RIE in Real Life – Stay Healthy Everybody!

I’m truly hoping that this email finds you and your family healthy and happy…but I fear it may not.
I’m sure everyone has read (or heard or seen) the many stories about this insane illness season we are wading through, and I’m here to say that the stories are on point. I’ve been in early education for over 20 years and teaching RIE classes for almost a decade, and never…not even in the height of covid…have I ever had so many ill babies, toddlers, and parents in my classes. (Well, not in my classes, naturally! Folks are staying home and resting.) It’s truly unprecedented.

I don’t have any magical advice beyond the basics (Wash hands! Move your meet-ups outdoors if you can! Wash high-touch surfaces! Stay home if you’re sick! Get vaccinated! Did I say ‘wash hands!’?). Unfortunately, everyone’s immune system is playing catch-up, or, in the case of your infants and toddlers, just starting to develop its library of defense systems. And more unfortunately still, cold and flu viruses are ‘sturdier’ than covid, meaning they can linger on surfaces longer.


The reason I thought I’d reach out was to let you know you’re not alone if you’re mired in illnesses in your house. It’s happening everywhere! Please reach out if you need any support. The second reason is I follow a really interesting blog called Your Local Epidemiologist (Thank you to Heather Malley, Director of Caterpillar Cottage for letting me know about it!). I started following during covid, but I’ve appreciated a couple of her recent emails about illnesses and holidays. In a recent email, she also linked to the CDC website when discussing how long people can remain contagious after becoming infected. Really helpful info that I thought you all might like to have at your fingertips!

While I’m doling out depressing news, I wanted to be sure you all also saw the news that Green Sprouts is recalling stainless-steep toddler cups and bottles. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone in my classes using these, but I wanted to be sure you all are aware!

Speaking of my classes, they are continuing to meet (outdoors!) and I’m continuing with my cleaning protocol of washing toys in soap and water and then spraying with Force of Nature and/or running through the dishwasher, laundering soft items and linens, and spraying down equipment (again with Force of Nature). Families are staying away if they are sick (thank you and feel better), and I’m hearing the sweetest stories of how children are responding to getting their flu and other vaccines (reading books, getting lots of stickers and bandaids, doing it as a family…). I’m happy to report that I do think my classes are a safe and healthy place to be!

Also, a quick reminder that I am still offering an online parents of siblings support group…when I have enough people to start, we’ll work together to find a time that works for everyone. If you’re interested in connecting with other parents of multiple children to talk about what’s working and what’s making you want to pull your hair out, let me know!

Please keep taking care of yourselves: resting, eating well, and getting fresh air. We’ll get through this tough season of illness!

With care and respect (and tissues!),