I don’t think it’s so much that I’m a germaphobe. I think it’s more motherly instincts.
One of my biggest pet peeves is waiting for an appointment, letting the kids play in the designated play area equipped with toys, then seeing… dust mites in the corners, thick dirt on the floors, gunk stuck to the toys, unorganized, out-of-batteries, missing-pieces, etc. And let’s not start on the bathrooms; if there’s no hand soap or if the trash Is overflowing I wonder if anyone is checking it for cleanliness. I mean – how can I trust your expertise if this is acceptable to you?
Going to public play places makes me cringe and get nauseous sometimes. I just feel like any little thing my baby picks up from off the floor and puts in her mouth could contain the bacteria of a lifetime. When last was this floor cleaned? How many sick kids and dirty shoe bottoms have trekked here? Once I saw a little girl wet her pants – puddle on the carpet. If no one is vacuuming then surely no one is shampooing. Baby girl is at the pincer grasp stage, finding every little speck on the floor and quickly sticking it in her mouth. I get weak at the thought.
This builds the immune system up, right? Right. Let me keep telling myself that so I can feel comfortable with letting her roam on the public playscapes. I just have to keep close by to swipe the sand off of her tongue and pray that she doesn’t spy a dirty bandaid on the ground. I just may pass out if I have to fish one of those out of her mouth.
For these same reasons, I order my drinks with no ice to avoid those dirty ice dispensers, will rather not salt and pepper my food if I have to touch those shakers that have been on this table all day being passed hand to hand, and will remove that top blanket off of my bed at hotels because they don’t wash those. If I find a macaroni noodle in my mashed potatoes I’ll send the whole dish back because who knows what type of contamination we’re dealing with in the kitchen. Want to order something else? From here?? No way. Either I’ll mentally visualize the same problem or maybe the waiter will have a bone to pick with me. I’d rather starve.