Germ Fest
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Having a kid in preschool will turn you into a germaphobe. Whenever you drop them off or pick them up, every kid is rubbing snot from their nose or hacking violently or drooling on a toy. The snot and saliva-covered blocks passing from one mouth to the next are particularly tough to watch.

Spring seems to be the worst time of year for it. The class looks more like a ward for sick children than a place of lower education. When I’m near the school, I feel the need to wear latex gloves and a surgical mask and holster a double-barreled, industrial-sized bottle of hand sanitizer.

Most parents ignore the rule about keeping kids home when they’re sick. It’s unfortunate but understandable; if you did, your kid would never go to school.

And you’re not just imagining the preschool germ fest. It’s officially documented; each day, you’re greeted with the ever-changing and always sinister door pinup called the “Exposure Notice.” That’s a list of the witch’s brew of germs circulating through class: pinkeye, strep throat, stomach viruses, and the ominously titled “hand, foot, and mouth disease.” What the hell is that? Isn’t that some sort of cattle ailment? Do you take them to the pediatrician or the vet?

There’s not much you can do about the germs. Trying to keep kids from sticking their hands in their mouth is a lost cause. I’ve developed a grudging respect for their complete and utter disregard for personal hygiene. It seems strangely liberating.

It seems almost...cattle-like.

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