Hands-off Mom

by Lori Lavender Luz on January 29, 2009

in Uncategorized

“Dear God — ” my mom prayed when I was 2 years old and she was pregnant with my middle sister.

You might think she prayed for a certain gender, for a healthy baby, for an easy delivery. But her prayer was along different lines:

“Please make this baby not persnickety about its hands the way Lori is.”

Apparently I was born fussy. I have always disliked having dirty hands. It doesn’t stop me from doing much because I can accommodate — gloves are my friends.

I am always attuned to whether my hands are clean or dirty. Mostly they are clean. But if I handle garden tools, take the kids to Chuck E Cheese, unwrap a package of chicken, pet a dog, scale the monkey bars or hold my son’s hand for any length of time, I am keenly aware of their sullied nature. I do not touch my face, clean dishes or clean clothes until I wash my hands and restore my inner harmony.

On my own eve of motherhood, my prayers (unsaid because I was just happy to finally become a mom) would have been the reverse of my mom’s:

“Please, God. Give me clean children.”

HA! you say. Yes, you and God.

My children lack the attunement I have. They would gleefully dunk their hands in a bucket of snot and then give me a gooey hug. They have no qualms about hiking in mud and horsepoop, taking off their mucky socks in the car and putting the soggy things on their hands. After an hour in the tubes at McDonald’s PlayLand, Tessa and Reed approach me with enthusiasm, inexplicably wanting to stroke my hair and face. I am repulsed.

Back in the diaper bag days, it was easy to wipe off hands because I carried around my own sundry store. But I refuse to put wipes in my purse now. And don’t tell me about hand sanitizer — it kills germs but it doesn’t banish dirt.

We have therefore seen every single public bathroom within 10 miles of our house, and many outlying ones, too. I have hoisted them at every sink.

Don’t think I’m not into kisses and hugs. On the contrary — I’m all aBOUT kisses and hugs.

Immediately after bathtime.

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{ 34 comments }

Martha April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

Ha, ha, ha, ha, I am so like this. Great post, still chuckling.

Michelle April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

LOL. My nephew would be your dream child. He can NOT stand to be dirty at any point! He does take it to the extreme such as he doesn’t even want to feed himself (at almost 4) because he does not want to get dirty. If he spills water on himself you would think someone just dumped mud all over him. It just cracks me up because I am not sure where he gets it from because my sis is so not that way.

Baby Smiling In Back Seat April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I guarantee that you would rather have the kids you have than to have kids who are inherently tidy (which is rare, and usually associated with either a proclivity for OCD or full-blown OCD). Neatness in older people is great; neatness in young children is not the natural order of things.I love that your mom prays using words like persnickety.

Bonnie April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I have 2 boys so they are not too worried about washing their hands unless we remind them but I think there is nothing better than warm soapy water and good old fashioned soap. I’m not a fan of the liquid had sanitizers.

Karen April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I am just like you, and now that Evie is here I’ve successfully freaked out my DH about communicable diseases so that he now obeys my rules and washes his hands after taking out the trash, uses a paper towel to leave the men’s room, etc. I win! For now…I’m sure Evie will be like your kids.

Peeveme April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

My girl like her hands clean. At dinner time she must use a napkin between every bite. And she wants a clean napkin. Sheesh.

Wordgirl April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

What I love about this post is that it reminds me of how children stretch us — don’t they? We go places we wouldn’t have ordinarily — I find that with W — things I never imagined — like say, laughing at the word ‘butt’ –But then again, I do have a third grade boy. :) XOPam

Martha April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

Ha, ha, ha, ha, I am so like this. Great post, still chuckling.

Michelle April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

LOL. My nephew would be your dream child. He can NOT stand to be dirty at any point! He does take it to the extreme such as he doesn’t even want to feed himself (at almost 4) because he does not want to get dirty. If he spills water on himself you would think someone just dumped mud all over him. It just cracks me up because I am not sure where he gets it from because my sis is so not that way.

Baby Smiling In Back Seat April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I guarantee that you would rather have the kids you have than to have kids who are inherently tidy (which is rare, and usually associated with either a proclivity for OCD or full-blown OCD). Neatness in older people is great; neatness in young children is not the natural order of things.I love that your mom prays using words like persnickety.

Bonnie April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I have 2 boys so they are not too worried about washing their hands unless we remind them but I think there is nothing better than warm soapy water and good old fashioned soap. I’m not a fan of the liquid had sanitizers.

Karen April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I am just like you, and now that Evie is here I’ve successfully freaked out my DH about communicable diseases so that he now obeys my rules and washes his hands after taking out the trash, uses a paper towel to leave the men’s room, etc. I win! For now…I’m sure Evie will be like your kids.

Peeveme April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

My girl like her hands clean. At dinner time she must use a napkin between every bite. And she wants a clean napkin. Sheesh.

Wordgirl April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

What I love about this post is that it reminds me of how children stretch us — don’t they? We go places we wouldn’t have ordinarily — I find that with W — things I never imagined — like say, laughing at the word ‘butt’ –But then again, I do have a third grade boy. :) XOPam

Buddha of Hollywood April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I was browsing the blogosphere looking for like minded people interested in spiritual growth and I stopped to say hello!Wishing you love, peace and happiness!BoH

excavator April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

Bwahahahahaha!Yeah, my kids are oblivious to whatever they’re touching.Public restrooms were a nightmare requiring vigilance. I’d just get their hands washed and then I’d turn around to see them holding a piece of ABC gum lying on the restroom floor! And they couldn’t understand why they’d have to wash again!I so remember that particularly exhausting aspect of mommy-radar. And shudder.

Kork April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I think we might be twins, somehow separated at birth…I cannot tell you how incredibly insanely ridiculously uptight I am about that…dirty hands make me crazy…(shudder)

Mama LJ April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I love this post. :) I am so much the opposite of you though in that i could care less how dirty something is (especially if its relevant to affection from kids and/or pets). I am a country girl, and sometimes in the country (especially if you’re outdoors) running water and soap aren’t as accessible as in other places! I’ve been known to change a diaper, pet a dog, work outside, touch public railings, use public toilets (i dont even hover!), and basically bathe in germs (okay not quite BATHE in them!!)…..and wash my hands maybe a few times in between. :) But there is one line i cannot cross. and that is BOOGERS. I dont care if they’re my husbands or my nephews or my own….boogers gross me out and they are the ONLY thing that triggers my gag reflex. Nasty poopy diapers that overflow and get all over—not gross. One finger up a nose with a little piece of green gold, excuse me, I need a toilet or at least a barf bag. Thinking about it gives me shudders. Now, someday when i am a mom, this MIGHT have to change? But i think i’ll be more focused on training my kids how to wipe their own noses than on potty training at first. lol anyway love your blog—ill be checking in often!! i have some reading to do to learn about your adoptions!

Kristin April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

Too funny. Be glad you don’t have my boys. I think they love filth.

Sheri April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

This post explains why mom smiled on my 5th birthday when you led the charge to collect worms for me. It also explains the gloves you had on at the time.I’ve waited a long time to solve those two mysteries. Now I know. Thanks for clearing things up.

MrsSpock April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I am a messy tessy, as my husband calls me. And my boy is a dirty, stinky mess by end of day, only too happy to wipe his boogers in my hair. My husband, Felix Unger, is already having fits.

Buddha of Hollywood April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I was browsing the blogosphere looking for like minded people interested in spiritual growth and I stopped to say hello!Wishing you love, peace and happiness!BoH

excavator April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

Bwahahahahaha!Yeah, my kids are oblivious to whatever they’re touching.Public restrooms were a nightmare requiring vigilance. I’d just get their hands washed and then I’d turn around to see them holding a piece of ABC gum lying on the restroom floor! And they couldn’t understand why they’d have to wash again!I so remember that particularly exhausting aspect of mommy-radar. And shudder.

Kork April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I think we might be twins, somehow separated at birth…I cannot tell you how incredibly insanely ridiculously uptight I am about that…dirty hands make me crazy…(shudder)

Mama LJ April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I love this post. :) I am so much the opposite of you though in that i could care less how dirty something is (especially if its relevant to affection from kids and/or pets). I am a country girl, and sometimes in the country (especially if you’re outdoors) running water and soap aren’t as accessible as in other places! I’ve been known to change a diaper, pet a dog, work outside, touch public railings, use public toilets (i dont even hover!), and basically bathe in germs (okay not quite BATHE in them!!)…..and wash my hands maybe a few times in between. :) But there is one line i cannot cross. and that is BOOGERS. I dont care if they’re my husbands or my nephews or my own….boogers gross me out and they are the ONLY thing that triggers my gag reflex. Nasty poopy diapers that overflow and get all over—not gross. One finger up a nose with a little piece of green gold, excuse me, I need a toilet or at least a barf bag. Thinking about it gives me shudders. Now, someday when i am a mom, this MIGHT have to change? But i think i’ll be more focused on training my kids how to wipe their own noses than on potty training at first. lol anyway love your blog—ill be checking in often!! i have some reading to do to learn about your adoptions!

Kristin April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

Too funny. Be glad you don’t have my boys. I think they love filth.

Sheri April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

This post explains why mom smiled on my 5th birthday when you led the charge to collect worms for me. It also explains the gloves you had on at the time.I’ve waited a long time to solve those two mysteries. Now I know. Thanks for clearing things up.

MrsSpock April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

I am a messy tessy, as my husband calls me. And my boy is a dirty, stinky mess by end of day, only too happy to wipe his boogers in my hair. My husband, Felix Unger, is already having fits.

Phoebe April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

You must never get sick with hygiene like that!

Phoebe April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

You must never get sick with hygiene like that!

Catherine April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

Oh, hey! There’s that Buddha you were talkin’ about. COOL!Anyway, sweetie, just had to tell you how much I enjoyed this post. This is the good stuff. I LOVE the affirmation of how far and wide human beings vary in their “issues,” for lack of a better word. :)

Catherine April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

Oh, hey! There’s that Buddha you were talkin’ about. COOL!Anyway, sweetie, just had to tell you how much I enjoyed this post. This is the good stuff. I LOVE the affirmation of how far and wide human beings vary in their “issues,” for lack of a better word. :)

Kami April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

This is just like my husband when he was a kid. His mom told me that she had to keep wet ones around because Brad would freak out if his hands were “Sticky! Sticky! Sticky!”One of the questions he wanted to ask our donor was if she was tidy.

Kami April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

This is just like my husband when he was a kid. His mom told me that she had to keep wet ones around because Brad would freak out if his hands were “Sticky! Sticky! Sticky!”One of the questions he wanted to ask our donor was if she was tidy.

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