Babies… we love them, we can’t help it. Adorable, smiling, cooing perfect pure little bundles of joy. I love my grandchildren, and wish I could spend much more time with them. But, I have had a recent bacteriological epiphany: babies carry millions of germs! Just think about it. They drool and are always putting things in their mouths, they spit up on everything and they get sick! And if that’s not enough, they regularly get immunizations, often with live bacteria and virus.
I have an acute case of what I am going to call “krankenkinderphobia.” How does that sound for a German-flavored description for the fear of sick children spreading their germs? My lupus, and especially after getting biologic infusions, makes me wary of the germ carrying diaper crowd.
So, I am confessing that lately I have been overly careful while scrutinizing squirming infants that cross my path. Whether bouncing in their mother’s arms in the church lobby, or riding along in a shopping cart at the grocery store. But, I know they are sweet little innocents, not capable of intentionally inflicting harm or ill on anyone.
I should be very ashamed of my sudden caution toward the littlest members of our human family! Where has my sense of adventure gone?
Usually, while gathering my top secret baby intelligence, I scan the mommy/child situations and make careful mental notes. If the infant child seems congested, coughing or dripping, my socializing gets quickly redirected.
Turning on my heel, I might quickly veer across the room to greet a different member of the church, all the while pitifully self-justifying my spineless actions. Our pastor is always urging us to meet the visitors and make them feel friendly. If they look healthy, I should approach them instead. This is an excellent time to introduce myself to someone I don’t know.
Well, if all else fails and I get a strong dose of courage, I will just have to be quick on the draw with my purse-sized bottle of hand sanitizer. Throw caution to the wind and kiss the babies!