I briefly mentioned this in an earlier blog, but wanted to dive into the full tale, as it has been on my mind lately since Naomi is now old enough to sit in restaurant high chairs, and we're once again getting dirty looks when we put the shopping car/high chair covers on first.
The part I mentioned earlier was thus: I once had a brazen and crotchety elderly gent at Trader Joe's comment on my shopping cart cover. This is approximately what took place:
Intrusive Dense Ignoramus Opining on my Techniques (hereafter IDIOT): "You know, you are doing a great disservice to you gnawing infant's immune system by protecting her from shopping cart germs."
(Is that Steve Carrell?)
Me, instead: "I just don't want her chewing on the cart, is all."
IDIOT: "But she'll never develop an immune system that way!"
Oh yeah, because swine flu and staphylococcus does wonders for a teeny tiny baby, ya got-damn moron."
Me, instead: "Oh, OK, oh well."
IDIOT: "Children need to be exposed to germs. You are doing her a great disservice."
You already said that, IDIOT, so STFU and leave me and my clean, healthy infant alone. My baby is only 7 months old and needs to be exposed to stomach flu and pinkeye and the Grippe and Rosela and whooping cough and Consumption like I need a third nipple. On my forehead. And PS: You are full of horseshit.
Instead: "Oh, she gets plenty of germs; we have a dog and two cats at home" (which was true at the time).
Now get this. He literally recoiled in horror, shocked to the core, and said (WAIT FOR IT)-- "Oh no! That's terrible!" (Verbatim.)
...I was like, "WHAT THE FUCK, SIR? WHAT THE FUCK??"
I guess he wanted her to suck the everliving shit (pun intended) out of the shopping cart handle (including the fecal coliform and shigella thereon), but being exposed to household pets and their dander (which, by the way, is encouraged by the Hygiene Hypothesis) was just going WAY TOO FAR. Too, too far, sir. Too far indeed. Bum-bum germs and influenza for a tiny tiny baby, yes. Kittycat fur, no. OK then.
I gave him my best o_O, mentally flipped the old fucker the bird, and went in search of some christing pita bread.
And haters still hate every time I wipe down the table in front of my children, that they might not consume the hand-germs of the 500 people before them, nor the bacteria of the damp, dank rag that gave a cursory wipe of the table moments before. It's sad that I'm made to feel ashamed to clean the things my baby will suck on, like the table, but that's how people make me feel. Oh well. Not gonna stop me from breaking out the Sani-Hand wipes.