Sick of Sick: A Hand Washing Story

It’s a title worthy of a Lifetime Television movie. And that’s what my life feels like.

Kids Sick Again: The Christy McDonald Story


Washing ’til They’re Raw: A Woman’s Struggle

I can see it now. Hayden Panettiere plays a young me. Julie Bowen, the modern-day me.  Of course, Meredith Baxter has to guest star as my mother.

Easter sick photo

Someone is sick in this photo. Guess who?

(No Lifetime movie is complete without her) My husband Jamie, could be played by George Clooney. (Hey- this is my fantasy Lifetime movie. Don’t judge)  The movie could be sponsored by CVS (because I was there three times this week getting antibiotics), Kleenex (obvious) and Dial (like soap even works anymore).

No matter what I do, it seems like one of my three children is sick. It’s gotten to the point where we define holiday memories by illness.

“Oh that Christmas? Was that the one where Caroline lost her voice?”

“I remember that Easter, didn’t Josh have strep?”

“Oh it was right before Thanksgiving, when Kitty had a sinus infection.”

The ick seems to follow us on vacation as well. This January we took the family skiing. We had dreams of happy family photos in the snow, the kids would have ski lessons, my husband and I would drink gimlets in the lodge. Caroline had just recovered from a fever, and we thought we were out of the woods. But somewhere on the long drive up north, Josh spiked a temperature. That night he fell asleep at the restaurant and spent the weekend, in the condo, watching the movie “Cars”. I could have done that at home and saved serious cash.

I try to be as clean as possible. The kids wash their hands after coming in. They wash before eating. They bathe twice a week. They cover their mouth with their arm when they cough or sneeze. My daughter carries anti bacterial gel with her in 1st grade.  I’m constantly wiping down door knobs. What more can I do, people??

My sister, on the other hand, has two kids who are never sick. And I say this lovingly – they’re not the best hand washers in the world, they’re known to have a thin layer of fuzz on their unbrushed teeth and one even sleeps with the family guinea pig. In bed.

Never sick.

Are we washing too much? Are my kids just sick magnets? My husband and I usually escape from getting their crud. But they did take us down with the stomach flu. Around Kitty’s birthday. See? Another holiday.

So now I don’t care. I’m throwing caution to the wind. And declaring war on germs. Play in the mud, kids! Heck, eat the mud! Wash your hands whenever! Don’t wash them at all! Toss the anti-bacterial gel! It’s the ultimate “if-you-can’t-beat-em-join-em” philosophy!

This morning I woke up with a sore throat.

My sister offered to send over the guinea pig. I’m seriously considering it.