Before you have babies, you think you’ve got a handle on how the parenting thing works. You feed them, you change them, you keep them clean. What’s so hard about that? And honestly, the answer, so far as I can tell from eleven months in the twin trenches, is nothing. Except for everything. Most particularly, the last item on the list.
Clean? Ha. My kids have mashed banana glued behind their ears from breakfast, and some chicken in their hair from last night. Robin is rubbing his nose on the couch to get out the booger that he won’t let me touch with a tissue. Wren is chewing on something she found in her stroller seat. After I scoop it from under her tongue, I can only guess that it was once something attached to a plant. A leaf? A piece of bark? Maybe some bird poo?
Thankfully, according to the New York Times, we are just good parents.
In studies of what is called the hygiene hypothesis, researchers are concluding that organisms like the millions of bacteria, viruses and especially worms that enter the body along with “dirt” spur the development of a healthy immune system.
I’ll buy the first round of tequila shots. Worms for everybody!
Dr. Ruebush deplores the current fetish for the hundreds of antibacterial products that convey a false sense of security and may actually foster the development of antibiotic-resistant, disease-causing bacteria.
At the Farmer’s Market, we see mothers diligently scrubbing the tables with sanitary wipes before setting down their trays. They douse their children’s hands in antibacterial gel. They probably use those stupid shopping cart covers. They may think they’re doing good, but when the superbugs rise up to enslave us all in their germy armies of the End Times, you’ll know who to blame.