And… Now I’ve Turned Germaphobe.

First off – I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!  Theo’s first Thanksgiving went off without a hitch.  In fact, I was so proud of him – he was on his best behavior even though I shlepped him all over creation!  We slept in three different homes over the course of seven days.  He slept in his pack n play and didn’t give me any trouble (still two to three night wakings… but that’s still our norm).  And he handled our trip home like a total champ!  We drove from Massachusetts to Providence, RI, then took a 7:20pm train from Providence to Penn Station (three and a half hours), waited twenty minutes in a taxi line outside Penn Station at 11pm and then took a fifteen minute taxi home to Brooklyn.  He fell asleep fifteen minutes into the train ride and slept the ENTIRE way home – waking up five minutes into the taxi ride home to Brooklyn.  AMAZING.  Three cheers for you my little man.  He’s always surprising me.

Here is our Thanksgiving family photo:

And here’s a couple photos of  a hilarious encounter between Theo and his new friend Jake.  Jake is my friend Faye’s little dude.  Faye is one of my oldest and dearest friends.  It was so cool/weird/awesome seeing our little mini me’s playing together.

Theo & Jake Meet – Theo is unsure what to make of things:

Jake bear hugs Theo.  Theo is a bit overwhelmed/scared/intrigued:

Jake wrestles Theo to the ground.  Theo is learning how to man up:

Theo has had enough and scoots away for safety:

Good times had by all!

Meanwhile, my motherhood conundrum of the week…  GERMS.  I don’t know how to handle the germiness involved in raising an infant who puts everything into his mouth.  The thing is, I am a stay at home mom and our classes, playgroups and weekly baby beer garden excursions (gotta love Brooklyn) are – truth be told – more for me and my sanity than they are for Theo.  I love getting together with the other moms and babies.  It’s important for me to get out of the house and converse with other adults.  I enjoy blabbing with the other parents and hearing about their latest sleeping, eating and pooping dramas.  It makes me feel a sense of solidarity.  I’m not alone in this crazy, amazing, roller-coaster of an adventure.

And honestly, I have never been a germaphobe whatsoever.  I drink from public water fountains. I hold onto the pole when I’m on the subway.  I’ve even sat on public toilets if they look really clean and I’m too lazy to squat!!  (I probably shouldn’t have admitted that one).  But since I’ve had Theo, I have a new relationship with germs.  I watch him at playgroups as he puts other babies’ toys in his mouth.  I watch other babies put his toys in their mouths.  I watch him lick the floor.  There is just so much drool.

It is what it is… he’s a baby – it’s what they do!  I started out being all… “it’s ok… germs are good, he’ll build up a resistance”.  But now we’re three colds in and it’s only the start of winter.  And colds are one thing.  It’s the other viruses I’m afraid of.

Last week while we were home for Thanksgiving I was checking out my emails from the local mommy list serves.   Uhoh… three of the babies we have sign-language class with on Mondays came down with Coxsackie virus on Saturday.  It is a virus that involves blisters on your hands, feet and in your mouth!  Joy.  Then I see a few other babies have it too… but it looks like they all got it together at the beer garden on Thursday.  Luckily, I missed the beer garden on Thursday.  Phew.  Crisis averted. Then I got another email about another little baby friend of ours.   His cold got into his lungs and he spent all Thanksgiving week throwing up like crazy.  Poor little guy.  (Poor little mom.) A stomach virus perhaps?  He was just over our house to play on Wednesday, and we were at his house for a weekly meet up on Friday!  Oye Vey.

I started watching Theo for symptoms … mysterious blisters, a fever, a rash, lung congestion?  Man this stuff stresses me out!  What makes it all that much more urgent is we are going away on our first big vacation to St. John next week.  I’m talking air travel and all.  I SO need this vacation.  I am DYING for this vacation.  And if Theo gets some weird virus before we go, I will be SO PISSED!  So, for now, the plan is to be completely neurotic and to lay low and keep Theo from touching other babies and their drool-covered belongings for the next week and a half.

But after that – we’ve still got an entire winter to go.  What is the responsible thing to do?  I mean – a mom stuck indoors alone with a baby all day every day does NOT make for a happy mom (or happy baby).  But it does seem like every time we do the baby play dates, the babies get sick!  I’ve started doing lunches in restaurants, where the babies can stay confined to their own high chairs and I can still get a little socializing time – but lunches out get expensive.  I can’t do that every day!  Plus – I’m a social person… I love our weekly play date gatherings!  It’s a highlight of my week!  But there seems to be no way to control the exchange of drool – and the colds just keep on coming.   I miss playtime outside in the park – in the fresh air.  And it’s not even December yet.  Hmmph.

Anyway – that is my motherhood challenge du’jour.

Oh – and the other night, I fed Theo some homemade beef stew for dinner and he HOUSED it… and then slept for seven hours straight without a peep.  Is it wrong to feed your baby beef stew every night for the rest of his infancy?  Just wondering. 🙂

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3 thoughts on “And… Now I’ve Turned Germaphobe.

  1. Germs – what’s a mother to do…except face reality. Theo is going to get lots of colds and viruses in the first five years of his life no matter what you do! And you’ll probably get a lot of them too. All you can do is use common sense in your efforts to keep his environment clean and disease free and be thankful that you are a stay-at-home mommy who can take care of him when he is sick instead of schlepping him off to daycare somewhere because that really sucks…

  2. I’m with Penny. Do the best you can, but kids will pick up (germy) toys, lick the (germy) floor and share (germy) kisses with you. Mine went to daycare while I went to work, had lots of ear infections (Amoxycillin was our go-to “pink stuff”), and they grew up to be healthy, robust men! Quit worrying. 🙂

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