I am a firm believer that Teacher Appreciation Day should coincide with the first day of school.
It makes logical sense, as the summer has passed and the bucket list of activities is almost complete. The kids are ready for some outside intellectual stimulation.
Or, more appropriately, I am ready for them to have some outside stimulation.
The kids are antsy… really, really antsy.
In fact, Teacher Appreciation Day should occur on the first day of school if for no other reason than the sheer amount of energy and number of viruses that are unleashed into their freshly organized classrooms at the start of each new year.
With that being said, the first day of school for the Donnelly boys came with the harsh reminder that back to school isn’t always the rosiest transition.
It usually takes a while for those first illnesses to spread and even longer before they start running rampant in the tight confines of the classroom, causing misery to ensue until the kids have time to develop natural defenses against them. Yes, it usually takes some time for that to happen…
Unless your kid is what I like to call Patient Zero (read: the child who sneezes the first sneeze, hatches the first louse, spews the first puke on the sparkling clean bathroom floor).
For us, this germ-ridden reminder of the petri dish that is elementary school began a mere couple of days before school when we invited some of my sons’ friends for back to school bowling. Five minutes into the party, one of the guests threw up — a lot.
On Day One of school, my middle son woke with a 103 degree temperature…he stayed home.
On Day Two, that same son, feeling much better and diagnosed with “something viral”, went to school but came home with lice.
Day Three: kids are under control, but mom winds up with the lice… two of six family members quarantined. (I’m bald, which is apparently an evolutionary advantage when it comes to combating lice, so suck it men with good hair!)
Day Four: good health and a functioning routine seem to be finding their way back into our lives, fingers crossed, but now the son who missed school is in a state of dramatic wailing each day at drop off — no clue as to what is causing this one.
And on Day Five, I pick the kids up from school and proceed to have them help me in the yard where I promptly wind up with a three-inch piece of glass impaling — and I mean all the way through — my toe. I know it doesn’t have anything to do with school, but I’m guessing that it was karma for avoiding the whole lice thing.
And that was just the first week of school.
So, to the teachers who diligently prepared for the start of a fresh, new school year, I say thank you for all you do and my sincere apologies for all the viruses and the ectoparasites you get in return.
Chris Donnelly is a working dad with four children.
You can read him every Thursday on momaha.com
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QUESTION: What’s worse — lice or the stomach flu that has been going around?
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