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Chronicles of Parenting

Chronicles of Parenting: How to Stay Healthy this Winter

by Jocelyn Jane Cox

Welcome to the Chronicles of Parenting by local author, freelance writer, blogger and parent-of-toddler Jocelyn Jane Cox. Read on for advice you never knew you needed and the chuckles you know you really need, tailored to those who live in the Great State of Parenthood.

If your household is anything like ours, you’ve already passed around about 14 strains of the common cold so far this season, “blown through” approximately 76,000 boxStay Healthy this WInteres of tissues, and you’re on the cusp of getting the flu. Based on our experiences, I’d like to offer some recommendations. (Note that I am neither a doctor nor do I play one on TV. Though, if I did, I’d be sneezing my way through every diagnosis!)

Here’s how you can get through the next few months:

  1. Cancel all play dates, obviously: Kids struggle with the concept of sharing except when it comes to germs. In this area, they’re such self-less and giving little creatures.
  2. Take your child out of school for the next three months: Even if you have no real interest in or aptitude for homeschooling your child, now is the time to buy some flashcards and connect with your inner teacher. A friend of a friend accurately nicknamed pre-school The Germ Exchange Program.
  3. Wear a medical mask at all times (the one that goes over your nose and mouth): While this isn’t the most attractive face wear, you can cover it with a stylish scarf when you’re outdoors…and maybe when you’re inside too. Isn’t sweating because of your clothing preferable to late-night cold-sweats brought on by temperature of 102°? Don’t ever take off that mask!
  4. Cough into your elbow: Of course, this keeps your germs from everyone else, but what about when you see someone coughing freely, straight into the open air?! In this case, you have every right to perform a citizen’s arrest, whether it’s an adult or a child.
  5. Overdose on Vitamin C: In addition to popping Vitamin C tablets as if they’re candy, make sure to eat whole boatloads of citrus and drink full gallons of orange juice every day. This might help fight off common illnesses and will definitely help you avoid scurvy.
  6. Invent an anti-bacterial force field: Let’s face it, all those obsessive squirts of hand sanitizer just aren’t doing the job; you’re going to have to enlist the expertise of the world’s top scientists to create something more effective. This might take years, but it will be worth it.
  7. Cease all physical contact with other humans, especially kids: This includes high fives, fist bumps, kisses, and hugs. If your child wants a bedtime story, the healthiest thing to do is just Facetime it in from the another room.
  8. Don’t leave the house: Becoming a recluse is really the only solution. All of your necessities will have to be delivered. Keep in mind that you’re going to have to provide your delivery personnel with the above-mentioned face masks and anti-bacterial force fields. You are also going to have to make sure they haven’t had any contact with a child in the last six months.

See? This isn’t so hard. May The Health be with you.

Jocelyn Jane Cox. Photo Credit: ©2015 Dave Zornow

Jocelyn Jane Cox is a  freelance writer and author. Her 2012 humor book on life in the New York suburbs, The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness: How to handle natural disasters, design dilemmas and various infestations, is available on Follow her on Twitter at @JocelynJaneCox.


The Chronicles of Parenting is sponsored by The Palisades Center, your one-stop-shop for fun.

See Santa at the Palisades Center in the East Court near H&M & Uniqlo. Visiting hours are Mon-Sat until 8p and Sunday from 11a-7p through Christmas. See the complete schedule of events at









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