Dropping Ryder off at day care on Friday, there was a seemingly innocuous note tacked to the cork message board with his name on it. Last week there was also a note, it contained a newsletter telling about the employee of the month and offering nutritious recipes for kids. This week was different. The note started off with the heading, â€œYOUR CHILD HAS BEEN EXPOSED TO CROUPâ€. It highlighted symptoms that includeâ€¦a barking cough & wheezing while sleeping, all announced in an exaggerated frilly font. Really. Good job doomsday-note-author. I was slightly concerned when I read the headline containing news of croup exposure, but my concerns faded as I saw the pleasant and playful typography used in its announcement. The note also highlighted the fact that they wash everything at the end of the day. I donâ€™t know how familiar everyone is with the habits of a 4 month old â€“ but let me tell you, he does not care if a toy is dirty and/or sprinkled with germs. He will pick it up and try to eat it. Sanitizing at the end of the day does nothing for baby Ryder.
I leave for work and continue to think about the potential for croup unpleasantness; I considered the distinct possibility that if croup germs were anywhere within his armâ€™s reach he would have found them and licked them silly. Not unlike a junkie trying to get a fix off the back of a hallucinogenic toad. Later that day when I picked him up, the croup still weighs heavily on my mind. I find him fast asleep in a swing. I gathered up his belongings, but couldnâ€™t find his pacifier. I scooped him up, noticing a pacifier that looked like his sitting at the bottom of the swing. Immediately I knew what happened â€“ the much feared paci switch. I asked the caregiver if she knew where HIS pacifier might be. She walked over to the swing and erroneously said, â€œOh itâ€™s right here.â€ You can probably guess the restâ€¦his pacifier was at the bottom of an exersaucer containing a little bald girl. I suspect, perhaps, that croup festers on bald heads, although I cannot confirm this. The newsletter made no mention of this key fact. Weâ€™ll see.