Monday, December 13, 2010

Why are we so afraid of germs?

3 months ago my mom came in for Garrett's 1st birthday.  She came in a day early so we had some time to spend together.  We went for a walk with the little guy and then got lunch.  Garrett had learned to walk recently and was walking about 40% of the time.
After we ate he was being his social self and practicing his walking around and smiling at people.  We stopped and chatted with another mom who had a child just a month younger.   Garrett then lost his balance and put his hands on the floor for a moment before standing back up. (Keeping in mind they had just mopped the floor) Then this conversation took place:

Other mom:  Do you need hand sanitizer?
Me: *confused* for what?
Other mom: he touched the floor?
Me: it was only for a second.  He's done eating and we're going to the playground after this anyway.
Other mom: but he touched the floor!

Was I missing something?  This was somehow so disgusting and vile and the other mother would sneer at me and give me dirty looks?

There have been several stories about how dirty kids end up as healthier adults.  But so many people still seem to fear germs.  I saw one mother clean her breast off before breastfeeding.  I had just finished nursing my son and asked her about it.  She told me she didn't want her baby to get dirty milk.     I think I would have been more worried about the baby getting all the chemicals left behind by the wipe.

I was always one of those kids who got filthy.  I get colds now but they aren't horrible.   Garrett goes out and plays with other children on a regular basis.  I want him to be exposed now so he can build up immunities and be healthier.  He picks things up from the ground when we are at the park or the store.  Heck, even at home when he gets out of his high chair he wants some of the food that fell on the floor (not that I would let him eat off of public floors, but my floors or my mom's floors are clean).

So I'll continue letting my guy get dirty and messy and have fun.  It's part of being a kid.
Maybe I just should have told that woman to shut up because she was complaining how fat her child was while she gave him sips of her orange soda.  She wasn't exactly one to be talking about healthy practices for children.

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