1st Grade: Pestilence, parasites, and petri dishes.

Well it’s inevitable I guess. Believe it or not I’m still a little shell shocked from our bout with the stomach virus last year. It appears I will have to get over that in short order. Yep, school has started. The rise of the microbes is at hand.

Don't be fooled. This is the harbinger of intestinal distress.

Don’t be fooled. This is the harbinger of intestinal distress.

Whoops too late. Week two and the boy is already sick. Week one I put the wrong bus number on his form. I got a call, had to pick him up. Week two, he has a runny nose in the morning, pukes at school after lunch. I get a call, had to pick him up.

When I got there he was in the nurses office. His face actually had a green tint to it. He looked abominable. It looked like he would puke again at any moment. When he saw me he started to cry, the kid was in some serious distress. I wanted to hug and console the boy. I felt so bad for him. But he has the bug. Sorry Frank, engage your self-consoling application. I got no time for the germs you’re obviously harboring.

Once I gather his stuff we head for the door. The nurse says he can’t come back. In my head, at least I hope it was in my head, I’m like all “No shit Sherlock, I’m taking him home.” Outwardly I went with a very passive, “Ok” with a slightly confused quizzical look. “He can’t come back tomorrow because he threw up today.” Really? Hmm. Now it’s all about me. Again completely in my head, I hope.

Damn, there goes tomorrow’s trip to the pool. Hey why didn’t they have these rules when I was in Catholic School back in the day? I got screwed out of some days off. I hope he doesn’t blow chunks in the car. Damn man, I don’t want to get the stomach bug. But maybe I’ll drop a few lbs. Maybe I can drop him in the driveway and go spend a few nights in a hotel.

I was snapped back to reality by my green son who is moving toward the exit with a purpose. I ask after his condition and he grunts out, “I have to puke!” OK boy let’s get outside. There Frank, heave in those bushes, they look like they need a good feeding. Actually got a sideways aggravated look out of him for that one. Two quick dry heaves and then nothing. I set him up with a few Kroger bag type barf receptacles and were off, haulin the mail to the house.

Turns out he was fine by dinner. In fact he was begging for dinner. But no way I’m helping him reload the vomit gun. Nope, a little bread, some apples sauce and you have to fight the hunger till tomorrow my son.

The next day he stays home and his sister goes to school. Guess what she comes home with? Is it any surprise? There is a modicum of cleanliness in elementary school. And I mean modicum with a capital None. In preschool? Ha! It’s germ warfare in there. The likes of which the world has not experienced since the trench fighting of our Dough Boys in WWI. Preschool is where germs take their vacation from elementary school.

Any wonder by that afternoon I was slightly nauseous and dizzy, ears hot and unable to focus? Of course not. I had no chem gear, I had not bio protection. I walked into preschool a free breather, and walked out with any and all manner of parasite. Not even a quick wash down with hand sanitizer in the car before the drive home could  protect me. No puking though, so that’s good.

But hey it’s only the 2nd week of school. Plenty of time to get stomach virus, lice, whopping cough, smallpox. At some point the government will get serious and designate these kids as WMDs (Weapons of Mass Disease). These kids are like little weaponized terror bugs, little pestilence delivery systems, more efficient than any bio weapon created, developed, or being developed. It’s almost enough to make me consider homeschooling.