Cleanliness is next to...

I don't consider my self a "clean" person or a neat freak by any stretch of the imagination. I'm not a germaphobe. Sure, I'll want to squeal and want to run screaming like the proverbial little girl when my kids show me a worm and I gag when they step in dog poo. Don't look too closely in my corners and please, for the love of all things blessed and holy, stay out of the bathrooms!

(Unless you are spending the night. Then I will have cleaned them!)

To my "mainstream" friends, I probably look like even a worse housekeeper. I use very few commercial chemicals in the house. I make my own all- purpose cleaner (currently vinegar, water, Dr. Bronner's, tea tree oil and orange oil) and scrub sinks, counters and bathtubs with that and baking soda. I don't wash the floor as often as I should and need too. I clean the sink, yes, but only once a week and without bleach. I have anti-bacterial dish soap only because Adam bought it and I wash all our clothes in an all-natural laundry soap. My handsoap? Yeah, I just finished up the bottle of non-anti-bacterial soap and switched us to Dr. Bronner's.

 Yet when I was talking on-line to some mom friends, I realized that, dude, among them, I'm an OCD neat freak! I was shocked (and slightly horrified, I'll be honest) at the amount of mothers who didn't expect their kids to wash their hands after using the bathroom or before eating. I understand about not wanting to use anti-bacterial soap at their house but to not use the soaps in public restrooms because of this?

I make (yes, make) the Herd wash their hands after things like messy art projects or getting dirty while eating. That seemed to be a general given for most people because no one wants peanut butter on their walls. But I also expect them to wash their hands anytime they use the restroom, no matter what they do (or don't) do in there. When they play at the playground or even the indoor playareas, I give them a baby wipe or hand sanitizer. I don't always catch them when they blow or, er, pick their nose but I usually make them wash then too. No, it's not a full rendition of the ABC song or Happy Birthday but it's something, right?

Why is this? I have no clue. I mean, yeah, I grew up with two medical professionals for parents which I am sure has something to do with it. While I want my kids immune systems to be healthy, I also don't want to introduce nasty, hard core germs to them. Plus, I think eating with dirty playground hands is just nasty. And then there's the leftover FREAK OUT about germs I had when Georgie was born and I made the kids change clothes when the got home from public places. For a preemie, though, that's not hard core, just common sense!

Am I perfect about it? No. I forget to have the kids wipe off after playing at McDonald's. They wipe their noses and reach for food. Joseph and Georgie have dirt under their nails from playing outside. Cole crawls on the floor, which needs to be washed more. And Higgins... Higgins could use a good lesson in NOT rolling in the grass and dragging it inside the house!

But not washing after the potty? Now that is my bottom line! :) (Ha.ha.ha!)