I’ve discovered an unlikely superpower that motherhood has granted me. I am impervious to germs. Now, I know this isn’t because I get enough sleep or eat a well-balanced, non-fast food, diet. I wouldn’t even say I’m healthier than I used to be. My hair is limp, I have bags under my eyes, I can’t even remember where I keep my makeup, and I haven’t seen the inside of a gym that didn’t have padded floors and someone blowing bubbles in years. But I never get sick. I don’t really have time. My children could bring home the bubonic plague, cough leprosy all over me, and I’d just get a little sniffle.
I was ruminating on this fact in the shower this morning when I started to formulate a theory. Since becoming a mom I’ve had to lower my standard of hygiene considerably. There just isn’t time to shower every day, or even every week. Not when you can just bathe with the children in the evening. However, this means that there are sometimes weeks between opportunities for me to wash in water that hasn’t been peed in. My son thoughtfully points out to me that he is “making pee go in the bathtub, but that’s ok” nearly every night. Thanks for that, son.
This pattern isn’t limited to my personal hygiene either. It carries through to the rest of the house too. When my first son with an infant, I used to mop the kitchen floor every day just in case one of his toys fell onto the floor. If I hadn’t mopped that day, I’d quickly disinfect the toy before handing it back to him. Yesterday, the baby spit up on the toothbrush he was chewing on while running in his walker, threw it on the floor where it was immediately lapped up by the dogs, then shouted until I picked it up, rinsed it in warm (not even hot!) water and gave it back to him. I’m not proud of this. Just being honest.
Later that day, I watched the two boys playing sweetly together on the rug in the playroom when the baby leaned forward, put his face right up to his brother’s and belched. The three year old then laughed so hard he farted, which led to more laughter, and eventually to the dogs wandering in to investigate the hysteria. After licking both children in the mouth, they retired to their chaise longue dog bed and proceeded to lick their own butts. They say dogs have cleaner mouths than humans. Makes me want to brush my teeth.
As appalling as I find myself these days, I think I might actually be on to something. I have built up a protective layer of filth that is acting as a virus repellent. If only I could bottle my creation and market it on the shelves next to Emergen-C, I’d be a billionaire. For now, I guess I’ll have to settle for slightly healthier than average. But next time my son tells me he’s peeing on me in the tub, I’m just gonna say “bring it on, little man!” Don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it.