Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nice to Meet You, Offbeat Mama. I Think I'll Hold Off On Shaking Your Hand, Thanks So Much.

A few weeks ago, I read this entry by "offbeatmama." (Yeah, I'm a year and a half too late. Bygones.) I've been stewing over it since. What follows is my horrified reaction to her quotes.

She says:

"Yes, I'm trying to teach them to wash their hands after they pee, etc."

1. "Trying" to teach them to wash after peeing? Really. How hard is it to teach them? How is this an "effort"? Sorry to go all Yoda on  your bum-bum here, but there is no try, offbeatmama. You just fucking teach them. We wash before we eat. Period. We wash after playing in the dirt. Period. We wash after we use the bathroom. Period. How is this a difficult lesson to teach? Why do you have to keep "trying"? You observe that shit. You keep an eye on it. You make them wash. The end.

2. Now what exactly do you mean by "etc."? Like, how do you wrap up "oh and the rest of the things you need to wash your hands after" by "etc." Like, do you mean, "after they pee, and after they touch heaping steaaming piles of dog shit"? Or do you mean "after they pee, and after making mudpies"? Or do you mean, "after they pee, and before eating," like we were taught in kindergarten? How do you summarize your hygiene program with "etc."?

Next up:

"...because substances with names that have numbers and hyphens and are virtually unpronounceable do not belong in children."

Really? God forbid our children ingest substances with numbers, hyphens, or that are difficult to pronounce, like beta-carotene, B-12, or D-3, which are vitamins; or galacto-oligosaccharides, cytidine 5-monophosphate, disodium uridine 5-monophosphate, crypthecodiniium cohnii oil, pyridoxine hydrocloride, cyanocobalamin, or phylloquinone, which are ingredients in infants' formula; or Isoleucine, Threonine, Selenocysteine, or Pyrrolysine, which are amino acids.

"Hell, now that I've taken the time to write all of those ingredients down, I'm quite certain they don't even belong on my kid's asses."

I wish you'd taken as much time to Google them as you did writing them down. OH SNAP!

Case in point:

"I, for one, would rather my kids ingest a little park dirt (even dog poo tinged park dirt) than have them ingest say: Ethyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Isopropyl Myrisate, which are the main ingredients in Purell. Or Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Propyl Paraben, Disodium Cocamphodiacetate, Polysorbate 20, and last but not least 2-Bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, which are commonly found ingredients found in baby wipes....commonly found ingredients found in baby wipes."

And that is where you and I differ, offbeatmama. That is where you and I motherfucking differ. Sweet Jesus.

Let's break this shit down, shall we? I've taken the liberty of Googling almost all of the ingredients in hand sani or baby wipes that terrify you so.

Ethyl Alcohol is also known as pure alcohol or drinking alcohol. It evaporates after rubbing it onto your skin.

Polysorbate 20 is a nontoxic agent and is used as a wetting agent in mouth drops.

carbomer is simply an expanded molecule. lol.

Tocopheryl acetate is also known as vitamin E acetate and is a common vitamin supplement.

Glycerin. Come on. Do I really have to fucking Google GLYCERIN for you? It's used in a billion foods and pharmaceuticals. COME ON.

Isopropyl Myrisate is safe and nontoxic and is used in certain mouthwashes.

2-Bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, or Bronopol, is fairly ubiquitous in our diet and the environment, and is even produced within the stomach from various foodstuffs.

Methylparaben is produced naturally and found in several fruits, primarily blueberries, along with other parabens.

Propylparaben, as mentioned above, occurs as a natural substance found in many plants and some insects.

..."etc." Snort.

Next time, you can g'head and Google these yourself instead of just letting the big words scare you.

Another quote:

"I'll take my chances with the dirt and grime and grossness from nature (and, I will admit somewhat sheepishly, from my house), thank you very much."

Nature? Oh boy. You're probably one of those people who freaks out that OMFG ascorbic acid is in some of our foods, aren't you?

Another favorite quote:

"Call me crazy, but I'm feeding my kids dirt and pond scum and yes, even dog poop, before I'm feeding them 2-Bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol."


And one of the quotes that had me shaking my head the hardest:

"I also feel compelled to admit that I (and consequently my children) are lackadaisical hand washers."

WTF? Who so lackadaisically admits that they are lackadaisical handwashers? It's just so...I mean, at least pretend. For fuck's sake, at least pretend you wash your got-damn hands after you touch your bum-bum. Or don't admit to thousands of people that you don't.


A germy affair, indeed.

Aaaaannnnnd with that, I'm off to go let my child eat a handful of dog-poo-tinged dirt wipe my kid's ass with some Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, and Propyl Paraben.

(Next up: My reaction to some of her commenters. Hooooo boy.)


  1. I don't understand why or how people don't wash their hands after they use the bathroom. I mean at least rinse them off!

    and great, now I can't eat blueberries, they have deadly Methylparaben. I guess I no longer have a reason to eat at Cracker Barrel... ;)

  2. Hahaha Samantha...there go those tasty, dusty, germy blueberry pancakes! :) You'll die of METHYLPARABEN POISONING! (And MRSA. Bygones.)

    Oh, and the hand-RINSERS...don't get me started on those people. The ones who rinse just for show, like, "See, I'm washing, don't hate." As if germs can be rinsed off." :)

  3. I don't get the people who don't wash their hands when YOU ARE STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO THEM WASHING YOUR HANDS. It's an in-their-face reminder "Hey this is what you're supposed to do in case you forgot."

  4. I went over and read that post--I guess I'll have to stay in your camp.

    I happen to think that antibiotics have totally been abused in our culture, like one of the comments said, and that's why germs are so tough these days--because we go to the doctor and get antibiotics for our kids and ourselves every time we sneeze, and doctors are too wimpy to say no! I am a hand-washer and a big-time cleaner, and my son, who is 11, has had ONE illness serious enough to warrant the use of antiobitoics. FWIW, he washes his hands frequently, removes his shoes upon entering my "too-clean" house, and he is as healthy as a horse.

    My daughter, on the other hand, who is disabled and relies on others to wash her hands for her, which I'm sorry to say seems to be much more important to me than anyone else, AND who touches everything because she doesn't know any better, gets sick ALL THE DAMN TIME! I keep her well ALL SUMMER LONG, then as soon as school starts, SHE'S SICK AGAIN!

    So all of you folks talking about these poor sickly kids who are never exposed to germs, get bent, because that's a load of crap. I don't even believe the pet thing, because I have had the SAME dog since my children were born, and I still have him. We aren't allergic to him, but we (me, my son and my daughter) are allergic to every OTHER dog and cat on the planet. So yes, it built our tolerance to our dog, but it did nothing to prevent us from being allergic to others!

    I didn't mean to hijack this post, but it irritates me when people try to spout science to excuse their own laziness!

    So, we'll keep washing our hands and wiping the shopping carts at the grocery store, thank you very much. And we will NEVER drink from a public water fountain. EVER! EVER! EVER!

  5. Yeah, as one (alarmingly wise) commenter under her article said, "Not to nitpick, but MRSA and other antibiotic resistant bacteria came from the misuse of ANTIBIOTICS, not from hand sanitizer or antibacterial soap use." I can't disagree with that at all. Doctors overprescribe, and patients misuse.

    But to blame hand sani, or mere washing of hands? RIDICULOUS. Good handwashing has been one of the main things that has benefitted (or as I say, benefat) humans and increased our health and our lifespans. So for her to be so flippant about it is grotesque.

    Glad to still have you in my camp. ;)

  6. Oh, and regarding "And we will NEVER drink from a public water fountain. EVER! EVER! EVER!"


  7. And Chelsea, I know, I see that so often. Just the other day at a movie theater. The chick decided to dig in her purse and get out some makeup instead of wash her hands, while I was RIGHT THERE WASHING and giving her the stink eye.

  8. You have NO FUCKING IDEA the length and well thought through and thoroughly researched GOD DAMN post I just wrote here and this stupid comment box would not let me post as a Wordpress client, and not as a Google client so I went freaking anonymous instead as a last resort to be heard and then it said error and then it disappeared. I am grumpy...

  9. Now it's working, now that all has been lost. Whatevs. I feel like I need your button, my research lost! By this comment box? It's more likely then you think LOLOLOL.
    All that being said: I wash my kids hands, I don't let her eat dog poop and I don't feed her off a tray that just had raw chicken on it. I also use 99% natural cleaning agents in my home (Vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda) I do not not have not in years used Antiperspirant(I use rock salt and I NEVER stink)and I use cloth diapers and cloth wipes (Though do use disposable wipes when I am out and about) so I do try and keep these potentially harmful things out of my babies system as much as I can do, cause I would rather just use soap and common sense then take major risks either way. Then again, I live in Canada were we give our kids significantly less vaccines vrs. Antibiotics have become hard to come by (Doctors only prescribed for truly necessary cases for the most part) and have way stricter conditions for food production and additives.

    Just my perspective :)

  10. So I guess that was meant to say it would seem we Canadians overall are more cautious then the US about food additives/preservatives and vaccines , but I am more cautious then average. I not a non hygenic person, but I also don't use synthetic products or food/products filled with preservatives and additives if I can help it (70/30 I would say-Organic, local, fresh, preservative free 70 to 30 not so much)

  11. Mommymaynard--I happen to agree with you. Part of what cripples me is that I do try to avoid additives and harmful chemicals, but I also go a little crazy with the clean thing, so it's a very, very difficult line to walk. You are absolutely correct about the US being lax in what is put in our food--I am a vegan, and part of the reasoning for that is because of the things that we give our animals to grow them bigger and faster.

    Vinegar is great for cleaning windows, and that's what I use sometimes, although I also use some products from Melaleuca. Having said that, I do still use Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, and Lysol spray when anyone is sick. I also clean my shower with bleach, because it seems to be the only thing that gets rid of the mold that creeps in if I am not diligent enough.

    This is a real coversation starter! Way to go Jo!

  12. If you click the "subscribe by email" link at the bottom of each individual entry, you will be emailed follow-up comments.

    I wish I knew how to make it "remember" you, but I don't. You could do "anonymous" and then just sign your name, if it's quicker.

  13. Oh, the "I hate chemicals" people. They make me NUTS.

    I remember, with more than a bit of fondness, a news report on a local grocery chain's decision to sell irradiated meat. One woman, bless her heart, was all "I don't want no chemicals in MAH FOOD!" And then my head exploded. Because a) irradiation ISN'T CHEMICAL TREATMENT and 2) because CHEMICALS ARE EVERY-FRIGGING-THING. Like that nasty dihydrogen monoxide (water).

  14. Erin: I love everything about this comment. :D

    People who would sign petitions to keep chemicals like dihydrogen monoxide out of our food are the same people who would petition to end women's suffrage. *headdesk*

  15. Well, I have to say I do know the difference between water and bleach, and the difference between what we eat and meat that is full of/covered with antibiotics, steroids, and, my personal favorite, shit. I can't lie about it--one of my little "things" is prescription drugs, whether they be put into our bodies through animal products or our own ingestion. I think there is a place for them, like say, antibiotics for ear infections, but I start to when the first solution to any medical problem is to throw some pill at it.

    For example, some person who is overweight and has horrible eating habits goes to the doctor and has high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The answer--take a pill, so I can get a kick-back from the pharm company!

    But I digress. Yes, everything is a chemical, but an educated person knows what chemicals are just fine, and what chemicals should be put in one of those orange barrels and shot into outer space.

    Erin, I hope you head doesn't explode from me saying that, because I have a little OCD myself and can't help it, but if it does, at least think of the money you'll save in Kleenex!

  16. Janice-I use bleach diluted water on the mildew in my shower as well. I just do at the end of the day, so my baby has been bathed and my hubby and I will both have showers in the morning before her skin touches the bath again.
    I AM one of those mama's that worries about chemical cleaners touching her babies skin or being ingested, which is why which ever one's I do have are kept whay up high, and I try to use as few as possible.

    I also agree that med's are thrown at everything. My mother, who is only just slightly overweight, was having boarderline issues with her blood sugar and blood pressure. She lost 15 lbs by eating cleaner and walking 1 hour 5x a week and BAM everything returned to normal. Not one pill. I am so reluctant it took EONS to me to accept I might need anxiety med's, I went through hell first. I believe they have their place, but should be a last resort. EVEN in the case of ear infections. Doctors here agree, they say 90% will be mild and pass with R&R, but if the child spikes a fever they do Antibiotics. I know this cause Evangeline was pulling at her ear and kinda cranky, I took her in, they said her ear was a bit red and might have a mild infection, but no fever, so watch her, take her temp. if anything changes or get's worse bring her right back in. It went away. She is 20 months old and yet to have any med's (outside Ibuprophen for teething) or more then a mild short lived cold.