My one-year-old started daycare, and immediately we were under siege. Covid, RSV, Hand Foot and Mouth, your middling run-of-the-mill headcold – you name it, we had it.

Sick, sad family, generated by DALL-E 2
Sick, sad family, generated by DALL-E 2

These were grim times early on, dark days for sure. It was easy to get bent out of shape about the whole thing. Sure, we figured there would be a tough transition period and planned for it – aborted naps, emotional drop-offs, unplanned pick-ups. Three weeks, maybe four, that’s what I thought. Ha! We got hammered, all three of us.

So to cope with the misery I decided I may as well quantify it all and build a little website about it: I would not say my approach was scientifcally rigorous. 1 = sick, 0 = not-sick – that’s about as sophisticated as the illness tracking got. But perhaps it would give a desperate daddy a little insight into what was going on.

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The whole thing started off as a way to distract myself from my all the gloom and mucous with a project that could feasibly be executed while my poor little sickling was napping, maybe even turn it into something that would be nice to look at. But ultimately, and unexpectedly, it turned out to fulfill a bigger and more necessary purpose. When times were tough, I could now see and believe that this seeimingly infinite period of illness indeed would come to an end. And in those miraculous periods of alignment when no one in our household was sick, it kept me grateful.