How to Exhaust a Muppet

DEFINITION: Boy, n.: a noise with dirt on it. (Courtesy of A Daddy Blog)

Search was not wearing the outfit I dropped him off in this morning. He toddled around the corner, followed shortly by teacher Miss Stephanie. “We’re going to need more wipes.”

Seventeen outfits, 10 kiwis, 386 baby wipes, two runny noses, two incident reports, one hacking cough, one flesh wound, one black eye, and we’ve hit the second week of daycare running.

The muppets are utterly exhausted. Their days are chalk-full of activity. They’ve already begun the daily pattern of waking up early – the dogs, quiet as a herd of stampeding elephants, wake the boys every morning around 6:30 a.m. (They’re in for early wake up calls for the next 18 years at minimum.) School starts at 7:30 and it’s go go go.

There’s group activity, circle time, bouncing balls, and toy kitchens. Outdoor play with play houses, slides and swings. A brief break for a diaper change and nap on a mat and it’s time to do it all over again.

After the imposed isolation of prematurity recovery and RSV shots, this is the muppets first excursion into the great wide world of germs. I knew those foreign viruses (viri?) would be hard to fight – but it’s all for their long-term health. Apparently they just need to get sick now and get it all out of their system.

“Young children in day care get more ear and respiratory tract infections than other children their age, a new study reports. But once they reach elementary school, they are sick less often.”


Three days. It took three days for the first illness to thwack us upside the head. THREE DAYS. “They’re going to get sick,” warned their school. “And it’s going to hit hard.”

“Destroy’s a bit congested,” Miss Stephanie warned us when we picked him up on Friday evening. He hacked uncontrollably for most of the evening. And then he didn’t want to climb. Shortly after he crawled into my lap to cuddle, I ran for the thermometer. He had a raging fever of 99! My poor baby!

Meanwhile, Search slipped and fell on the ledge between our dining room and living room – breaking the fall with his face. At precisely age 15 months, my tough little guy is sporting his first black eye. We’ve just about mastered walking; not so much with the stopping… He cried quite a bit at that fall, but interestingly enough the real tantrum with crocodile tears came when I took the tv remote away. He is a true Silicon Valley toddler. MY ELECTRONICS!!!

Yet by the time darkness fell, neither muppet could keep his eyes open. Search made a valiant effort – eyes rolling back in his head, but damnit they were open!

Today I picked up the boys at 5:30 p.m. After establishing that no teachers or fellow students had been permanently damaged in the great bowel blowout of August 29. (Windows were widely opened to salvage as many developing olfactory senses as possible…) The remnants of Search’s romper were handed to me securely sealed in a hazmat plastic bag.

“It just kept coming,” his teacher shared. I replied that we’d been calling him SirPoopsalot this weekend. (Hi honey! Are you enjoying reading this as a teenager? I think it was likely one of those “I don’t feel good poops” Grandma Nancy mentioned on Saturday.) Search grinned and giggled uproariously. He was pretty pleased with himself.

I secured the muppets in their car seats so we could head home for some rest and relaxation (my jealousy of their scheduled naptime notwithstanding). As I rounded back toward the driver’s seat, a stuffed Elmo came flying out of the car.


And we get to get up and do it all again tomorrow (ideally without the hacking and bruising). And once again the boys will start their day with a great big smile as they toddle off to play with bouncing balls and toy kitchens, slides and swings.

I think I’ve finally figured out how they get those kids to nap on a mat with no physical boundaries. The teachers don’t so much get them to nap as choreograph where they pass out.

1 Comment

Filed under Daycare, School

One Response to How to Exhaust a Muppet

  1. Joanne Hamann

    Wow, what a ton of activity and adjustment for all of you these first few days. I think I’d just trash that romper of Search’s…

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