Friday, May 27, 2016

The Downside of Working With Kids

I really do love working with kids; they are so cute and sweet (most of the time) and they say the funniest things! It is so rewarding to work with children and help instill in them what will hopefully be a lifelong love of reading. Storytime is my favorite, but I also like helping older kids find and select books to read, and I love to see when they are really excited about a particular book or subject.

The one bad thing about working with children: the germs! Germs are the one thing kids never mind sharing. I have been sick so much since I started my new position last year with one cold after another it seems. I do what I can to prevent it, lots of hand-washing and sanitizer, keeping my hands away from my face, etc., but with being around 100 kids each week, catching something from them is inevitable, especially in such close quarters.

I do most of my storytimes in a renovated RV that we use as a mobile storytime room, which has it's pro's and con's. Some of the pro's are that it is great advertising for the library and early literacy, the kids love the novelty of it, we have all kinds of materials available for storytime without having to carry it around, and it's a controlled environment. One of the big con's is that it is a a confined space, which means when a kid coughs or sneezes, everyone gets exposed. And there was a LOT of sneezing going on this week.

So, I wasn't too surprised when I woke up the other day with a slight sore throat, but by the next morning it was a full-blown, nasty head cold with lots of congestion, sinus pain, headache, and body aches. So I had to do something I've never done before, which was cancel my storytime for today. I really hated to do it, but aside from not wanting to spread germs, I knew there was no way I would be able to read or sing with all the congestion and pain. I was really looking forward to doing the books I had picked out, too, but I knew I wouldn't be able to do them justice so it was better to wait.

It is frustrating, though, because this is at least the sixth major cold I've had in the last 10 months, and it always takes me a long time to recover. My throat gets irritated and the cough will continue long after I'm no longer contagious, which makes doing my job very difficult! Thank goodness I have volunteers that help me, and I can lean a little more heavily on them during those times, but it is frustrating. I couldn't tell you how many bags of cough drops I've gone through! I am just really, really tired of getting sick.

Now, time for some hot tea with honey and lemon, then back to bed :(

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