Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Germ Jail (and other thoughts on Preschool hygiene)

Good Camp mommy Day due to ice, Bill got home earlier so we met up at the gym to run and let the kids play in the activity center (or better yet blow off cabin fever.)

When I think back to every afternoon last summer being a Come to Jesus meeting about just staying in your room for quiet time seems like a million years ago. Ben willingly went up and I didn't hear a peep for almost a full hour.

In the AM we: did chores with Ben's help (laundry, dishes, trash.) Ian crawled room to room following us. Built a fort, then a boat, then something involving alligators on the couch. I refereed Ben putting Ian on the Sit and Spin and then we had a good 10 min convo about how he wanted to be a mermaid. He told me infatically that Mer-mans didn't exist.

PM-Star Wars cookies made using the new WS ships cutters. Ben informed me that I didn't know the names of the ships and I was wrong (which I was and was trying to wing it.) We ventured out with the dog and later painted his model Mater/McQuee figurines he had gotten for Christmas. Mom finished some freeze ahead dishes, started on grading, talked to several students, and made a nice dinner.

So to the post. Every Wednesday we go to the library to get new books and participate in a reading activity in which real, live dogs come in and the kids read or practice spelling letters with the dogs. Ben loves going and makes up elaborate stories about what the dogs do when they are not at the library. This past week for his take home book selection he included the following:

2 books about Princesses
Forrest Fires
a Scooby Doo mystery
Garbage Trucks
You Can't put a Pickle in your Ear (5 senses)
Animal knock knock joke

The Germ Patrol (by Shulman, Stolp, Voss). This last book has made more of an impact to get him to remember to wash his hands and quit picking his nose.

The premise of the book is about not being scared of shots and that scary germs can make you sick. Seeing that Ben became obseesed with talking about how all the germs went to a germ jail at the end of the book, on the 2nd night of reading I added a whole part about making sure you washed your hands and how if you pick your nose you will get germs on your hands.

He was sold.

While I don't worry that I'm encouraging OCD type handwashing, I am amazed at how he willing wants to go wash his hands, talks about washing hands, and even reminds us to wash our hands.

I remember my old teaching partner told me this story about her older son who lied about what parts of his body he washed. After describing what she recalled "smelling like a bus station in summer" realized that when he was in the shower he thought that just standing under the water would suffice. Uh... no. The story had some type of ending in which she wound up taking then to a live action show in which life size germs were featured.

I cannot help but share her excitement as this step in personal hygiene is being achieved in our own home, even temporarily. Now if I can do something about the desire to be naked and running/dancing to dry off after a bath minus towel use, I will be Golden.

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