Friday, January 16, 2015

Toddlers and Germ Theory

My husband and I have had a persistent cough since Christmas. We're not congested, nor were we running a fever, but the constant scratch in the back of our throats was enough to drive us both to the walk-in clinic for an evaluation. In both cases, we were handed prescriptions to ease the symptoms of our apparently nasty post nasal drip.

What this has meant is that Kaylee has been hearing about how we are all sick. Now, she's no stranger to the doctors office or being sick. Her uncle is a med student, her Grandmother and Grandfather are a PhD Nurse and surgeon respectively and they have eagerly taught her how to use a stethoscope and acquired a kids toy doctors kit. Plus, Daniel Tiger, the show that she watches near fanatically, has a few episodes where they go to the doctor.

So I wasn't surprised tonight when, at bedtime, she informed me that "Daddy has germs."

Me: "Yes, honey, but his body also has white blood cells, and they come out and fight the germs and kick them out of your body to make you feel better."

Her: "Kaylee has germs. I'm sick."

Me: "No, you're not sick right now. You are healthy!"

Kaylee: "The germs go away?"

Me: "Yup, getting lots of sleep, like Daddy is now, helps white blood cells get rid of germs. Eating broccoli and carrots helps them too, so does running around on the playground!"

Kaylee: "Where they go?"

Me: "In the trash and in the potty."

Kaylee: "They go?"

Me: "They disappear. Maybe they try to find someone else to get sick, but they usually just disappear."

She thought about that for a while, then this:

Kaylee: "Let's go wake Daddy up."

Me: "Nooooo silly goose! Daddy needs sleep, just like Momma needs sleep, to get better and not be sick. Goodnight kiddo."

And that was that. It was always my goal (Eric's too) that we would try and answer her questions, no matter what. We haven't reach the infamous "Why why why" stage yet, but she is inquisitive, and capable of asking follow up questions to information we provide. I cherish that I truly hope she never loses that spark of curiosity.

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