21 Runny Noses

Question: What happens when you take 21 perfect little angelic children and put them in a kindergarten class all together?

Answer: All 21 of their cute little noses begin to ooze snot simultaneously.

Volunteering in Kiddopotamus's classroom is the highlight of my week. I just love seeing all of those sweet little faces light up when they see me. I love watching them learn and hearing all of their adorable stories. It makes me want 21 children... once a week... for an hour.

My job is to work with the kids on a reading / word project in groups of 5 or 6. I answer questions and solve minor disputes so that the teacher can give individual attention to each child. I also catch coughs and sneezes full in the face. It's just one of the services I offer.

100% of the kids are coughing and sneezing. 97% of them are covering their mouths 65% of the time. 50% of uncovered coughs and sneezes rain sprinkles of bodily fluids on my face. The other 50% sputter directly into either my eyes or open mouth.

With all of the kids acting as germ fountains, I'm not sure how to protect myself. I'm desperately fearful of getting sick since I can't take any medicine for relief. I have had two head colds so far during this pregnancy and they were miserable. They would have been tolerable had I been able to take a decongestant, but without anything to help me utilize my nostrils, I was forced to breath through my mouth for two weeks. I thought I was going to lose my mind.

So what can I do? I can't give up on volunteering. Those kids are depending on me! Without me, who would unclog the tips of the Elmer's Glue bottles? Who would be there to monitor the line at the water fountain and make sure everyone gets a turn? Who would be there to let them get two inches from her face as they spray hacking whoops of lung mucous into her eyelashes?

No, I cannot leave my once-a-week post. I must continue on with the slimy path that has been laid before me. I must trudge through the snot and the phlegm jungle of kindergarten. This... is... bigger... than... me.

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