy.

Ernie said...

Charlie - Honestly I manage to keep the 6 littles corralled in the family room, or sleeping, or in high chairs, well - we did go outside that day. I had 3 swinging and 3 running races on the grass. I was definitely sweaty after that. The fact that they stay in one place and they do pretty well entertaining each other really helps. Lunch is a process - but again, all at the same time. Sitting in chairs. I honestly prefer it to some of the stuff I had to do this week when they WEREN'T here. Lots of ortho appointments and phone calls to set up appointments and just crap on my list that won't seem to budge. When the tots are here, at least I feel like I have an excuse.

Ernie said...

Szu - HFN is so awful. It's proof of the cruel world we live in, because the babies and toddlers who get it can't exactly say MY FRICKING MOUTH IS KILLING ME, STOP SHOVING FOOD AT ME - I DON'T WANT TO EAT AND MY HANDS ITCH LIKE A MOTHER. So sad. This is Thursday and I haven't heard from any other parents that their kids got it -which I will find remarkable. All my people have been fine so far. A few more days to go in the incubation period.