Did you ever see those commercials, you know, the ones with the perfectly coiffed mother beaming a beatific smile at the camera as a couple of small kids play in the spotless white background? She’ll then reach for a bottle of some supposed anti-bacterial cleaner and lovingly spray the toys or the counter or Something Germarific and then the voiceover will make some comment about how this gently removes 99% of germs without subjecting the kids to horrible toxic chemicals.
I’m paraphrasing of course.
I’m also not That Person. You’d be more likely to catch me popping a rogue binkie in my mouth to clean it before inserting it back into the baby’s mouth. Or casually wiping up a spilled something with my sock rather than busting out The Big Guns. I regularly throw my kids outside to play in the mud and dirt. I don’t buy soap that’s guaranteed to kill 99.9% of germs and I only have hand sanitizer for those diaper blow outs that occur one after the other (God bless 2 in diapers).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of a little bleach and I’m not a consummate slob. I wash my hands after I pee, but I don’t use my foot to flush the toilet, nor do I insist on using a paper towel to open bathroom doors. Hell, nowadays, if you were to come over to my house, you probably wouldn’t even think it was remotely dirty. My kids take regular baths, my floors are washed twice a week, and I even occasionally pay someone to clean my dogs for me.
But even as a nurse and someone whose immune system is one toke away from being technically “compromised”, I’m not a-scared of germs.
Unless (there’s always an “unless,” right?), of course, rotavirus comes to play.
Then, you’re more likely to catch me running for the Lysol as I run away from the sick kid, my hand over my mouth and gloves up to my elbow. I bust out the bleach, spray down every surface available with the strongest germicide I can get without a prescription, all while wearing a rebreathing mask and vinyl gloves (latex allergy). I wash everything the sick kid could possibly have infected on the scorching hottest setting my washer can go on and wash my hands until they’re raw and red.
Oh yes, I admit it, I’m an emetophobic.
But there are some things that do confound my utter fear of vomitus that can sort of make my behavior mildly more acceptable. Sort of.
See, my eldest, the one with a stomach as weak as my own, he barfs in his sleep AND THEN GOES BACK TO SLEEP IN IT. He also, thanks in no part to his autism stuff, puts his hands in his mouth constantly. And, being 7, just goes about his life touching things, his vomity fingers touching all of the toys and stuff of his siblings.
(I’ve tried to teach him not to. It’s not going well and hasn’t been for, oh, I don’t know, 6 or so years?)
Also in my Court of Craziness is the fact that when I get felled by the stomach flu, I get FELLED. I mean, I’m sick as an ever-loving dog for days on end, hugging the porcelain god like it’s my job. This does not a good parent make.
So today, oh family Reoviridae, I drink to you. To the horror that you have inflicted upon my house and my sanity just in time to host an Easter Brunch and Egg Hunt that my eldest could not participate.
The one solace I find comfort in today is this: at least you made it over to Ben’s father’s house. The one who always begs off on the weekends when the kid is sick because he’s able to actually decide when sickness is convenient for him to deal with.
Must. Be. Nice.
Cheers to you, you wily double stranded RNA bastard. You’ve earned it. Happy Easter to you, sir. Happy Easter, indeed.
All right, Internet, let’s hear some of your weird phobias. I have several others that will make you go “dude, that bitch Aunt Becky is crazier than I thought!”