This happened to a friend recently and it just reminded me of all the crazy things we do for kids and the judgment parents and grandparents pass if you choose to be logical rather than emotional about the children in their life. I preface this by saying I love kids and I love playing with kids. The person this happened to does not. I even love babies and I have a special place in my heart for a number of my friend’s progeny around the globe. This person does not. That being said, I will defend his position of logic and I question the unfair shunning he received for simply hating germs, the flu, colds, other diseases and the basic grossness of the situation.
You see this child was running around giving high-fives to everyone in the room. She is an adorable little girl with an infectious laugh and a slightly runny nose. The hand touching was not bothering this friend until the moment right before the small person gave him a high-five. She stopped, picked her nose and then reached out. Suddenly, he removed his hand and said, “I’m all good.” Collective gasps around the room. Seriously!? If I blew my nose and tried to hand you the tissue, would you take it?
Every parent I know is worn out, never gets enough sleep and is susceptible to every type of bug imaginable because they have a little Petri dish at home that just keeps growing new germs. Now it is nearly impossible not to catch what your kid has, but there are simple things you can do to try to avoid it. Besides, if you catch said cold, flu, illness you will be even more tired and sleep deprived and it is not good for anyone. If you can’t avoid it, why would you want the rest of the world to suffer?
Snot is gross. Throw up is gross. Boogers are gross. Diapers are gross. These are facts, not opinions. When they come out of small little humans they are slightly less gross but still gross. Why am I Satan for not wanting to touch any of the above mentioned things? Our mind responds to these things as “gross” because intellectually we know they carry bacteria and disease. I have no problem with a mom who stuffs dirty tissues in her pockets because there is no place else to put them and I applaud her for not littering. I would advise stock in Purell, but that is not always possible.
Unfortunately it is your responsibility, you wanted/had kids so that’s a lifelong commitment of putting up with all the crap that comes with the joy of raising a little person. I prefer the “borrow” plan but most people want their own. I understand I am in the minority. Now it is my responsibility to put all my sharp, pointy, breakable objects out of the way when I have your kid over. I don’t want to be sick if I can avoid it, so don’t give me your dirty tissue kid and think I am going to be happy about it and don’t judge me for not wanting to touch it. I, in turn, will not be upset if the child breaks something in my house because it was my fault for leaving it out.
The kids don’t know not to touch gross things, but you do. They learn by example. I don’t want to be sick, I don’t touch other people’s dirty kids. That does NOT make me a bad person. No one judges me for sleeping on the couch when my husband has the flu and subsequently washing everything before I even consider sleeping in the bed again. I love him, but I can love him just as much from the other room and he loves me more (I am certain of it) when I am not grouchy and sick. It’s really a win-win.
***supposedly there is a filter on this, but I think it is pretty nasty.
Now, obviously, little kids can’t take care of themselves so parents have to make sacrifices. I get it. I have taken care of children when they were sick, you suck it up and do what you must. My sister had walking pneumonia one time when I was “babysitting” her and we stayed in bed all curled up watching movies for days on end. I didn’t drink out of her cup, I didn’t share food with her and I washed my hands until they were raw. Guess what, I didn’t get sick. She needed the comfort and on in that instance luck was a tad bit on my side. But when I have a choice I am going to avoid contact with germs and if it was anyone other than a kid I was directly responsible for, I would not have been in that bed.
My friend, Carrie, is probably cracking up right about now as she was the former germaphobe who has two children now and has to be more lenient. (Of course Carrie wouldn’t judge me for not handling a sick kid, because if she had a choice she wouldn’t either.) I was the former “nothing can get me sick” person. Well, I am a learning system who has decided the few days of feeling like ass aren’t worth pretending I don’t know better. I wear shoes when it is cold outside, I wash my hands, I take zinc and vitamin C all winter and I avoid children when they are sick. All it took was a few too many vacations partially ruined by illness and I decided to grow up.
Don’t judge me for believing in the overwhelming evidence supporting germ theory and taking the necessary precautions. And I won’t judge you for all the slightly icky things you have to do in the name of love for your child, such as sucking on pacifiers that have hit the ground, carrying around dirty diapers, wiping noses, etc. And please know if your child has boogers on their hand, I’m not going to touch that hand until I have doused it with soap or Purell, get over it and keep your loud sighs to yourself!