Back when the pandemic started, one of my biggest concerns (after the deadly virus, dwindling toilet paper supply, and general thoughts of "is this the end of humanity as we know it?") was finding a face mask that my seven-year-old would actually wear. Like most kids, my son likes what he likes and refuses anything else. Jeans are too restrictive. Tags are a nuisance. And don't you dare come near him with a hand stamp, you monster!
Given that I'd never worn a mask myself, I had no idea where to buy them. So, I did what most parents do when faced with the unknown: I took to Google. I searched for "children's face masks" and found a few companies that were producing children-sized masks that didn't look too scratchy, itchy, or ugly for my picky son to wear. Using a highly scientific method of "eenie-meenie-miney-mo," I selected a family pack of four masks from GoodDayMasks on Etsy. I figured even if my son refused to wear this particular brand, my husband and I would at least be covered.
The masks arrived very quickly—within a couple of days—and lo and behold, my son loved them! (Okay, that's a lie. He tolerated them, which is really just about all I could ask for. I mean, no one really loves wearing masks.)
At the time, we weren't going out much, so the masks weren't used all that often, save for the occasional trip to the park. But the true test came when the fall rolled around, and he had the option to go back into school. Masks were required (as was social distancing and constant handwashing), so I went back to GoodDayMasks and ordered a few more of their kids' sizes. I hoped, with fingers crossed, that my son wouldn't have an issue keeping his mask on. I knew his third-grade teacher was planning to offer short mask breaks throughout the day, and I thought that would help get him through what was sure to be a difficult few hours.
When I picked him up that day I asked if he'd taken a lot of mask breaks. "Nope," he declared, throwing his dirty face covering my way. "We didn't need them."
I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure at that moment I heard a chorus of angels singing "Hallelujah" from above.
Since those early September days, my son has remained in school, every weekday, for five hours a day. He wears a mask all day (save for lunch), as well as anytime we have to go anywhere outside of the house. Needless to say, we've stocked up on masks so that we can all have clean ones whenever we head out.
Given that GoodDayMasks are on the pricier side—individual kids' masks are $12, and a three-pack is $30—we've tried other brands. But my son hates them. And I do, too.