The family maid

1 09 2010

Oh, I wish we had one.  Growing up, we had a lady named Shirley come two full days a week to clean. My mother has always been pretty hyper about keeping things clean, although she’s relaxed in recent years. She’d be scrubbing alongside Shirley and couldn’t understand how she managed to spawn such a slob for a daughter.

I’m really not a slob.  I like things clean, not just tidy, but having kids around makes it difficult to be satisfied.  I read The Green Barbarian recently and was relieved to read that having a messy house is good for the kids’ health.  Helps expose kids to helpful bacteria, fungus, and bugs, which in turn keeps them from having lifelong allergies and auto-immune disorders like MS or IBS.  Now, we’re not taking jaunts into the dirt to actually *eat* mudpies; still, we’re also not anxious about dirt and germs.  I worry mainly about food germs, in part because hubband had terrible food poisoning last year (either bad bacon or something on the cantaloupe–if you think bacon is the obvious choice, you haven’t been keeping up with the news on e-coli on fruits and veggies).  I scrub food before eating, although we avoid rinsing meats–that just sprays the pathogens all over the kitchen.

One thing we absolutely do not use is hand sanitizer. That stuff is bunk!  First of all, it dries out your hands, leaving you susceptible to cracks in the skin, which obviously raises your risk of getting something nasty.  Secondly, it kills useful bacteria on the hands. Many bugs exist on our skin to actually fight off the evil.  And finally, it just doesn’t work that well against the truly dangerous.  It is better to use plain soap and water or even just water. C-difficile is a disgusting infection that kills people, and it is completely immune to hand sanitizer.

All that aside, I’ve got some scrubbing to do.  We have guests coming, and I’d prefer that our home at least smell good.

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