Oh, come on. You didn’t actually think you’d wiggle out of catching the latest horrible cold? Colds love kids… and they love, love you too. Sure, you can try to wash your hands and eat well and all that good stuff. May the odds be ever in your favor. Except, you know, they’re not, because your kids will make sure of it.
1. They are all up in your grill from 5 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sure, you can dodge coughing people in the supermarket or hide in your cubicle when your idiot boss insists on coming to work sick, but there’s no escaping your kids. They are climbing on you by 5 a.m. each day, and you’re lucky if they’re asleep by 11 p.m. (We are pretty sure the blood of children = liquid caffeine.) That constant togetherness — though sweet! oh! so sweet! — is what sniffles and coughs and all-out household plagues thrive on. All that lovey, sticky, kissy, hand-holding togetherness is the stuff of memories, sure, but it also guarantees a merry-go-round of cold-swapping. Fun!
2. They come home from school and day care coated in a rainbow variety of germs
Oh, it’s like a bag of germ candy there at pre-K! You never know what flavor of gross bacteria your kid is going to fish out of the package of his classmates. Will he come down with the garden-variety common cold this week? Or will darling little Ruby accidentally cough in his face, ensuring your child will now be the lucky recipient of that cough? Then there’s Declan with the fever rash who’s working on the homemade clay project with — you guessed it — your baby. Woo-hoo! Germ roulette… one’s bound to stick.
3. Their hands are always in their mouths
Seriously. What more is there to be said? Go on. Just try to find a child who can keep his hands out of his mouth for more than 30 minutes. Too hard? Fine. Fifteen minutes. Go on. We dare you. You will not succeed, because this child doesn’t exist, which means that in the history of humankind, no one under the age of 12 has had clean hands for more than 15 minutes. The mind boggles (and the grown-up hands twitch for sanitizer).
4. They sleep in your bed
And the countdown begins… three, two, one, sick! Super-dupes. You weren’t looking forward to that videoconference call anyway. (But they’re so cute when they fall asleep in your bed. Aww.
5. They play on your phone
Because Santa was too mean to bring them their own phones. That’s what you get, Mom — er, Santa. And maaaaybe you should have thought twice before caving and downloading that game app for them. Hold your phone close to your ear. That’s the sound of cold germs line dancing up and down your screen. Word of caution: Don’t try to wash it off with soap and water. We warned you.
6. Your own resistance is low
Why? Take your pick. It could be your less-than-awesome diet (hastily shoveled mouthfuls of mac and cheese taken directly from your child’s plate while standing at the kitchen sink using their spoon). Or maybe it’s the fact that sleep is something you vaguely remember fighting as a child and now would gnaw your own right arm off for. Maybe it’s work stress or money or the dying car transmission or the dog who keeps peeing on the new rug. No wonder your poor, frazzled immune system is susceptible to colds. Hey, and you know what else lowers your resistance? Hearing, “Mom. Mommy. Mom. Hey, MOM!” on continuous loop.
7. You share their food
See previous statement on mac and cheese. ‘Nuf said.