About Me

Kent, United Kingdom
I have the perfect family but still struggle to find the light in the darkness of post-natal depression.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Something to share...

Here's a little something I wrote for elsewhere that I thought some of you might like to read. Some of you, I fear, will be horrified....
I was prompted to share it after another puddle-splashing session by Miss T that ended with her sitting in the aforementioned puddle. Thank goodness for the ever-present emergency spare clothes!

WE'VE had swine flu - not literally in my case - so the latest headline-grabbing health scare seems to be E-coli.
Of course it is a serious illness and the tales of toddlers with organ failure are enough to strike terror into the hearts of parents everywhere, but the hysteria does seem to me to be another symptom of the germ-phobia sweeping this country.
While I don't encourage my own small daughter to eat her lunch in the toilet or to ignore basic hygiene, I also don't disinfect her toys or insist she washes her hands every time she strokes one of our two hairy hounds.
I'm sure there are some people reading that with a shudder and a squirt of anti-bacterial hand spray, but I don't want her life to be restricted by fears that are blown out of all proportion.
It's impossible to visit a farm now without dire warnings about risks to your health, and the handwashing police lurk by every pen.
When we stopped at a motorway service station last week I was astounded to discover people are now encouraged to disinfect toilet seats before using them - and before using the "wave to activate" no-contact flush system to ensure there is absolutely no chance of touching anything yukky. Apart from on the door handles and locks, of course...but there's always a wad of toilet roll and that ever-present anti-bacterial hand rub...
In our house, the 10-second rule is still in force: drop a piece of food or cutlery on the floor and as long as it's been there less than 10 seconds it's fine to pick up.
And when we go to the park or the beach we pick up all sorts of treasures to bring home without a moment's thought about all the nasties that could be lurking on them.
My sisters and I grew up literally eating mud pies (and worms, and drinking strange concoctions made using chalk and water) and survived to adulthood without any major episodes of illness.
And we had a lot of fun along the way, unlike the children I see who find their playtimes interupted every few minutes for a spray of this or a squirt of that to keep them squeaky clean.
Children get dirty; it's a fact of life and another of those quickly-discovered parental lessons.
But clothes can be washed, babies are bathed and it's amazing what you can achieve with hot water and soap.
So we'll keep on stroking animals, playing on the floor and creating masterpieces from mud and I hope my daughter will remember a childhood of fun instead of fear.


Scott & Yael said...

Good for you! I'm one of those insane mommies that is constantly cleaning my children's hands with that gel. I have bene a germophobic almost my entire life and I am seriously considering therapy to treat it!

'MeAgain' said...

/me *cheers* (loudly)