Germy, germy, germs, germs.
The infection-causing, body-invading on freaking everything microorganisms.
Germs: Even the name sounds creepy crawly, doesn’t it?
As a mother to a 6-year-old and 3-month-old, I’m intimately aware of the battle of the bugs and my daily effort to keep my home as sick-free as possible for my brand new babe – a tough feat for anyone with a child in elementary school, no doubt.
It’s not that I don’t expect our daughter – the elder one rubbing elbows in the germy hamster ball that is school on a daily basis – to get sick from time to time. I get it. It happens, and, to an extent it’s necessary.
Stockpiling those antibodies helps to eventually – hopefully – build a solid defense against the common cold, among other things. Studies have shown that kids who grow up in germaphobic households actually end up more sick in the long run. It’s important to build an immunity; it’s important to not live in a sterile environment 24/7.
So, yeah, in a way, I welcome the germs.
But it’s more about the way they get so freely shared that gets me going.
A cough directly in the face of another … slimy snot sneezed all over the hands that touch EVERYTHING … and handwashing? Um, good luck with that.
It seems to be the mission in life of all 3-to-10-year-old kids around the world to infect and spread those gnarly “seeds of disease” to everyone and anyone in their path.
Well, consider it mission completed.
I suppose it’s just the nature of the beast when kids huddle in groups together. In fact, any parent of a day-care kid could already tell you this was going to be the case. Little Tommy never had a cold a day in his life until Mom and Dad popped him into day care at 3 years old. From then on? A bright red, snot-dripping nose literally every single time you saw him.
But here’s the real kicker: It’s not really even their fault, is it?
Sure, it’s on every surface imaginable: the tables, toys and door handles. And, of course, they hug and tumble and play together as only kids can so innocently do. But they can’t see the germs, same as they could see mud on their hands, prompting a tiny lightbulb “ah ha” to go wash their hands. After all, they’re kids.
But you? The parent, caretaker, adult in their life – this is on you my friend. Teach them to “dab” when they sneeze, cough into their shoulder and, for the love of everything holy, make them wash their hands. With soap.
No, I don’t expect you to chase after them with antibacterial spray or nestle them inside a germ-free bubble until college. Just stick to the basics, and we’ll all be a little less snotty for it.
Oh, and because life is what happens when you’re busy making plans – I’m currently sporting a 100-degree fever.
The germs have invaded, and I have lost. Ironic, isn’t it?
By Krysta Chapman