“Your kids never get sick – you’re so lucky!”
I hate to brag, but I’ve heard this from more than one friend. And it’s true. My kids are incredibly healthy (knock on proverbial wood). For families in search of the key to wellness, let me tell you how we keep our doctor visits to a minimum.
First, we own two dogs. Two dogs that shed. Two dogs that, when you just look at them the wrong way, drop a pound of fur on the ground where they stand. This means there’s dog hair (and presumably dander and whatever ungodly organisms live on dog hair) everywhere – in every corner, stuck to dried slobber on baby’s face, stuck to baby’s hands and inside baby’s dirty diaper (so, presumably also inside baby’s digestive system).
Second, my children are habitual shoe eaters. It’s like thumb sucking, except repulsive and lacking any cuteness. The baby likes to end a long day by slipping someone’s sweaty shoes over his hands and bear crawling across the house, then trying to take a nice, juicy bite out of the heel. This daily and admittedly horrifying exposure to everyday bacteria and filth has manifested itself in a steel gut. Sure, there are random bouts of IBS we can’t really explain, but it’s nothing a few cases of Greek yogurt and diaper cream can’t fix.
Third, my kids like to eat. This means items like sticks, leaves and Cheerios from underneath park benches. I pride myself in not being a helicopter parent, so what’s a mom to do? I try my best to swat as many unmentionables as I can from those little grubby hands, but most days I just accept the inevitable.
Now, it could be completely valid to say I’m just lucky, and none of these things have anything to do with my children’s health. But I’m a silver linings type of person.
Carrie Taylor is a freelance writer, editor and mother of two boys.