24 June 2009

Generation gap

Becoming a parent, and getting older in general, entails a willingness to eat a lot of crow.

When Sarah was an infant, I remember making a trip to the mall with my mother, and being appalled watching another mother casually converse with someone, while her baby wailed in the stroller. Once we were out of earshot, I turned to my mother and said, "Well, she's not very attentive to her baby."

Flash forward three years, and there I am with my back turned to Gabriel, my newest wailing baby, jiggling my stroller and chatting.

I issued a silent apology to that mother whom I was so quick to judge.

So I am more careful about things I say I will never do, because of the potential for embarrassing myself. Nonetheless, an exchange I had with my mother last night made me laugh.

I mentioned that I'd taken Sacha to the doctor because he'd developed, not one, but two distinctly different rashes, on his face and leg, and was uncharacteristically sedate.

"The rash on his face is probably impetigo," I said, "which I just learned sometimes accompanies staph or strep infections."

My mother stopped me: "Oh; well, I may not come tomorrow then. We're getting ready for our trip, and I don't want to risk exposing us to anything at this point."

"When are you leaving?" I asked.

"July 26."

The incubation period for strep infections is 2-5 days, which, by my calculations, puts my mother well outside the danger zone for a late July excursion.

So when I am a grandmother, and say something similar to my children, let the record show that I did not say I would never say something like this.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry - have to side with your mother on this. If something is conagious, which impetigo most certainly is, no one, not even grandma should feel badly that they don't want to be exposed to it. Impetigo, if left untreated, can lead to serious infection and older folks, especially those who may may be immuno-compromised, are right to stay away until the child is really well again.