Sunday, February 13, 2011

Caution: Serious Rant!!!

Ok, I've tried to deal with this whole issue privately, but even after a week, I'm still about as pee'd off as I've been in the beginning. If you're not interested in rants, please don't waste your time, because there will be plenty on it *family friendly though!*

As it might be known, I have a sister, whose daughter is almost exactly a year younger than Lily. Ever since I've known her, she's almost constantly been sick with the sniffles and coughs. At least whenever we are around. And just as regularly, our girls end up with coughs and sniffles just after seeing their cousin. I am a person to whom consideration is important. I would never subject other kids to my kids' bugs. I rather cancel a play date or family get-together than risking other kids getting sick because of Lily or Violet. To us, that is just the right thing to do, going along the line of putting your kids before your own needs or interests and being considerate to other people. And if others don't understand that, their bad.

However, at this point, I am just furious. It has not only happened a couple of times that our girls ended up sick after meeting with my sister and her daughter, but on a regular basis. And it's not an accident that our girls get sick because of playing and spray contamination. My sister openly supports the germ exchange by making them share spoons (yes, she still spoon-feeds her 2-year old, and does the same to Lily if given the chance even though Lily eats by herself since she's been 9 months old!!) and cups, even though she knows that her daughter is sick. She doesn't cover her mouth when she's coughing either. I caught my niece coughing in Violet's face while my sister stood by and watched. Being this inconsiderate to other people, adults or children, is what just makes me freak out. I have not had any contact with my family for a week now because I won't be able to speak to my sister, not even for a minute, this is how mad I still am. Even though I am a very peaceful person, I want to punch her in the face each time Lily or Violet wake up coughing their little lungs out. The other morning I was nursing Violet and she hat to stop every few seconds and draw some breaths through her mouth because her sinuses were so congested; it is heart-breaking to watch my poor little girls suffer just because one person is just too inconsiderate at best and simply mean-spirited at worst to protect them even the least.

Some helpful suggestions how to handle the situation or how to calm down would be highly appreciated!


  1. Wow! That is unbelievably inconsiderate, not to mention DANGEROUS. If a small child (like Violet) gets exposed to even common colds, it can lead to VICIOUS things like MRSA or RSV...which are DEADLY to a baby. Heck, my little friend Sara (who is 13), just spent 10 days in pediatric ICU after contracting MRSA and a virulent infection in her lungs. She had been exposed to the flu at school.

    I feel the same way as you do! Now, some exposure to illness is inevitable. You go to the grocery and don't know if the person before you had a cold and coughed on the cart handle. Yeah, you clean it, but sometimes it's going to happen. But to DELIBERATELY bring a sick child into a "well environment" on a regular basis is WRONG.

    There are parents who KNOWINGLY bring their sick children to school, church, or other events because they can't be bothered to do the right thing. Oh, I know, "I have to work, I can't miss work for a sick child"...and all the other excuses they give. It's not only inconsiderate, but it's SELFISH. I avoid the play areas at McDonald's and Burger King for that very reason! And I don't willingly go to the indoor "jump houses". If my child has a birthday party to go to, I'll let them go, but they have to bathe as soon as they get home!

    Here's my suggestion: Tell your sister that you will NOT allow her to contaminate your children. If her daughter is sick, she should be staying home with her and not making everyone else sick (back it up with statistics and information about RSV, MSRA, stats about flu, etc., if you have to!). And when you DO have a playdate with her and her daughter, be VERY firm about the fact that your children are NOT to share spoons, cups or any other eating utensils. If you see her doing it, playtime over. She needs to learn to respect your wishes.

    As for covering when they cough or sneeze. Little kids can be trained. If your niece does it and you catch her, tell her, "NO, we don't do that, cover your mouth, catch your cough or sneeze" and KEEP telling her. If your sister gets upset, tell her that you're providing good training that she needs as an adult.

    Now, even with the best of training, kids sometimes forget to cover. So if you catch the kids (Lily or your niece) doing GOOD, let them know as well!

    But be armed with disinfecting/sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer and the like. Do what you can to protect your children.

    And if your sister continues to ignore your wishes, then I guess she'll not be invited to your home often....sadly.

  2. Thank you, Linda, for your post and especially for pointing out the potential dangers of even "minor" colds. Unfortunately in this case there is a lot of "family politics" involved; I have indeed called my Mom (on my sister's dating night to be sure she won't be answering the phone) and told her that I was pretty upset. Of course the consensus was that I was exaggerating and Lily probably got the cold in kindergarten ( given the incubation period I am 100% positive that she didn't get it there!). I decided for now to eliminate contact with my sister as far as possible, and if I can't I will try to keep the girls away from her and her daughter since she does not respect other people and their boundaries. This is a very sad development, but right not the only solution I see until she learns at least a basic level of respect and consideration.