Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘germs


Avoiding germs, especially this time of year, is pretty well impossible. However, spreading them, or preventing the spreading of them is something I have been trying to instill in little Niko. The two at the top of our list?

1) Using tissues to blow your nose.

2) Covering your nose when you sneeze or cough.

He’s about 50/50 on both.

So this morning, after a rapid fire of sneezes during breakfast, about half of them shielded by his tiny bent elbow, I reminded him about the importance of covering his nose every time. By then he was done eating anyway, so I helped him out of his booster seat and he continued about his morning routine – which really just involves playing and more playing -, while I put Daddy’s lunch together.

Of course, when he saw me pull out the apples, he wanted one. And I obliged his request. So now he’s scampering underfoot with his cars and his apple (yes it can make for a bit of a mess, but I’m just happy he’s eating fruit), when he comes to me with a chewed piece of apple skin on his finger. He’s in the habit of spitting out what he doesn’t like, and handing it over to me: be it apple skin, chicken or whatever. Which I guess is better than the alternative of spitting it out in a secret spot, only to be discovered by me, hours or even worse, days later. So toward me he trots with a relatively small piece of what looks to be apple skin stuck to the tip of his finger, all the while, calling “Mama, Mama, garbage.”

I retrieve the gooey peel from his tiny pointer, only to discover that it wasn’t apple skin!

“Niko, please use a Kleenex next time”. But like I said, we’re still working on that one…

Don’t worry Daddy, I washed my hands before I proceeded with your sandwich!


You know sometimes when you do something that seems like a good idea at the time, but in hindsight may not have been the best choice. This is Niko’s and my reality right now. Last Friday the Little N Man and I had an adventure at the grocery store: the adventurous part being that he got to sit in the grocery cart like a big boy for the first time. When I put him in there, I couldn’t help but think about all the hands that had touched the cart and that probably it wasn’t the cleanest of things for my little babe to be touching. Especially considering he’s at that stage where everything goes in his mouth, so even if he doesn’t have any toys to munch on, it’s his hands that eventually end up there. So yes, my little baby was touching the grocery cart handle, then putting his hands in his mouth and repeating this for the entire grocery “adventure”. I just tried to keep my mantra in mind; he’s building his immunities, right?

Well, it turns out that my senses were right! There was something nasty lingering on that grocery cart. That day he developed a small blister by his mouth, which eventually burst and turned red, only to get bigger over the course of the weekend. But seeing as we were on another road trip, going to my friend Jamie’s wedding, we weren’t in a position to get his face checked out. To make us first-time parents feel a bit better, my friend Leslie, who was also at the wedding and is a nurse, looked at his face and wasn’t too concerned. She suggested it could be impetigo and that we should see a doctor when we got back to Ottawa. So, today Daddy and Niko (yes, Daddy became inflicted as well) headed to the doctor’s office where they were both diagnosed with … impetigo! Anyway, they’ve been prescribed this antibacterial cream and hopefully it will do the trick, because Niko’s supposed to go to two birthday parties this weekend, and unless this is clear he won’t be able to go…

Note: It’s now imperative that I keep Niko’s nails short: despite the qualms I have about cutting them! Out of necessity I must keep them trimmed. (Actually, I just clipped them yesterday, so kudos to me!) The reason for the necessity of this maintenance is that impetigo is highly contagious and can spread to openings in the skin, like the ones that sometimes happen when he scratches his face because his nails are too long!


We can only protect our babes from so much. For the many things I can’t protect mine from, my mantra has become: “He’s just building his immunities.” It’s inevitable, that at one point or another he will get a cold, or an ear infection, or bronchitis, or whatever the case may be. That’s just life. It’s inevitable that he will put things in his mouth that have not been sterilized. It’s natural for babies to do this. It’s inevitable that his hands will touch things that have not been disinfected. It’s all part of their discovery process, but for a new mom and dad, the germs that seem to be lurking on every surface can be a bit overwhelming, hence the adoption of my mantra.

Below are a few scenarios to illustrate what I mean…

Niko is chewing voraciously on Sophie the Giraffe, and the next minute she has been dropped on the floor. I pick it up, give her back to him and think, oh well he’s building his immunities.

Frasier our poodle licks Niko’s fingers and then Niko puts his hand in his mouth. Again I rely on my trusty mantra.

I take Niko out into the world and strangers smile at him and touch his hands, he then proceeds to put his hands in his mouth. Through gritted teeth, “He’s building his immunities.”

We’re at the doctors’ office and people are coughing all around him. You get the idea.

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