I’m a closet germaphobe. OK I’m not really in the closet…in fact I have a one litre tub of hand sanitiser on my bench, and I carry purse size bottles with me everywhere I go. So I guess you could call me a raging germaphobe.
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I even sanitise my sanitiser bottle because goodness knows what germs were on my hands before touching it.
I hate using public door handles. I try to hold my breath in crowded spaces in case I breathe in airborne mouth germs. I stare a hole in the back of the head of anyone who coughs without covering their mouth.
So you can just imagine my apprehension around sick children.
Sick children don’t cover their mouths. They don’t care if you get sick. In fact, they don’t even know they have the power to infect you. They spread their bugs on everything their little hands can touch like a mini human crop duster.
In winter, my husband and I call Daycare ‘the incubator’. And we’re not referring to those incubators full of chicken eggs hatching little balls of yellow cuteness. No, the only thing this incubator hatches is yellow pussy coloured bubbles of snot dripping out of noses like ice cream topping. I’ve even seen them lick at it like ice cream topping too. Just try getting that image out of your head.
Please note this is in no way a reflection on our particular daycare. I can personally guarantee they maintain the highest standards of cleanliness, which is part of the reason I love them so much. But unless you follow around every toddler with a can of Glen 20, germs are gonna happen.
The first winter our daughter was in daycare we were sick for 3 months straight on a tag-team basis.
She would bring it home, we would catch it, then she would go right back and get another. It was like playing fetch with those annoying over-excited puppies who slobber their smelly dog-ball-licking-saliva all over the tennis ball.
Don’t get me wrong, I love daycare. For our daughter the pros definitely outweigh the cons. And I’m sure when she’s an adult her immune system will be so tough she will turn into the Hulk at the sound of a sniff from 150 metres away.
While I accept germs can’t be avoided completely, I won’t stop trying to avoid them! Because germs mean staying at home with a grumpy, leaky child who eats even less than they did when they were healthy. Germs mean boogies on sleeves, hands, and even in the hair (don’t ask me how because I really don’t know). Germs mean waking up 10 times a night trying to convince a toddler to let you suck snot out of their nose with a the latest fandangled snot-removal device. Germs suck.
I thought I’d be used to it by now. I thought I’d have warmed to the ‘germs are good’ attitude every parent needs to come equipped with if they’re to emotionally survive those first few years. I’ve tried, I really have. But when winter rolls around and you see some crazy lady with a gas mask and a Nerf gun full of hand sanitiser doing circles at the Shopping Centre…please tell me to suck it up and go home.
Do you have a germ phobia? Please SHARE in the comments below.
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