There are reasonable people you can talk to in the world. Then there are parents.
Now that I’ve joined the club, I get a pass on reasoned, rational behavior. I’m not required to be level-headed anymore. I blame my child. Either I’m doing something crazy for her benefit or because of her behavior. I plan to ride that excuse all the way into the dusty sunset. It works for me.
Having said all that, let me explain to you the reasoning behind my (slightly rude) holiday gathering behavior:
I’m a little enthusiastic about hand-washing around the holiday season. Especially if you want to hold my daughter. I’m also stingy about passing her around to be held by anyone and everyone at gatherings. And people trying to touch her hand. It’s sort of your own fault.
See, the thing is… you’re gross.
No offense, but you’re a walking Petri dish and a danger to my cherubic little spawn. So keep in mind that when you reach for my baby’s hand/foot/head/face, that my hormone-flooded brain doesn’t see your good intentions, or your delight in her little gummy smile. My brain sees a germ infested hand reaching for my baby. A potential misery-delivery system the likes of which makes me shudder to think about.
I see your hand reaching for my baby and I see myself, awake for hours in the middle of the night, rocking my baby as she cries with fever. I see the possibility of a hospital trip if her fever spikes. I see bubonic plague or whatever is on your hands from the last time you wiped your mouth/nose/whatever without thinking. I see the supercomputer that is your immune system sliding up to the abacus that is my child’s immune system and uploading something she just can’t handle (god, you can really tell sometimes that I’m married to an IT guy). I see possible disaster and general miserableness…
So when I freak out about you touching her, it’s nothing personal. It’s just that you’re a Petri dish, and I’m the person who will have to deal with the fall-out. If you’re a parent, you’ll understand. If you’re not, you won’t, but you’ll nod sympathetically at the explanation. And that’s okay. I’m fine with being humored at this point. I want a good night of sleep more than I want to maintain civility.
I apologize in advance to the people I’m going to offend over the next few weeks, either by refusing to let you hold my offspring or asking you to wash your hands or running the other way when I see you coming towards me. It’s nothing personal. You’re a Petri dish.