Germ Factory
Sharing is Caring

My Daughter, A germ factory

Is your child as much of a germ factory as mine is? My daughter loves to share her germs when she gets sick. Normally, I think that is a wonderful quality for a child to possess. I love that she will eagerly share her toys and take turns with others. However, there are exceptions to every rule.

The rule of sharing should not apply when it comes to getting sick. My daughter thinks that if she isn’t feeling well, it is perfectly acceptable do everything in her power to share her germs with me. Now I could reason that she didn’t know any better when she was a baby. After all, what do babies know about being germ factories and stopping the spread of germs? At three, I chalked it up to having poor impulse control. However, at the age of 7, she is just playing dirty (no pun intended).

germs are not my friend

I hate germs. My husband calls me a germaphobe, and perhaps I am. I wash my hands thoroughly before I put any item of food into my mouth, I will never eat anything that dropped on the floor (five second rule- ha!), and don’t even get me started on doorknobs and faucet handles. My dream house is one that is fully motion-censored, so I never have to touch anything.

Germ Factory

Despite my own desire to live in a germ-free world, I understand that kids are meant to get dirty. I mean, some of the most fun activities are messy ones. Bring on the slime, the playdough, the finger paints, the playground that every child has touched. I even have pictures of my daughter playing in the mud, with dirt in parts of her where no dirt should ever be. I can handle all that.

my daughter loves to share

What I can’t handle is when my daughter, the germ factory, gets sick. When my daughter has a cold she will do the following: cough on me, wipe her nose on me, sneeze on me, and even lick me. I still have nightmares about what happened when she had a stomach bug.
On top of everything else, being sick rarely slows her down. She doesn’t lay there and play quietly. When I inevitably catch whatever abomination she has, I have to take care of a germ-oozing energizer bunny despite feeling like something that got scraped off of the bottom of a shoe.
I’ve explained to her many-a-time that those types of behaviors are simply unacceptable. However, the more utter disgust I show, the more she seems determined to gross me out (mission accomplished). I try to avoid her when she’s sick, but then I remember that I’m the only one around to take care of her. She doesn’t act this way around her father, and even if she did, I doubt he’d care. I decided that I must follow the same rule you would with dogs and bees- show no fear.
The last time she had a bad cold, I tried to apply my newfound logic. I didn’t react when she used my shorts as Kleenex and didn’t blink an eye when she sneezed in my hair. I calmly walked away from her and didn’t reinforce her behavior in any way (and in the privacy of my own room scrubbed myself down). My thought was that by showing no reaction, there would be no motivation to act that way. Turns out, the motivation is that she simply enjoys sharing her germs with me.
I finally came up with a solution; Vitamin C and Lysol. Wait, you can’t find Lysol anymore…I guess I have to start wearing a mask indoors.

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