top of page

Germs Are a Kid’s Best Friend

In all our combined 78 years on this earth, my husband and I have never been as continually physically ill as we have been this past four and a half years, since we had Mikey.

It started year one. He went to daycare at 6 weeks old, and that entire first year we were either snotty, stuffy, fevery, clammy, running to the bathroom, eyes watering, achy, chilled, or otherwise incapacitated.

A whole year.

If we ever felt like maybe we were starting to feel human again – BAM! We were hit with something else.

Then things settled down a bit as, I assume, our immune systems started to strengthen.

However, I feel as though we’ve regressed a bit. It’s nothing as bad as that first year, but we’ve definitely had a rough start to 2023.

A few weeks ago Mikey had a dry cough for a couple of nights. We let it go because he was fine during the day and would only start coughing a few hours after going to bed, and he didn’t need our intervention. After a brief coughing fit, he would settle himself and go back to sleep.

However, he finally had one night that was pretty disruptive, so we figured it was time to have him checked. The doctor checked him out and tested him for everything and it all came back negative. She told us it was likely something viral and that we basically just had to survive it, and that he could go to school.

That night was another disruptive one, with Mikey coughing a lot more and unable to put himself back to sleep. We gave him the children’s cough suppressant and rubbed Vicks VapoRub all over him, and then I laid in bed next to him to rub his back and try to help settle him back to sleep.

As usual, he kept tossing and turning and rolling and getting all tangled in his blankets because the darn kid never stops moving, and at one point he rolled over and coughed right in my face. I felt the spray hit my face, go in my mouth and, I swear – if it’s possible – I even felt it hit by eyeballs.

The next morning I felt bad bringing Mikey to school, but he was cleared by the doctor and, like she had said, the cough could last for quite a while and it’s not like we can all just stay home for days and weeks on end.

So I brought him to the door of his classroom and explained the situation to the teacher who, bless her heart, opened the door so I could get a good look inside. What I saw was a class full of coughing, sneezing little germ-infested kids. No wonder the teachers all wear masks. I’d wear a hazmat suit if I were one of them.

So I left feeling not so bad, seeing as I’m not the only parent dropping a less-than-healthy kid off at school.

A few hours later I felt a little tickle in my throat. No, I thought to myself, it’s not time to panic. It was just a little dry indoors, that’s all.

Then I felt a little achy, but I did a workout the day before and I was probably just feeling sore.

I also had the chills, but it was January so it made sense that I was cold. My face was also hot and flushed, but it was probably just my blood pressure going through the roof. There was no reason to rush into thinking I was getting sick.

By that evening illness had taken over, and both Mikey and I spent the night hacking and coughing.

The next evening, as Mike came up the walk toward the front door after getting home from work, I could hear him coughing.

And so, the three of us continued to survive whatever illness had taken hold, and about two nights later Mikey’s cough finally subsided. Great, I thought. That means mine will be leaving soon, and then Mike’s will be soon after.

Another two days later, while at work, I got a call from school and – I kid you not – I was told I need to pick Mikey up because he puked.

I still had a lingering cough, and Mike still wasn’t even yet on the tail end of whatever respiratory thing we had, and a stomach bug was coming in for a landing.

As if life isn’t hard enough without vomiting and diarrhea.

Ever the optimist, I thought to myself: Well, maybe it will come with some weight loss. The holidays weren’t good to my waistline and I could use a good cleanse.

Holly Crocco is editor of the Putnam County Times/Press and mother of an almost 5-year-old. She can be reached at


bottom of page