Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Don't Want The Flu and Other Problems

I’ve been forced to write in the afternoon, idea-free, because Michael is going to do me a solid and chat with someone from India this evening in hopes of resurrecting my laptop. I’ve been using his and he’ll be needing the both of them.

I spent this morning wiping down surfaces with Clorox Wipes because a) Sierra is babysitting The World’s Cutest Baby here tonight and b) I felt like it. If you’ve ever started wiping light switches and door knobs you find yourself taking a closer look at things. It’s hard to stop because suddenly you’re seeing the fingerprints and dirt everywhere. I would just LOVE for us to escape this flu season without the dreaded H1N1. That would be so full of the Fabulous.

I was wondering why there is a flu season. I think I read somewhere that the whole idea of catching these things because we get exposed to the colder weather is a myth. You’re not going to “catch your death” heading out with your jacket unzipped (though I’ll kindly ask you to NOT tell that to my kids!). I thought maybe it had something to do with being cooped up with windows shut but I guess that’s not exactly it either. I did some reading today (as I lounged on my Tempur-Pedic mattress eating bon bons—whatever those are) and found research that says the virus is more stable and stays in the air longer when it is cold and dry. In the tropics there isn’t much flu to speak of and no actual flu season. Admittedly, a tropical island does sound nice right now or at least it will in a month or so. But didn’t this particular flu start in Mexico? I guess maybe it started there but is making a name for itself in other, more productive locales.

In a few minutes I’ll go pick up Kenny and learn how his day went. Was the teacher able to nip this in the bud? She seems pretty no-nonsense so I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt. Still, I sure wouldn’t want to be in her shoes. There are probably any number of scenarios that come up daily for teachers that are totally cringe-worthy. It’s easy to point out problems in public schools but something that stands out in my mind immediately is the massive problem of children coming to school unprepared to learn, pay attention, follow instructions, stay on task, and show respect. A person could probably spend all day just dealing with the kids who fall into these categories. It’s the main reason I think about homeschooling some of these kids of mine. I could do it in half the time the school needs. But hey, don’t even get me started on the drawbacks. I know them intimately.

Someone left a comment on my profile yesterday about this situation. Called the kid in question a “little homo” and wrote something about beating the crap out of him if he’d been Kenny. I deleted it immediately but didn’t defriend him because he’s been in my life since I was 2 and, well, he’s what I would refer to as a Known Quantity. I’ll say nothing more except, "[m]ethinks the lady doth protest too much”. Or the dude. Whatever.

I’ve been worrying more about the other kid than Kenny. He’s uncomfortable, confused, wishing this would go away. The other kid’s got bigger problems. There’s a risk any kid takes when they allow themselves full license to be themselves, filter-free: Rejection. There’s a level of rejection that’s inevitable in this situation but it sure would be great if the kids could have some humanity about the whole thing. If they could remember that we all need friends and we’ll all a little different.


  1. You are handling this with a great deal of wisdom. I appreciate you sharing this experience with us, because eventually we will have to face similar challenges. Thank you for your insight and Christlike attitude.

  2. About the H1N1 (pronounced"high-knee" by my brother) flu....my doc told me it is heat tolerant which is why it didn't really die all the way down this summer.

    So, a trip to the Bahamas will probably not save you from it :(

  3. Love your blog, Tiffany! You are an excellent journalist and give others a unique perspective on your household and daily happenings. How wonderful for family that may not be able to see the kids very often.

    I totally respect how you are handling the situation with Kenny's classmate.

    I had to laugh when I read the "ditty" about the Clorox wipes. It is inevitable. You cannot stop at just ONE door knob, switch, or even the doors. It quickly becomes an obsession and takes precedence over anything else!


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