Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Did you wipe that down?

I’m a bit of a germaphobe. I carry antibacterial wipes in my pocketbook, Ladybug’s diaper bag and the front and back seats of the car. I give restaurant highchairs and tables the once-over with disinfecting towelettes before letting Ladybug touch them. I even have a “Buggy Bagg” that slides over shopping cart seats and that covers every inch Ladybug would normally come in contact with.

So to take Ladybug to a petting zoo – as my mom and I did yesterday – is not exactly ordinary behavior for me. But Ladybug adores animals and she loves getting out of the house, so it’s a perfect combination … as long as she doesn’t touch anything.

I know, I know. Why would I take her to a petting zoo if I’m not going to let her touch the animals? First off, it saves me a little dignity. Rather than having me feign very unrealistic – and in the case of camels, very inaccurate – animal sounds using Ladybug’s stuffed animals, she gets to hear them in real life. It also helps teach her the concept of big and small – “Look at that baby goat. He’s so much smaller than the one with the beard.” And where else but in Louisiana do you get to see alligators get a feeding of raw chicken?

But I have to admit, I did feel a bit awkward holding Ladybug back while other parents encouraged their toddlers to stick their hands through the fence and stroke the baby zebra’s fur or hand-feed the deer. But then again, all my efforts to keep Ladybug germ free has resulted in only one cold in 19 months.

Knock on sanitized wood.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bad part is that if they're are not exposed to these germs at a young age, they will be more likely to be sick once they start school. Just think of all the germs she will be exposed to then. I'm sure you have already heard this. I just wanted to bring it up b/c there is some validity to it. I learned the hard way.

September 12, 2007 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Michelle Mahfoufi said...

Maybe, but at least she'll have four years where she didn't have to suffer through colds and stomach viruses. : )
Seriously though, if she has to get sick I'd rather it be when she's bigger and stronger. And it's not like she doesn't get exposed to germs now. We're always on the go and surrounded by people, but I don't see the need to allow her to chew on a shopping cart handle just so she can build up her immune system.

September 13, 2007 at 10:32 AM  

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