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The Extreme Germophobe

A friend just said that that dealing with MRSA has turned me into an extreme GERMAPHOBE! My response to this accusation was that I don't actually have germophobia which is condition that causes a person who is so obsessed with bacteria to sanitize their hourly but I do turn on water faucets with my elbow so I suppose one could call me a pseudo-germaphobe according to the definitions I've found in the dictionary.

The reason for her inaccurate remark was that I told her that I would never consider owning a jetted tub because unsanitary bathrooms are not an option for me. Cleaning and sanitizing a normal bathtub after two family members who have MRSA staph infections is quite challenging enough without having to worry about bacteria hiding deep within dark holes.

And don't tell me that this is not an issue because I once flipped the switch in a whirlpool bath at a luxurious bed and breakfast inn only to find black moldy flakes floating in my bath water. This was before I became the extreme germophobe that I am today or it probably would have cause a fainting spell.

Where I once lived for a soak in a Jacuzzi, I know know that without going the extra mile to disinfect it, a jetted tub is a haven for mold and bacteria. Those warm, damp pipes are a virtual playground for stuff that scares me silly.
A well maintained hot tub has enough chemicals to beat back the bacteria but bathtubs don't.

I learned how to clean a jetted tub in our previous home out of necessity but I truly never trusted it and while many say the way to do it is easy and inexpensive; I found that performing the procedure which involved Cascade dishwashing powder and bleach after each and every bath to be time consuming and to cost money that I didn't have to spend at the time not to mention that I find unnecessarily dumping more chemicals into the environment reprehensible.

Being the extreme germophobe and frugal mom that I have to be, please forgive me if whenever I see a jetted tub I look at it as extra work and a breeding ground for bacteria. I'm sorry if that rains on anyone's parade but when you are talking about avoiding contaminating yourselves and your kids with MRSA that could be life threatening whirlpool bathtubs are simply not worth it.
Oh yeah, and there's no way in hell that I would ever take a bath in a B&B, motel or even a 5 star hotel EVER!

And even when taking a shower I practice the following advice that my grandmother lived by way before staph came into my life:

An optimist cleans the bathtub after her bath.
A pessimist cleans the bathtub before her bath.
A lady cleans the bath tub both before and after her bath.

I hope that next time you visit that I have something more uplifting to talk about in the way of Family Recipes, Babies and Parenting Issues rather than ranting about that the reasons that I should not be classified as an extreme germophobe because I am told that dealing with a germaphobe is not fun... now imagine that!


Am I a Helicopter Mom

My goal for yesterday was to decide if I am a helicopter mom. I was forced to take a look at myself to see if all of the health problems and chronic illnesses in my household had caused me to cross the line from caring, attachment parenting into helicopter parenting? Am I guilty of hovering about throwing myself between my kids and the cruel world and therefore leaving them victims to stunted development?

I’m a pretty busy lady and it has taken a little longer for the latest buzz phrase to catch my attention. However, my sister (remember the one who lets her kids run wild?) pointedly brought up the term "helicopter parenting" that she heard on a CBS documentary that aired awhile back to me over the weekend. I believe that she is pointing the finger at me for being a "hyper-parent" who coddles her kids.


Other than the obvious assumption that the definition of a helicopter mommy is one that hovers, after doing a little research I have ascertained that this would be a neurotically overprotective mother but who is fearful of upsetting her children and overcompensates (read: spoils) in various areas of their lives.

Am I little guilty of hovering over my kids? I wish I could square my shoulders and say that I would never do such a thing. But the truth is that I’m just a tat guilty. I’m not guilty of spoiling them or trying to predict and fill their every desire but because of our circumstances I may be a little overcautious but please allow me to plead my case.

Forgive me if I cringe whenever we are at the playground (or any other uncontrolled environment) and your child who doesn’t know my baby has a life threatening peanut allergy offers my daughter a bite. And please be understanding when you call to invite my kids over for a play date if I ask if you have cats, dogs or birds because my baby has asthma.

Under normal circumstances, I would like to think that I’m not a helicopter mom. I don’t spoil my children with toys and clothes and do my best parent them without clinging or overprotecting. But when it comes to my babies’ safety, you had better just get out of the way because this aircraft has a flight plan that will rock your world and for this mission I refuse to apologize.