What did those kids do to that nice lady?

Monday, May 4, 2015


It seems that People, in my-non-informed perhaps I’m just lazy opinion-are overly concerned with cleanliness and germs. And I’m not talking about anything major here; something as simple as being barefoot outside can sends shivers down the spine of a Germaphobe. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to the park with The Children and run into Other Children who see My Children all barefoot and happy and ask Their Mother if they, too, can take their shoes off and the absolute look of disgust that comes across Their Mother’s face is enough to tell them: Ain’t No Way In Hell those shoes are coming off. 

I find this so odd. I mean…we’re outside. In nature.

I asked one of Those Moms before…why? Why is it a big deal to you if your kids take their shoes off? And she said…the sand is just a big kitty litter for children.

What? You mean…you really think kids are just like…shitting in the sand and covering it up? I mean…really? Is this how you live your life? Because it sounds exhausting. Listen, I’m a fan of hand washing. I’m a fan of kleenex. I’m a fan of coughing and sneezing into your elbow. I’m a fan of the basic rules of hygiene and understand these basic rules exist to protect us from becoming ill. But this obsession with germs seems to me to be extremely unhealthy. And frankly, very time consuming. When did it become weird or gross for kids to be barefoot outside? When did we have to start sterilizing a shopping cart each time it’s used? Or why did I get dirty looks from Those Mothers when I didn’t use a Fancy Seat Cover for my Target cart when I had babies?  What a pain in the ass that thing was. I used it a few times when I cared about the judgment of Other Moms but quickly worked THAT out of my system. Fuck-don’t have you have enough to deal with when you have babies and toddlers and then you have to carry around that thing, too? (If we’re being honest, I couldn’t figure out how to even get that shit properly placed so, you know, Bye Felicia.) 

Oh, and while we’re at, my favorite thing? Discovering that someone used one of those sterilizing towels to wipe their down shopping cart and then just threw it in the cart and “forgot” about it. Oh, I see. You’re sooooooo concerned with germs that you leave your trash in the cart for the next person to deal with? Congratulations on being a Total Dick of a Person.
I would like to think that I have way more pressing matters than worrying about what’s on the handle of the shopping cart no matter how much fear The Today Show is trying to instill in us with their special GERMS ARE EVIL segments. Because I’m pretty sure my mom used a shopping cart and I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a fancy towel to use first. I’m pretty sure I actually sat in the bottom of the shopping cart. (You know what I’m talking about.) My devotion to being barefoot as a child has carried over into my adult life. I don’t carry bottles of sanitizer around and don’t really care if someone thinks it’s gross that I let my kids eat a snack at the beach without even WIPING THEIR HANDS FIRST. And while we’re at it, guess what? I DIDN’T always wash my hands before dinner. Yeah. I SAID it. That shit HAPPENED. All the TIME. 

I know there are more of Us out there; I know you want to stop micromanaging your kids hand washing.  I know you have better things to fight about with your kids other than whether they have shoes on or not. It’s okay to come out as a Non-Germaphobe. It’s so much more…relaxing. And the health benefits are great. See: the immunity of steel my children and I possess. 

So come on over. Let’s go to the park. Our kids can flip their shoes off, run into the wild and feel the earth beneath their feet. I promise that I’m not going to flinch if four grimy kids stick their hands inside one bag of goldfish. I promise I’m not going to judge you if your kids share a water bottle. (I even promise that I’m not going to judge you if you forgot sunscreen. Chances are solid that I did, too.)  And you and I can sit and relax and watch as the joy of childhood is shared amongst our children. 

 A little dirt never did hurt anyone, after all.

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