Well, it's official. I'm THAT parent. The neurotic germophobe that everyone snickers about behind their back. I didn't used to be this way. I've always been aware of germs. I'm and RN for crying out loud. But, I've never been as skiddish about anything so much in my life. I blame motherhood of course. (You'll recognize this as a recurring theme with me, by the way. I'll blame motherhood for just about anything. Of course it deserves full blame for the stretch marks and memory loss, but I may be pushing the envelope when I throw in the 20 pound weight gain AFTER I've delivered my 4th child, or the need for that third brownie.)
Anyway, I was mildly annoying when I had my first child. I did the same thing all first-time moms do when their child drops something on the floor. I sent it through the dishwasher, soaked it in some sort of "baby safe" disinfectant, sent it through an ionizer, and put it on the "DL" for at least three days just to be sure that all germs had either been killed or had committed suicide. But, of course, when I had my second child I was that woman that saw her child's pacifier on the ground, picked it up, licked it off and put it back in the kid's mouth. You learn to be a little less of a nutjob with subsequent children. Hell, by the time I had my third, I'm pretty sure we let her suck on our shoes. However, just when I thought I was safe...we had Bubble Boy.
My youngest son has some serious issues with his immune system. As in, I'm not sure if he's got one. He got EVERYTHING that anyone even mentioned during the past winter. Needless to say, after spending around $400 in copays for the doc office and THEN spending a total of 12 days in the hospital with this kid, I've re-invented the "neurotic mother." I don't think I would have to be such a freak if people weren't stupid. My children have classmates who could easily be mistaken for Typhoid Mary and yet, their parents "have to work" so they send them to school! I know, I know, people have to work to make money. But guess what? It costs ME money when you send your sick kid to school and my children bring it home! I actually overheard a parent talking about his latest illness when we were standing around waiting to pick the kids up from school. He was talking to a woman standing next to me, and I believe it went something like this:
Assclown: "Man, I've been fighting this cold for about a month. Actually, I went to the doctor and I have bronchitis. Doc says I'm probably still contagious, but I've been going to work all week, so I figure what does it matter now? I think my son probably has it too. He's been coughing for about 2 weeks. We just can't shake it. He acts ok though. After he stops coughing, he just plays and smiles and he WANTS to go to school. Isn't that funny?"
Me (at least in my head): "Yeah, funny in an, 'I'd like to take a machete to your forehead'" kind of way.
(I promise that I've been in contact with a therapist.)
But, because this is the line of thinking, I had to include an insert in my daughter's birthday invitation. I simply stated that we'd love to have everyone there, but if your child as been coughing, vomiting, or has had a fever in the past 24-48 hours, please refrain from sending them. I realize that I'm going to get hate mail, rude looks, and at the very least, a "crazy lady" snicker, but I simply CANNOT spend six consecutive days in a 10x10 cell with a 10 month old again. At least my daughter is only turning 6, and so she still thinks that I'm at least acceptable. I'm no longer cool, but she tolerates me. I'm sure if I were to send this invitation in a few years, she may disown me.
I know that some brainless moron is going to send their little germ incubator to this party, and think it's cute that he can recite the alphabet while vomiting. But, I say, go ahead. Bring it on...you can see how good I've gotten with my machete.