Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Suburban Man: Pink Eye

By Rick Kaempfer

I totally made the wrong call.

I thought Sean was walking around the house with pink eyes because of constant exposure to chlorine. After all, he's been going to the swimming pool nearly every day. When he woke up with crusty eyes, however, I knew I had goofed. I took him to the doctor, just to make sure, and the doc confirmed the diagnosis.

"It's pinkeye," he said. "Wash all of his sheets and pillowcases and clean off anything he might have touched."

"Anything?" I asked.

"Anything," he said. "Pink Eye is HIGHLY contagious."

That's when I knew we were in trouble. Sean is a walking talking germ spore, floating from room to room. The average time he spends in any one place is 1.4 seconds. I'm not even sure if his feet touch the ground as he moves, but his hands definitely make contact with everything in his path.


He's also very touchy-feely with his older brothers; hugging, touching, petting, (and lately) punching and kicking them whenever and wherever he can. He follows them around like a homing device, chanting the same three words ("Play with me") until he wears them down.

Bridget tried to clean everything anyway. With Bridget on the case (she's a much more thorough cleaner than I am), we had a chance to avoid the pass-it-back-and-forth nature of the pink eye beast. We weren't kidding ourselves...the odds were slim...but it was our only hope. She even spent hours meticulously wiping off every single Lego piece with disinfectant wipes.

For three days we thought we had escaped. Sean religiously took his drops and his pink eyes cleared up. All of us washed our hands a thousand times a day. At dinner that third night I even said a little thank you prayer to the Big Guy for helping us avoid a full-fledged outbreak.

But the next morning when Johnny came to the breakfast table, the crusty yellow goop around his eyes greeted us with a hearty "Good Morning!"

And the cleaning cycle began all over again.