How Could Have This Happened?

Posted by: , October 2, 2008 in 9:07 pm


Benjamin is sick.  So?  That is what you are thinking, isn’t it?  Well, here is the thing…he is going to be four-years-old and he has been sick only one other time.

No.  Really.

My best friend’s little girl on the other hand, was sick from the time she left the womb.  She has had a brush with whooping cough, countless cases of pink eye, myriad colds and flus, and if I remember correctly, there was even talk of her possibly contracting the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).  Poor thing.  There are probably antibiotics named in her honor.Now, here comes my illness:  I am a germ-a-phobe.  I carry Purell with me everywhere I go.  I have pump bottles of the stuff in the consol of my mini van, the pockets of my diaper bag and purse, on my bedroom vanity and until recently (when I ran out of it), my first floor bathroom.  I also carry around Lysol Disinfecting Wipes.  Not tiny purse-sixed packets, mind you.  I tote the 7-inches round, 110-count container with me.  I am not too proud to haul that fat daddy into a restaurant, yank out a sheet and start wiping down the table.  In fact, my friends and family expect it.  For a while I even tried marketing a product called the “Tidy Diner.”  It catered to germ-a-phobe moms like me.  It was a double-sized, pocketed fabric placemat.  It rolled up nicely and held a coloring book and crayons.  When faced with a dirty restaurant table I could unroll it, lay it flat and protect Benjamin from some other kid’s disgusting mess.  While he waited for his food, he could color.  I soon found out that no one else wanted this product.  My own friends rolled their eyes and would-be buyers–well, they squinted with furrowed brows. 

But seriously, with an arsenal like I’ve described above, how did Benjamin catch a cold?

Michael caught a cold.  Apparently, he was able to contract some sort of wayward germ in the eight or so hours a day when he is away from his germ-a-phobic wife.  If only I could invent some sort of anti-germ force field (perhaps something like Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak) they could both wear out into the world. 

I know what you are thinking.  Kids need to get sick.  Sickness builds one’s immunity.  I realize that.  Honestly, I do.  I even asked the pediatrician about Benjamin’s superhuman immunity.  I admitted to wiping down restaurant booths.  I told her about his daily yogurt regimen.  And, even the secret weapon breakfast that he ate the first two and a half years of his life—the  morning elixir—prune juice mixed with applesauce and infant cereal.  Yum!  She assured me it’s fine that he rarely gets sick.  In fact, it makes sense.  He is not in daycare.  He does not attend preschool.  He simply has less opportunity to get sick.  She told me not to worry.  “Don’t go out there trying to expose him to sickness just to build up his immunity,” she laughed.

Hey, if a doctor tells me it is okay, I will continue wiping down restaurant tables.  Cleaning off shopping carts.  Swabbing playground equipment.  Okay, I was kidding.  Although, wouldn’t it be cool if someone invented a huge cotton swab drenched in alcohol-based, antibacterial goo that moms could swirl around inside those disgusting sliding board/tunnel combo things at the playground?

I the only one yearning for such a germ-fighting innovation?  I am?  No one else worries about playground germs?  [Do I hear crickets chirping?]  Oh.  Okay.  I’m alone on this, aren’t I?  Okay.  I’ll let it go.  


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