We've come to the time of year when our kids get sick -- and seem to stay that way until June. Here are some of the cold-related illnesses we can look forward to dealing with for the next few months.
Acute Facial-Tissue Fear (AFTF; PTSD-related)
This occurs when a child experiences an overly aggressive nose wipe from an adult, causing the patient to panic at the mere sight of any tissuelike product. Methods of avoidance include screaming, throwing puzzle pieces, lobbing dress shoes, intentionally falling face-first off the ottoman, biting, slapping, and sitting on the cat.
Carry Me All the Time Syndrome (CMATTS)
The child refuses to be put down over a 12- to 13-hour period. Patient is unable to extend his or her legs enough to stand and will make horrible noises whenever falling anywhere beneath a parent's waistline. In extreme cases, the child won't permit the parent to sit down, sometimes resulting in Collapse of the Caretaker (COTC).
The Gaping Hack
When a cough is coming on, the child suddenly displays an inability to turn his or her head. As a result, the contents of the cough frequently splatter on and fog the glasses of a nearby adult. In at least 50 percent of cases, the content enters the adult's mouth.
Couch-Snot Syndrome (CSS)
CSS is typified by a young child's inability to wipe his or her nose anywhere but on the sofa cushions. Generally, this is treated as a psychological problem closely related to AFTF, but it can also be seen as a symptom of extreme fatigue and the general unwillingness to move from a comfortable position while watching Go, Diego, Go!
Similar to CSS, Crusted Shoulder is often only noticed after a parent removes her shirt in the evening to find she's grown snot-based shoulder pads.
Milk Mouth (aka "Webbed Teeth")
This is a condition caused by an excessive ingestion of milk into a snotty mouth. Symptoms include loud squishing noises when talking, creamy white ropes connecting the upper and lower teeth, cheese breath, and what appears to be an emotional need to speak very close to a parent's face.
Oxygen-Intake -- Switch Synapse Failure (OISSF)
OISSF is a sleep ailment seen mostly in children less than 2 years of age. When the nose becomes clogged, the brain fails to acknowledge its ability to take in oxygen through the mouth. Not until the child wakes from crying does the mouth/nose-switch synapse begin to fire correctly. This is generally repeated in 30-minute "sessions" throughout the night for the duration of the illness. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for OISSF, though parents of the patient are strongly encouraged to nap during the day if possible.
Originally published in the March 2013 issue of Parents magazine.