I read a lot of blogs. Really, a lot. I probably have about 50 or 60 in my "Favourites" file, though I don't read all of them every day (for one thing, many people don't post every day). But still, I read a lot of blogs.
Most of these blogs are written by parents. They're not necessarily "mommy bloggers" or "daddy bloggers", but most are parents all the same. And most are also in North America somewhere - the US is well represented, from Alaska to Florida, from California to Vermont, via Kansas, Missouri and more. There's also Canada - Montreal, Toronto, Alberta. There are also a couple from Australia.
So what's the conundrum?
From what I can gather, North American kids seem to come down with "barfing flu" type things ALL. THE. TIME. Nearly every blogger has written about cleaning up their kids' barf (or their own, even). And they get these ghastly bugs with unbelievable regularity. One of my favourite bloggers, Linda, has two kids and they've been passing round some bug or other for weeks now.
I just don't get it. Apart from when C and L were babies (when they barfed - particularly L - every day, but that was a valve problem, not an illness), I can't remember a single time either of them has ever had anything that could be referred to as "barfing flu". And the same is true for their friends, most of the time. Kids in general around us are rarely off school, no one's warned me of any vicious bugs going round... It just doesn't seem to happen here.
Is there something "barfing flu-producing" in North American food, water, air? Is there something that protects us against it here in France? I really don't know. Obviously, I don't know these bloggers personally, but most of them seem to have pretty healthy lifestyles, so it's not like they spend their time eating fast food, lighting up cigarettes all day and knocking back litres of alcohol... (not as far as I can tell, anyway). But their kids seem to be ill horrendously often, whereas mine really aren't. We get the odd high temperature, the odd cold, the odd hacking cough, but it's rarely enough to stay off school or even call the doctor.
Maybe I'm just remarkably lucky (though, as I said, other kids I know aren't ill any more often as far as I can tell), maybe it was all that formula milk (ha! who sez brest-is-best?!!!), I don't know, and I can't explain it. Even more weird is the case of an American blogger, Betsy (and her English husband) who have moved to France for a year with their two little girls. Who have been ill virtually non stop (at least one of them, taking turns apparently) since September.
I just don't get it.
But boy, am I glad!