Strep Breath and Juicy Talker

“I should just make the doctor’s appointment now,” I thought right after the spittle landed on my lip.

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

For the past fourteen months I had been home full time to take care of various combinations of our four boys. It was glorious. And illness-free. Sure, the boys had some colds, stomach viruses, and even a incredibly strange reaction to the flu which caused our third born to be immobile for a few days. BUT I WAS FINE. No sick days for me. Feeling groovy.

Fourteen wonderful, healthy months.

Then the “incident” happened.

My first day back to teaching after my hiatus, I spent time with some young friends in a small group. I remember it like it was only three days ago. We were sitting down together having a picnic-style lunch. The conversation was flowing, they were adorable, I was thoroughly enjoying myself.

“Mrs. Moister, could you open my juice box?” asked a little cherub. But it was more like “Missish Moisssster, could you open my juish boksh?” because she had her mouth half-full of sandwich. It was white bread and balogna, but I digress.

It was on the “Moister” and “boksh” that this young juicy talker let the spit fly. I could see it coming, but it was too late. It landed on my face, and definitely on my mouth. There was no where to go.


“I am absolutely getting sick and will need antibiotics, it’s only a matter of time. I should just make the doctor’s appointment now,” I whispered to myself as I went to wash my hands. Hand washing was required because another kindie friend asked me to open his cheese string after swearing he didn’t try to open it with his teeth. He lied.

 A day passed and the incident slipped my mind. Until 5:30 in the morning a mere two days later when I woke to discover I had small rocks that had been lit on fire residing at the back of my throat.

Juicy Talker.

How do I know for certain it was JT? She had Strep Breath. It’s a thing and I can identify in less that two whiffs.


After some deliberation, I called it in and booked a supply teacher. It hurt to do that so early on in the school year, but not as much as my throat of flames.

Thankfully, the doctor’s office got me in quickly. I love my doctor, but that guy laughed at me. HE LAUGHED. And he made some cracks about how we should be given facemasks, which isn’t as extreme as it sounds. He also told me that being home for a year made me soft, but he wrote the prescription. He’s my people.

One year ago I was making my second trip to Target, just because I could. Today I’m dodging walking petri dishes and taking drugs. Let’s reflect on the change of my status for a moment. It’s okay if you want to weep a bit, I understand. It’s horrifying. I’d shout about the injustice of first-week illness, but I can’t because my throat is on fire.

I love my job, but kindergarteners are gross. Cute, but gross.

And so the new year begins…


Want to contribute to my hazmat suit fund? Details to follow.

Author: Jan Moyer

Embracing my inner child since 2005.

6 thoughts on “Strep Breath and Juicy Talker”

  1. I haven’t taught in 8 years! Do you know how soft my immune system must be?! I used to teach K and 1st. I just started back at a preschool and I’m in fear of germs! I’m bathing in hand sanitizer.

  2. Ah yes, strep breath is something I can also identify. In fact, I recall (with disdain) the first time I discovered that particular “gift”. 🙂

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