how do I stop this crazy train?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fecal Fun

Fecal Fun
I am an admitted germaphobe but for the last few months I have been making serious efforts to let my child out of her sanitary bubble. I decided I didn’t want my daughter to grow up and be afraid of the world around her. One of the biggest steps I have taken has been letting my precious baby go into fast food play areas. I know what you are thinking, “why don’t you just let her lick a public toilet, it’s probably cleaner”? Generally I can sit there for 45 minutes with a slightly upset stomach watching her gleefully climb around in god knows what and then take her straight home and put her clothes in the wash and her in the tub.
Initially I would make a preliminary sweep of the play area, climbing through with a sanitizing wipe on each hand scrubbing any suspicious spots but alas I have gotten lazy and quit. Yesterday was cold and rainy and with it being a night week I had a lot of hours to fill for an energetic two year old so we met some friends at a place I will be referring to as Shmurger King so I won’t have to worry about any legal action. I cringed a little as our children climbed into the play area but they seemed so happy I tried not to think about the possible communicable diseases slimed all over the walls and floors. I looked at my friend and said “this was a good idea” and I think that was the kiss of death for fun time at Shmurger King. After about 15 minutes of play time my conversation was interrupted when I heard my little girl’s voice yell down to me “mommy, is this poop”? I love her dearly but at two she is not the most reliable source so my friend yells up to her much more reliable four year old “Ryan, is there poop in there”? A tiny “yes” echoed down to us and my friend shot up into play equipment with impressive speed. I immediately went into panic mode (which generally consists of me frozen with fear, unable to act). I stood at the bottom waiting to hear the adult verdict on the possible poo. Upon inspection it was indeed declared poo.
I went further into panic mode, still unable to move, but now vocalizing the fact that I was freaking out and felt like I needed to vomit. After a few minutes my brain started to function again and I sprung into action. I told Lauren to get out of the play area right that second, she of course answered with a firm no, because she is two and that is her initial response to everything. Once she saw the “crazy” in mommy’s eyes she started to make her way down and I bolted up to the front counter to report the incident. My report was met with blank stares. Then the 80 year old employee looked at the only other person working and said “I can’t get in there.” The only other employee who appeared to be nearly 400lbs said “I can’t get in there either.” The Shmurger King diet is obviously not as effective as the Subway diet. After a minute of more blank staring I said “just give me the cleaning supplies and I will take care of it.” That was a bad decision. Looking back I should have just stripped Lauren naked, sprayed her with Lysol, and gone straight home to burn her clothing. Since my friend was still in the play equipment she took the supplies (I certainly did not fight her for the honor) and went back up to remove the poop while I started the sanitization process. The most amazing thing to me was that there were other mothers there with their children watching this whole scene take place and no one seemed to be bothered in the slightest that someone had climbed into the play area, dropped their pants, and left a big steaming pile of hepatitis for other children to play in. Other than my friend and I not one person was dry heaving or freaking out, they just kept right on eating. They sat there chewing on their whoppers, watching as I threw my child’s socks away and rubbed her down in berry scented hand sanitizer.
As soon as we got home I put all of our clothes into the washing machine and Lauren into a bath. Did you know Dial makes an antibacterial body wash? If I were Oprah it would probably be on my favorite things list. Anyway, when it was finally my turn to shower I flipped on some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and ran for my bathroom. I felt a little like a rape victim, you know how in the movies they are huddled in a hot shower scrubbing and scrubbing but never feeling clean? I swear for the rest of the day I could smell poop everywhere, it’s like it soaked into my skin. I think I have PTSD from the events of this day.