The preschool “sick”

It doesn’t matter if your kid is starting preschool for the first time or a repeater, they are apt to get that preschool “sick” after the first couple of days – or weeks. Some take longer than others to succumb to those germs, but, there’s no avoiding it. Preschool “sick” is the wost.

Sure, the common cold is everywhere, and unless you are a total clean freak, germs are all around us. Add a slew of snot-nosed kids that love to shove stuff in their mouths and don’t understand “personal space” and you’ve got a wonderful muck-ridden germ pool ready to cause catastrophic never-ending results.

I stand a few feet above the whole mess at the school I hang out at with my tot, but I see it all unfolding. The child that gives a piece of pretend food a bit more attention than the others and then tosses it to the ground only to be picked up (tasted) and played with by another. The markers/crayons grabbed, mauled, used, and tossed to the floor then used by others. Food left for only a moment unattended snatched up and gobbled by an extra grabby (and hungry) tot.

Really, you have to be an amazing octopus teacher to have enough hands to grab things just in time.

No matter how often we (and I) wash our hands, and I spray everything down with Lysol or bleach those toys, the preschool “sick” is lurking and once one wee tot gets it, the others are soon to follow.

But, as a parent, there are a few things you can do to help prevent that icky-sick from bringing your family down. You can’t spend your whole life hovering over you child or expecting others to do the same things that you are in your home to prevent snotty-nose, but you can create a happy-healthy toddler, which can help keep the preschool sick away.

-Learn and RESPECT your preschool’s sick policy: All reputable schools should have a realistic and understandable sick policy in place. And, you, as a parent, should take the time to familiarize yourself with it and respect it. That means don’t skip steps. If your child had a fever the night before his regularly scheduled day and your school has a 24-no fever policy, don’t bring your kid the next day. Really. Make plans that night to stay home with your child or schedule someone who can. Yes, I know this throws a wrench into things, but your child (and your preschool) will thank you.

-Eat healthy: Instead of juice or milk, offer water and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your child’s lunch. Try to avoid sending your toddler to school with processed or packaged foods. This way he’s getting as much fresh and healthy nutrients into his system as possible, which helps fight off all that preschool sick. And, he may just turn into to a food inspiration for other kids and families to start sending – and eating – healthy, too!

-Wash everyone’s hands before leaving the school: Sure, your preschool teacher may think you’re a bit of a neat freak for slathering the tot’s hands, but really, giving his hands a good wash before heading home is a great way to introduce good hygiene and to leave all those preschool germs down the drain. You’ll get your hands all scrub-a-dubbed, too. Who knows what’s hanging out on your steering wheel.

– Get a good night’s sleep (The entire family): HAHAHAHhahaha. Yes, as a mother of a toddler, this is one step that sometimes seems totally unattainable, especially when;

A: Someone is snoring (partner)

B: A child toy is making a noise somewhere in the house

C: The sick toddler is hacking

D: A toilet is running all night long.

A good night’s sleep is the best way to start fresh and full of shiny happiness the next day (can’t you hear the birdies chirping and see the rays of sunshine?). This means creating a bed time routine with the tot and sticking with it. And, the adults could do the same thing, too.

-Get used to it: Your kid is going to get sick. It doesn’t matter if you invest in humidifiers, medications, special soaps, or herbal remedies, the day is going to come when your child sports the “green nose.” Don’t fight it – embrace it. Cuddle up and spend some cozy time with your tot while watching some great movies, eating vitamin C packed fruits and veggies, and tossing back some honey-lemon hot water during a pretend tea party (boys enjoy a nice tea party, too). Kids get sick. Adults get sick. Let the body rest and recuperate and you’ll all be happier in the long run.

Looking for more remedies for the preschool sick? Here are some other suggestions:

Eleven safe home remedies to soothe your child’s cold and flu symptoms – BabyCenter 

Cold Relief: Helping your child cope – What To Expect

Cold and cough remedies for children: What works? WEbMD

Cold & cough medication guide – Dr. Sears


The preschool situation

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

Well, as you know, my daughter just started preschool, and I went back to school with her. So, not only is she getting used to a new routine, I’m right there with her. Things have been going pretty smoothly (for the most part), but I knew it was only a matter of time before things started to get crazy.

Ironically, I had just been chatting with my friends over at the Motherboard about hitting the preschool scene. My daughter has a bit of a runny nose from her first foray with various germs that she wasn’t exposed to in my squeaky-clean house (HA!) and I was curious if this was a common occurrence with other babes. That’s when things really started to go bump in the night.


First off, my cat has been really enjoying bringing in various living creatures to visit (like snakes) and we’ve had to nip that in the bud by keeping all doors securely closed at night. This sometimes means that wee kitty is left outdoors to fend for herself. Don’t worry – she’s a big girl. But, that didn’t stop her from making some major noise the other night, which woke me up, which then woke up the babe.

I couldn’t get her back to sleep.

So, there we were. Wide-awake at 4 am in the morning – on a school day.


Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t only essential for growing kids, but for adults, too. When everyone is happily rested, it sure is lots easier to gather homework, pack lunch, and easily, and calmly, drop the little bugger off at school. AND, he’ll probably skip away with a huge smile on his face, too.

I’ve learned that having everything ready to go the night before helps ensure that on those crazed mornings (whether due to cat shenanigans or a snoring husband), I get my daughter to school with her important essentials – like food and water. I’m so fine with the fact that she often has on miss-matched clothes or grabbed a unique lovey item to share at school during the day (like my watch).

So, let’s be honest. I’m also having a bit of an issue with the fact that my wee baby IS old enough to go to preschool. AND, that she literally does skip away from me with a huge grin on her face at drop off. Granted, I’m next door and we sometimes see each other during the day, but she sure doesn’t care when I say “bye” and head to my classroom.

I’m learning how to understand that she’s a big girl now, and is ready to have her own adventures without me. It still makes me a little sad, but I’m figuring this whole thing out as I go.

We all are, aren’t we?

Eating habits of a 20-month-old

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

I am not a big fan of the high chair. It’s beneficial at times, like when I want to take a shower – by myself. Or, when I want to use the computer without fear of the whole thing being covered in fingerprints, snot, saliva, and food tidbits. But, when it comes to being used for eating, the high chair doesn’t deliver.

My daughter is a good eater, but, like my husband, isn’t really a fan of leftovers. So, when I find something that she likes and then try to offer it to her more than once in a couple of days, it is tossed to the floor. Ironically, once she’s removed from the high chair, that floor-food is the BEST food EVER.

I’ve decided that maybe I should ditch the high chair and instead keep my floors extra clean.

Well, no, really. I’ve started introducing my babe to the mini-table and seeing if she’d eat sitting on her own. It hasn’t been super successful, and starting preschool hasn’t been helping. She’s already been labeled as that kid who “eats-everyone-else’s-food.”

My solution has been to lower the high chair to its lowest setting and stock her tray at lunch with a fun selection of food and let her graze away. At breakfast, she’s tightly secured in the high chair while I shower, and at night we are working on eating at her wee table. And, on the days that we are at preschool, I just hope that she doesn’t slobber too much all over everyone else’s lunch.

The other major part of this whole food-stealing/grazing during meals issue is that my daughter is 20-months-old.

There’s no reasoning with a child at this age.

So, until she figures the whole thing out, she’s a food stealer.

I guess she’s getting a chance to taste test lots of different things…

We started preschool

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

This was the first week of preschool – for me and my daughter. She started her educational adventure, and I returned to the wee-tot classroom. I really didn’t know what to expect, but now that the week is over (and we all survived), I’m feeling pretty good about how things went.

My daughter didn’t seem to care that I wasn’t with her all the time, holding her hand and offering help as she ran around the play area and explored the classroom. In fact (gasp), she didn’t look for me at all. She was totally content to do her own thing, go to the other teachers for assistance, and play with the kids without any biting, hitting, screaming, or extreme amounts of her new thing – kissing.

I didn’t have much time to hold back my tears. I had lots of little hands reaching for mine, looking to me for something fun to do, and support as their mommies and daddies went away. While I was doing fun art activities and exploring clay with other kids, I kept my eye out for my daughter. But, she was off having a great time.

So, I did the same.

And, we both had a wonderful time!

Yeah preschool!

Preschool – am I ready?

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

It finally hit me this morning that my daughter is going to preschool in a couple of weeks. She’s not alone, though. I’m heading back to the classroom, too.

After staying home with my wee tot for the last several months, it’s time for us BOTH to head out into the world. I need to shower daily and interact with others. My daughter is tired of looking at me, the living room, the walk around the block, and the playground down the street.

BUT. I can’t BELIEVE she is old enough to hit the preschool scene and start hanging with other kids and eating her own little lunch and playing on the playground…..

I’m getting a bit teary-eyed thinking about it.

I haven’t even thought about my new job and what I should be doing to get ready for the upcoming school year.


Instead, I’m all consumed with the idea of my daughter and her first educational experience. I’m worried if she’ll get along with the other children, pull hair or bite, and sit during circle time. I’ve always been the one to have that “talk” with parents when their child was the one misbehaving. Am I ready for the possibility that I might be on the other side?

I was up all night wondering if I am ready for preschool? I guess we’ll find out…