Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hand Washing 101: FAIL

What is it about boys and poor hygiene?  I apologize in advance for the blanket statement, I realize that some of you are the progenitors of cleanliness-conscious boy spawn, so count yourselves lucky. (Yeah, Good for you! *pat on the back* Well done! *seethe seethe grumble hiss*)

I have been well aware of my boys' shortcomings in the hand-washing department for years. All they need do is touch me and I can feel their grubbiness factor. "CC, have you washed your hands since you got home from school?" you might hear me say at 7:15 pm, getting nothing but a guilty "Of course I have, Mom." "Oh, really?" said with a knowing tone and look that sends them scurrying off to wash away the evidence.

I shudder just thinking about everything that they've touched throughout their long days at school, outside, and home. Revolting.

Since being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis last autumn and having to now take all kinds of medications that compromise my immune system, this hand-washing thing is really getting me down. My husband and I sat down and discussed how to tell the boys about my disease, how much information they should be given, and what the most important things were going forward from the diagnosis. It is a tough thing to have to tell your kids that something as small as washing or not washing their hands can have a very real impact on their mother's health, but I felt it was important that they know.  So, during our family meeting I explained to them how important it is for them to wash their hands after school and using the toilet, not just because they should anyway, but because I could get sick if they don't. Then I stocked all their bathrooms with easy to use, extra-fast-acting germicidal soap, and put some anti-bacterial hand rub in a few strategic locations downstairs and sat back, waiting to be impressed.

And I am still waiting.


I feel like I should have hurt feelings about this on some level, but realize that they are just filthy little boys with their frogs, snails and puppy dog tails hoo-ha. I can't blame them for being what they are.

At the same time, I persevere on my quest to get them to wash their hands more. To that end, I have started to leave post-it notes by the sinks in the house that the boys use, in hopes that they will see the note and remember to wash up.  I realized after a few days, though, that my initial effort (pictured above) was perhaps too understated for my crew.  So I added this:

Manners are important, after all, I rationalized! I'd expect them to say "please" if they were asking me.

But then I noticed the level of soap in the dispenser continued to remain about the same, so I added another:

And then I noticed that while the soap level remained the same, the dirt level surrounding the tap was growing. So, I added another note to clarify what I heretofore had considered obvious:

Which had about the same effect as the other notes. At which point I got tired of being Mrs. Nice Mommy and did this:

And then I added this, just for good measure:

Do you think it will work???

Meh. Don't answer that.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thoughts appreciated. Advice welcome. Douche-baggery scoffed at then deleted.