Eeek! Cooties!

I am not typically a germphobic mom. At our house, the 3-second rule is the if-it-doesn't-get-up-and-crawl-away rule. Luckily, the dog pack keeps the amount of food on the floor to a minimum. If the kids are motivated enough to beat the hounds to the table scraps, let them have them, I say. But even I have limits.

The kids and I are down in south Texas visiting my parents. The post-Ike weather is pleasant, so we headed off to the park. Our first mission was to feed the ducks. Z was much more interested in petting the zillions of chihuahuas that were also visiting the park. I had no fear of exposing her to strange dog cooties and/or drawing back a nub from the notoriously bite-y doglets. Once the Oaty O's were gone and Q had been grabbed by the overalls to keep from diving head first into the soggy bread duck filth, Zoe started collecting duck and goose feathers. Other than hoping they didn't go in her mouth, no germ fear there. Then we head over to the play area. Z is running and playing and grabbing and collecting any number of germs from the petri dishes called playground equipment and this doesn't bug me either.

What does set the alarm bells to ringing? The park drinking fountain. We drink out of water fountains all the time. The one at school is a must-stop location on the going home tour. We got drinks out of the fountain at my mom's memory care facility just today. But somehow the thought of Z drinking out of the fountain at the park totally wigged me out. I couldn't even put my disgust into words when she asked me why. Amorphous visions of hepatitis, trench mouth and pink eye were buzzing around my head. Blarg! So I just herded her into the car with promises of chocolate milk with dinner (because, of course, I am the kind of mom who never remembers to bring water to the park.)

So as I watch Z eating M&M's off the floor, I wonder to myself what makes that okay with me, but not the park water fountain. I guess I it's just the whole the germs you know thing. If they are our germs, how bad can they be?

Do you have any irrational germ fears? Do tell!

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