Ben had karate class last night. The class is held in an elementary school gym, and parents aren’t allowed to be in the gym during instruction. So we all crowd around a large window, trying to get a glimpse of our cute adorable children wrapped up in karate uniforms, doing high punches and hard kicks.
There just isn’t enough room for all of us, so I sort of slide my way down the hallway, towards an open door, and no one seems to notice me as I stand there, trying hard to still hide myself enough so Ben’s sensei doesn’t yell out, “Are you in this class? No? Then, go join the gaggle of parents plastering themselves to that window over there.”
I seem to be incognito, until one of the children raises a hand. This gesture lets sensei know it’s potty break time. This blond cutie of no more than 5 or so runs towards me and the open door, and I decide to call out, “I’ll take her!” And sensei nods with approval. I’ve earned my keep. I can continue watching, as long as I am the potty mom.
The little girl runs across the hall with me a few steps behind, and she uses the facilities, while I wait in the hallway. I take my job seriously. Don’t want to lose a child on my watch, no siree. As she comes out of the bathroom, she passes the sinks and attempts to continue on to class.
Hold up. Wait.
“You need to wash your hands.” I tell her this matter of factly. Is this not a well known routine? I guess not, because she looks quizzically at me and asks, “Why?”
Look, I’m not overly germaphobe over here. I know I cannot control the zillions of micro-organisms that are surrounding us, covering us. Yet there’s something to be said about washing hands after using the toilet. It’s been instilled in me since I was what’s the expression? Knee high to a grasshopper. My father would make me showcase my wet hands after washing, and would then smell them to make sure I used soap. He didn’t mess around.
As for myself? I purchased a somewhat stinky soap for Ben to use, so there’s no mistaking.
After she’s washed her hands, I lead her back into the gym. I then walk back to my post, and continue watching the children.
During my 45 minute perch at said post, I have a few more children who have to use the facilities. Not one of them even so much as glanced at the sinks. The worst was when a mother was standing in the hallway, waiting for her child. I did not know she was the mother of this child I had escorted, until the child came out of the stalls, again walked right past the sinks, and proceeded to give her mother a big hug and kiss. And they walked right out, the child running back into the gym.
Is it just me? Am I the only one who enforces that my son washes after using the bathroom? Or, before he eats dinner? I even wash my 16 month old’s hands before he eats a meal. Is it too much?