Mother of the Year: Hand, Foot and Blabber Mouth Edition

Two kids, multiple pediatrician office visits, and an ER trip later, I am practically a walking WebMD.

You know how there are things you SWEAR you’d never do once your a mom and then BAM a decade later you realize that not only have you done all of them, but you do them automatically and without thought or regret? It’s like some innate Call of the Mom driving you to certain behavior, like using your own saliva to clean the chocolate ice cream off your kid’s face while they stand frozen with fear, terrified that one of their friends just saw the entire disgusting I Can’t Believe You Did That Mom thing. I’ve always sworn I would not be one of those annoying know it all moms when it comes to childhood illness. But two kids, multiple pediatrician office visits, and an ER trip later, I am practically a walking WebMD.

Last week I was in line at the store and the woman behind me was giving a loud play by play about her sister’s sick child woes. Apparently one of her sister’s kids came home with pink eye and well then, you know, “Once you’ve got the pink eye in the house, the whole family gets it.” There was much hand waving and uh huh girl and nodding on her part.

She went on and on to talk about the pink eye epidemic and how her sister couldn’t catch a break.

“You know last year her baby got that hand, foot, whatever disease and yeah…yeah. Mmmm hmmmm. Brought it home from daycare…hand, foot and um…”

I tried to bite my tongue but I just had to butt in…I didn’t pay my dues during the revolving door childhood illness daycare years for NOTHING. My vast walking encyclopedia of knowledge, primarily amassed during frantic 1 a.m. Google searches, would be of great use to this woman and her family. It was my duty to butt in, I mean help her.

“And mouth! Hand, foot and mouth disease!” I interjected authoritatively and with probably a tad too much enthusiasm. I turned around quickly and nonchalantly stared down at the pair of jeans in my hands. I didn’t want to seem like some weirdo eavesdropper. Ahem.

I sensed the woman’s appreciation as she continued on and I casually glanced back at her.

“Yeah, YEAH…hand, foot and mouth disease!” she clarified, nodding at me with a look of appreciation and acknowledgement.

Of course I had to throw in my experienced mother two cents and follow up with…”Yeah both my girls had hand, foot and mouth disease when they were in daycare. It sounds TERRIBLE, doesn’t it?” I made sure “terrible” sounded incredibly dramatic, as if I were still not recovered from the stigma attached to such a horrific sounding illness.

She nodded again and told her friend, “Yes….YES daycare. Always bringin’ something home from daycare. Mmmmmm hmmmm.”

I looked at her and we both exchanged well-knowing nods.

The cashier handed me my receipt and I walked away with a little veteran mom swagger.

Oh yeah…I KNOW my childhood infectious diseases baby.


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