Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Okay, so I'm really not an OCD person in general. I'm pretty laid back about most things. There is one thing, however, that I'm pretty freaked out about and that's germs. I probably owe that to working at a hospital with newborns and using hand sanitizer/washing my hands after everything I do. Before I even start work, I have to do a 3 minute scrub-in and then throughout the shift I am constantly washing my hands. I also owe it to the fact that my son's had two bad viral infections since birth, one that landed us in the ER for a pretty traumatic experience. So I'll admit, I'm a little bit of an over-the-top germophobe. But please, tell me in this situation if I was being ridiculous or if this is a normal reaction.

I took Parker to the Peditrician today for his 4 month well-baby visit. There's this mom with her son who was there for his well checkup and her daughter who was not. The daughter kept trying to convince her mom that she needed to see the Dr. too for her toes. So I'm noticing the girl keeps scratching herself all over her body and I get to looking at her, and she's got some kind of skin condition going on. She had red rashy bumps all over her body. Granted, it could've been some completely non-contagious skin irritation, but I'm not feeling too reassured at this point.

I'm minding my own business and the girl keeps looking at Parker and talking to him and I'm trying to be nice but thinking in my head "please don't come over and start touching him." And of course as I'm thinking this, she walks over and starts touching him. I'm sinking back into my chair, pulling Parker closer to me, and further away from her, hoping her mom will notice my body language and respond like I would think most moms would with "don't touch the baby" or something along those lines. But instead she responded with "just touch him on his head, don't touch his face or hands." I'm thinking "thanks, now my kid could possibly have your kid's skind condition on his head, but at least it's not on his face or hands." So, as the girl's repeatedly stroking Parker's head, the little boy comes tearing toward us with his hand over his head, sippy cup in hand, as if he's going to hit something as hard as he could with his sippy cup. He was going right for Parker's head with the cup, and so I put my hand in front of Parker's face, and his mom comes running over saying, "he has been known to hit kids with his sippy cup." That's good to know, thanks for telling me that. So, then the little girl takes her gum out of her mouth and starts rolling it in her hands and her mom says "that's why we only touch the baby on his head," and I'm thinking, how about "that's why we don't touch the baby at all." Then the girl puts her gum back in her mouth and continues stroking Parker's head. Gross. By this point I'm about having a panick attack thinking about all the germs and who knows what kind of skin disease my child has all over his head, and the girl tries to start kissing him. That's when I said, "let's not kiss the baby, please." At this point I had to get up and walk away.

Then the nurse came and called them back to the room, and as soon as they left, the lady across the room said "okay are you freaking out because I was over here about to have a panic attack for you. You handled the situation well though because I definitely wouldn't have handled it like that." Here's the problem I have: I'm SO not an outspoken person so it's hard for me to say things like "well I actually would rather her not touch him" to the mom after she told her child she could touch Parker, but at the same time, he's my baby and I have to do what I feel like I need to do. But then I think, well am I just being over the top and ridiculous? I don't know, maybe I am.

Any suggestions on how to handle situations like that in a tactful way? But seriously, does this kind of thing happen often? Because if so, I'm really gonna have to get better about being assertive. I have been surprised by some of the things that people do and say when you have a baby. I'll post about that another day...


Greta said...

Ugh - what awkward situations we get put in, right?!

I had a situation at the doctor's office where this little kid (who had been in the sick kid section) kept running over to the well kid section and touching, coughing and sneezing on everything. The parent didn't do a THING! It was pretty frustrating so I just told the kid she should probably head back over near her mommy.

My advice, talk directly to the kid. "Oh, let's not touch the baby...he's trying to sleep" or just stand up, then the kid can't reach you. Definitely be more assertive b/c there are lots of moms who either don't care or are too tired to discipline or even corral their children.

Think about all the wild kids in the Chick-fil-a playground whose moms just sit outside and chat with their buddies, totally ignoring the fact that their kid is bulldozing over my much smaller kid. Ahem.

Sorry for the soapbox and super long comment ;).

Jorge said...

girl.. you have every right to be a "momma bear" because you are your childs only advocate. He can't say "well you know I'd rather not get a questionable rash all over my body, thank you." but you can. You don't have to worry what anyone thinks, bc quite honestly, everyone has an opinion about anything us moms do or say, so no point in trying to not offend. Especially in that kind of situation.

talking to the child is a good idea but since mom was the one giving the permission to her child (without asking your permission), I'd talk directly to her "actually, I'd rather she not touch his head today." you can add whatever reason that makes you feel better. But the bottom line is don't sit there while uncomfortable.. he's your charge and you aren't a bad person for being concerned.

I am not a germaphobe and that situation would make me speak up for sure. heck, I don't like my pediatrician wearing a tie (and he knows it and jokes with me about it) because its the one piece of clothing they wear to work everyday and NEVER wash. Lets not get a culture of that one.

Rachel Garcia said...

sorry i was signed in as my hubby. .

Jaci Spain said...

You are so gonna have to get more tough:) Trust me, the mama bear will begin to come out in you soon enough. You would be the one spending tons of money on antibiotics and doctor's visits when he gets sick. And if parent's want to get offended then let them. It's your child! And some people are just so clueless!

jay&jeanna said...

Thanks for all the great advice. Those are good suggestions. I'm shocked that some mom's are so clueless as to what their kids are doing! Greta, that's crazy about the kid in the dr's office.. what was the mom thinking? And the kids at chick-fil-a running your child over.. that would make me so mad! I'm not looking forward to those days when other kids are mean to him and their parents do nothing - ugh.. definitely gonna have to get tougher starting now! :)

Rachel said...

You totally weren't overreacting. I'm really laid back when it comes to germs, but my mouth dropped open when I read what the Mom said after the gum-rolling-around activity!! EW!

I hate confrontation too, so I totally get how you feel. I'm with Greta - talk directly to the kid - it's less confrontational. Or just get up and move.

People can be so weird. :)