Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Family Cold

I'm nearing the end of a family cold. That's what happens when you have a child in daycare who brings back cooties every chance she gets. She got it and gave it to Rick. One of them gave it to Iain. And then I likely got it from all three of them. You would think that having a cold and knowing how miserable I've been these past few days with headaches and snot and sneezing and dealing with the kids' snot would have taught me to be better about disinfecting things and encouraged me to be more strict about hand washing and hygiene, but it didn't. I already considered myself to be good about hand washing, but clearly I'm not anywhere near as good about it as I thought since I can't even fend off the common cold.

As it turns out, it is tough to get your toddler to wash her hands after everything she touches. She touches a lot of things. And she doesn't really want to wash her hands. Just recently she started to give in to hand washing but it has taken awhile for her to acquiesce. I didn't grow up with the "wash your hands before you eat" rule so it's tough for me to remember to do that with Ada. We are just now starting to get into the habit of having her wash her hands when she gets home from daycare, and she's been there six months! Ug. I can only imagine the germs she's brought home so far this year.

It also doesn't help our desire to be cootie-free when everyone wants to touch and hold the new baby. Some people are really good about saying, "Let me go wash my hands so I can hold him.". And I know, as his mom, I should ask people to wash up before touching him...but I forget. I'm pretty scatterbrained these days at it isn't top of mind. (Some would say I have a lot going on with having a newborn and all.) It isn't even close to being on my mind to tell the truth. At least, not until we get a family cold and I'm considering making a holster on my belt for his snot sucker since I can never find it when I need it. Poor little guy.

For right now, this cold will serve as a reminder that we need to do more as a family to prevent cooties from attacking us. Now is the time we either change our habits or accept the fact that we are going to get more colds and other illnesses that could be prevented if we just tried a little bit harder and spent more time hand washing. It's not enough to just tell Ada to cover her mouth when she coughs. We have to get into the habit of doing more.

Moral of the story: With kids come cooties. Teach good hygiene habits from the start and it is bound to pay off. Even one less round of cooties will be worth your effort.

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