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June 23, 2010

The Day My Germaphobe Died

A few of you have experienced my intense fear of germs which began as a paranoid pregnant lady roughly the time that the H1N1 hype was at its worst. I became one of those freaks who slathers on the hand sanitizer after shaking hands with people in church and GOD FORBID that I have to touch a menu.

I have issues. I know.

Because I don't want to pass my paranoia about germs onto my son, I make a conscious effort to let him do things a normal baby boy would do, such as touching the floor and then putting his hands in his mouth. Without reaching for my antibacterial wipes.

I know that a little dirt isn't going to hurt him and, quite frankly, I am more concerned about germs from other people than germs he might pick up from playing in the grass or licking my kitchen floor.

Which brings us to our afternoon shopping experience at Target. Nathaniel was hanging out in his baby sling as we picked up the last few groceries on our list when all of a sudden, I heard a little voice yelling O MY GOSH IT'S A BABY!!!

I turned around to see a boy who was roughly 7 or 8 years old who was about to pee his pants in excitement as he asked me Nathaniel's name and if he was a boy or a girl. And then he promptly grabbed my son's face.

Meanwhile, my inner germaphobe was having a seizure as I tried to control the urge to run away screaming for a wet wipe.

The boy's mother and I both quickly told him not to touch the baby's face. So what did he do? He grabbed Nathaniel's bare foot.

At that time, and a bit more firmly I might add, I told him to be gentle as he yanked on my son's foot in an effort to tickle Nathaniel's toes. And seeing that he wasn't treating my baby like the breakable porcelain, germ-free creature that he is, the boy's mother quickly ushered him away with an apologetic look.

Now I would have been well within my rights as a mother to pull my child back and walk away the instant that boy reached for Nathaniel. Quite frankly, I don't care if I'm rude to people when it comes to taking care of my son. I'm the mama. My rules are law.

But I want my little boy to grow up without constantly asking for hand sanitizer. I want him to make mud pies and to play in the dirt. So when other children want to play with my baby, I choose to bite my tongue and stifle the germaphobe within.

While I won't be adopting the GO RUB SOME DIRT IN IT motto anytime soon, I'm making an effort to move out of my germ-free bubble. And I'm taking my son with me.


  1. I love you! You crack me up!

  2. Well done, girl! You are making progress!

  3. At least the lady was aware of what her son was doing and helping you get him away! Some parents could care less. I was wondering how we would handle the germs when you come. I don't mind if Nathaniel plays with Sophia's things, but I didn't know how you felt about it. We can deal with that when the time comes :D

  4. ZOMG you gave ME palpitations when I got to the part about grubby little boy hands on your baby's face! ::shudders::

    I too was KU during the epic H1N1 phase. It turned both me and hubs into germaphobes. It was a spayshul time to be growing life and compromising your immune system.

  5. Germs freak me out. I was OCD about them before Lila and now I am just out of control. Where's the line between putting your kid in a bubble and them constantly being sick? I am so inspired that you managed to make it through that Target horror story and need to learn to chill out. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. I'm not nearly as germaphobc as I thought I would be when it comes to V. I still cringe when a child comes near my baby though. Kids are germ magnets and totally gross me out (most of the time!) LOL