Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I don't like feeding my baby dog poop

I've been accused of being a germaphobe and a clean freak. I'll give those of you who know me a second to calm down.


All right, that's enough now.

You can stop laughing any time now.

OK, that's enough MOM!

Anyway, a germaphobe? Maybe. A clean freak? Even I had a good chuckle about that. Let me tell you what happened and you can give me your take on it. I'm curious if I really am a neurotic germaphobe or if the other people involved in this incident just needed a good dose of common sense.

I like to read this website that has little hints and tips for raising kids. It has ideas on everything from ways to keep your kids busy in the car to quick clean up tips to helpful bedtime routines. It's a pretty neat site and I've gotten a couple of good ideas off it. One tip sent in by a reader really made me gag though. She said that when she was out to eat her toddler would always throw his silverware on the floor. She got tired of asking for new silverware so she came up with a really "great" idea instead. She asked the waitress to bring her a cup of hot water and then when her son dropped his silverware on the floor she would dip it in the water to "clean" it and then give him back the silverware and let him eat with it. Got that? She picked up silverware off the floor and considered it clean enough for her child to eat with after she dipped it in hot water. She also suggested that you could do this with dropped teething rings and nuks. Could you just vomit all over?

I pointed out as nicely as I could that any water that the waitress would bring you wouldn't really be hot enough to kill any germs and that after the first time you dipped the silverware all you would really be doing would be creating a nice germy, lukewarm stew. I also pointed out that restaurant floors are filthy with who know how many people tracking who knows what in. And doubtlessly some of those people used the bathroom in the restaurant and if there's anything dirtier than the the floor under a restaurant table it's the floor of a public restroom. So I said all this very nicely and people responded and called me a germaphobe and a clean freak.

OK. Yeah. Right. So I responded to them and explained that I really wasn't a germaphobe and that in my own home I really didn't make such a big deal about germs. I made the point that in a public place you're exposed to so much more than you are at home and that all you were really doing with the cup of water was creating a little germ hot tub and that just didn't seem like the greatest idea in the world to me.

That didn't go over so well. I was told that if I continued to think like that that my kids were going to come out as neurotic as I am. Ha! I'll have the last laugh here. I already knew my kids were going to be neurotic. One just has to look back at one or two generations of my family and they'll see that we've got a natural neurotic tendency. So if they become neurotic it will be because of family tradition and not because I think it's a bad idea to let a baby use a spoon coated with E Coli and dog shit.

Was I wrong? Is the Cup O' Bacteria a good idea? Or is it just gross and kind of stupid?


CDPJ said...

Ew. Ew. Ew. The Boy drops his silverware on the floor occassionally -- or equally as gross to me, bangs it under the table (I have a great fear of under-table yuckiness) -- so I know for a fact it's not that hard to ask for another piece of silverware (or just steal a set off the table next door, which is what I'm most likely to do, espcially at a family restaurant).

I also came up with this great idea for when he's really old enough to know better (though I haven't decided when that will be) -- teaching him not to throw his/her silverware on the floor by making him eat with fingers when he does. He hates getting his hands dirty, so it won't take long for that to stick!

But for this ridiculous woman and her cohorts who think you can clean germs in a cup of tepid water (like they'd use to make tea I'm guessing -- not hot enough to kill germs!!!), if she knows it's going to happen, why not ask for an extra set in advance.

At the end of the day, I suppose they are her kids and she can feed them germs as often as she likes. But you are not a crazy germaphobe for pointing out the obvious. People like the ones who "attacked" you are exactly the reason I stopped frequently chat rooms and message boards. Too many crazies!

Judy said...

Jen, thank you for protecting my grandchildren from the germ stew. Seriously...you are right, that water is not hot enough to kill germs. Much better to use an anti-bacterial wipe, and even that is not effective against those nasty virus germs. I have a suggestion, bring a supply of plastic utensils with you if you have have child that is still throwing stuff on the floor, chances are you bring a "baby bag" along anyway, so it's not that hard to toss in a supply of plastic forks and spoons. You are doing fine, me dear, and not crazy at all. Love, Judy

Karen said...

Found you through Absolutely Bananas.

And I totally agree .....with YOU! Ick! Yes, that hot water *may* work the first time, but not on subsequent dips. Water cools quickly and if you're just dipping and not using soap, or a little elbow grease, I highly doubt it's cleaning anything.

Now, do I think anyone is going to get seriously, deathly ill from using silverware off the floor? Probably not. Most times when you ingest something like that your stomach acid kills the bad stuff. So, it's unlikely anyone would get sick.

But the nasty factor is still there. And it won't be cleaned off with a dip in water.

Melody is Slurping Life said...

My boys may never eat with silverware off of a restaurant floor. But at home they may eat with silverware that is dropped and our dog has licked clean for them. :)

I'll confess to getting a bit lax by boy #4.

Christopher said...

Really I think the point isn't whether you think it's alright for people to eat things which have been on the floor (and both schools of thought have valid viewpoints) but that people are ass-backwards enough to think that dipping something in hot water sterilises it.

Absolutely Bananas said...

I am Waaaay more of a germaphone in public places. there's nothing worse than OTHER PEOPLE'S dirt... ewwww!!!