First, I would like to say that the woman is lucky she caught me at the beginning of 2010, so soon after my resolution of "becoming a nicer person." Those of you who know me well know that I have hunted people down in my car for lesser social offenses and it's not pretty. I avoided my first instinct which was to publicly berate her, took a deep breath and chalked it up as stupidity and disrespect for herself and others. No, my resolution didn't stop me from keeping an eye out for her while shopping, and give her a "knowing look" when I saw her amidst the sweaters with a woman I can only assume was her mother, some mother, that's wrong, I don't know that for sure, but SERIOUSLY! I thought at least during the era of H1N1 and other global pandemic awareness, where we can't look at a public wall that doesn't have a sign reminding us to wash our hands and cover our mouths when we cough, that a grown woman would naturally wash her hands after using the toilet! Ewe!
Which brings me to the second reason for writing. I was on the phone with a friend today and we got on the subject of when to let your kids play with others or go to school after they have been sick. She works a few hours a week in the child care room at a local fitness center and expressed to me her frustration in parents who try to pull-one-over and drop off their sick kids for a couple of hours while they hit the elliptical machine. NOT COOL. Her poor kids, and she has three of them just got over a few days of the flu (which she wonders if they may have picked up from some kid at the center) and like a good citizen she is keeping them from their activities until everyone is in the clear.
This brings me to the subject of full-disclosure as it pertains to how my family interacts with others. If my kids are sick, I will not hang out with you. I will cancel any plans that I have made because I don't want them (or me) to get anyone else sick and more importantly to me I believe that laying low and getting some rest is super-important to recovery. I expect the same from family and friends prior to getting together. Yes, I want full-disclosure before we all start hanging out in the same room and our kids start hugging on each other. I would like the choice. If you know my children at all, especially Campbell, EVERYONE is her friend and being her friend means that you hug a lot and hold hands (and she picks her nose, because that's what 3-year-olds do) and sometimes likes to give kisses. Most adults do not engage in such physical affection with just about everyone which is probably why we manage not to get as sick as often as children. But that's what my kids do which puts them at risk for catching whatever bug is out there.
And what constitutes sick you might ask? Fevers for sure. I don't care about low-grade or what is emergency room worthy--if a head was warm enough that someone needed to consult a thermometer, and it read fever, then the body is surely fighting off something and I don't want it near us. Constantly runny-nose, check. Not something that I would shun an adult for because they use tissues and wash their hands (the ones with good mothers) but kids are like The National Enquirer when it comes to spreading filth, they manage to goober up everything in their path. If you need a real-life example you are welcome to babysit my son Jack and you will have all the proof you need in an hours time (although if you watch him for say 4 hours I would have time for dinner and a movie, just saying). Cough, check. Rash, duh. Vomiting and diarrhea not induced by alcohol or bad food; do you even need to ask? And I don't want to see you for at least 2 weeks after all that. Just kidding. I'm not crazy...one full week is sufficient.
Anyway, I feel like I do my part. I wipe down the carts at the grocery store. I use hand sanitizer in waiting rooms and spray down the equipment at the gym. During any give day of the week at the Crabb house you will find me armed to the teeth with anti-bacterial, sanitizing, disinfecting 99% of all the germs sprays, wipes, smoke-bombs, like some sort of part Dr. Oz, part Martha Stewart, part Rambo mom. No, but seriously, I am pretty conscious of hand washing and keeping things clean (clutter and organization is another matter) but clean is important. I have a good mother. And don't try to feed me the whole "you shouldn't wash your hands/whatever so you can build up immunity crap." That kind of backwards and indolent (in my opinion) thinking makes things worse for everyone. And don't get me started on MRSA or the immunization/vaccination debate.
Heavy sigh...I feel so much better now. Thanks for reading. I guess I just want to let everyone know where I stand when it comes to germs, sickness, and healthy practices where my family is concerned. So please, please, please wash your hands, shower in Purell, and you are welcome in our bubble anytime.