Tuesday, November 11, 2008

An afternoon at the germ box

So we're a little obsessed with germs in our house. I think it all started because A. was premature; the doctor got us all worried about RSV and all the terrible things that could happen.

But now A. is two and we still are. We take off our shoes when we walk in. We purell. We Clorox wipe.

Yes, we are those people. The ones I once mocked before I became a parent.

Not that it helps....A. got the stomach flu 4 times last year and too many cold to count. This fall, she's had stomach flu once and two back-to-back colds. So at a certain point, you have to ask yourself if any of your germ prevention is making a bit of difference.

So this weekend, I took a major step. I let A. go into the sandbox. Now if you're a germ freak, this place is like your worst nightmare. I mean, animals poop in there....at least this is what my mother used to tell me when I was a kid. She said it was a like "a litter box for stray cats." Hmmmm. Come to think of it, maybe I inherited this germ phobia.

What did I learn about the sand box? For once thing, A. spent most of the time trying to make it neater. She kept trying to tidy up the sand on the edges of it. She had no interest in actually building things. She also didn't appreciate her hands getting dirty. When she got out, she not only wiped her hands but started trying to wipe down her sneakers too. The germ freak in me nearly burst with pride.

I also learned that parents put their kids in the sandbox so that they can talk amongst themselves. Three hipster dads were next to me chatting with each other as they all tried to defend why they named their sons Jack, the most popular boys' name in our neighborhood and quite possibly the planet. One said "well, we named him after Jackie Robinson." Okay, so why don't you call him Jackie? Dad #2 said, "well, our last name is Lapin which means rabbit, so his name is Jack Rabbit." Oh, you're so cool, dude. The third guy just said yeah a lot so I assume he named him that because he thought it was original. They all stood around in their ironic t-shirts and baseball caps as their sons tried to knock A. over. Yet another reason to hate the sand box.

The good news is, the germ box appears not to have gotten A. sick (yet). Just sandy. We're still finding sand everywhere....all over the bottles of Purell, Clorox wipes and even the giant plastic bubble we keep normally keep her in.

"No sand" A. said to me. I couldn't agree more.

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