A Life Full of Care

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"I'll shake your hand as soon as I'm done downloading this hand sanitizer app."

This Friday we ditched routine and ventured out for a morning at the beach.

Sid enjoyed the yo-yo with the husband while Little Princess rolled around in the sand, the calm and clear waters revealing starfishes basking in the morning sun, building sand castles while filling her pocket with treasure (shells, rock and lots of sand) as her tiny fingers toiled hard on digging into the wet sand getting more sand on herself (and me) than the castle itself.

At the fringes of the shore stood a young mother and her little daughter watching us while hiding their faces, gleaming under layers of sunscreen (surely an SPF 1700), under the shade of a big umbrella cautiously avoiding the sun, the cool waters and the sand.

The mother, an obvious germophobe, squirmed at the sight of Little Princess – who was still reeling from days of making her way around my in-laws’ garden (back in the India) chasing butterflies on her bare feet, her tiny fingers squashing the life out of centipedes (until they all convened and went into an emergency hibernation to prevent their extinction from the area) and catching dragon flies that joyfully flitted about – now heading to get her sandy hands on a star fish that had washed ashore.

Her antics, that I labeled cute, had not impressed the mother, for in apparent shock she quickly cleaned her daughter’s hands with a thick dab of sanitizer (as if to sanitize the mere memory of what had just convened before them) before quickly threading their way out of the shores balancing her umbrella that was designed to block every ray of the pleasant morning sun.

I wondered if she indulged in an occasional shot of sanitizer to clean off the friendly bacteria that resided in her gut.

But the mother obviously cared, like I did with my first born for the first few months of his life competing with the slim, attractive and ever-smiling concerned mother in the disinfectant advertisement in soaking every object that came into his contact with the white pungent liquid, only to see him fall sick at the drop of a hat.

Cleanliness is close to craziness in a world where being extra sanitized and absolutely germ-free with anti-bacterial soaps, alcohol-based sanitizers and perfumed hand washes has become a fad with the industries that thrive in this new high feverishly raising their researching standards for more ‘attractive’ solutions to kill germs and bacteria, that actually benefit and strengthen our immune systems.

This has, in turn, benefited the rising pharmaceutical industry and doctors (with degrees longer than their name) treat strange allergies that have made an appearance among our children.

It is time we give our children a childhood that they deserve , a few friendly germs and all, while you relive the joys of being a child once again!

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55 responses »

  1. Gm Pranitha! Yet again a thought provoking article from your reportorie. While basic sanitization is necessary, to deny the children the pleasure of playing in the mud is wrong. They should be allowed to experience nature during their playtime which is a great teacher for a healthy development of a child.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha. I bet that Mom wouldn’t expect a post written about her. πŸ˜‰
    Hygiene and sanitation is good, but I feel bad bacteria conspire to attack the germophobe category with much gusto than they do with the unhassled carefree people like us. Small joys make up for pleasant childhood memories. (I would join her in picking up the starfish too. ;-))

    Liked by 1 person

  3. you couldn’t have put it better! yes, people these days need some challenges(what we guys call antigens to wake up our hibernating immune systems to once again produce those proteins(what we guys call antibodies) to keep ourselves free from all those diseases, which were fought against most effortlessly by our ancestors who were well-stocked with antibodies to ward off any antigen that came their way.have no doubt your little princess will go a long long way. take it from me.Let her dabble in that sand and sun, and pick up her treasures, and frolic with those starfish; give her a childhood worth remembering and antigens to keep her healthy into her longevity!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Love how you wrote the piece, sheer observation and quirky humor resembling a Sunday newspaper column. So true, how rules limit the very young and somehow this happiness of drenching the hands minus sanitization is missing. Something that every should read.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very true , pranitha. I agree in Toto. I know a mother who was so paranoid about her daughter’s health, that she sterilized the glass each time before giving her water. The daughter later on went on to confess to her mom, that she licked the benches in school. πŸ˜“ Extreme care in any situation, only dampens the growth of a child.
    A very thought provoking article and a requirement in today’s world.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such true words there! Happy to see that there are others who share my thoughts. Mud & mess are such an integral part of childhood, one without it seems a tad boring to me.
    You write so well Pranitha , the article makes for a wonderful read sprinkled with that hint of humour. You weave profound thoughts with humour in such a balanced manner… I’m a fan❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “I wondered if she indulged in an occasional shot of sanitizer to clean off the friendly bacteria that resided in her gut.”

    Ha! What a hilarious image! I can totally picture this insanely cautious woman ingesting hand sanitizer for internal cleansing. Perhaps she sprays the people around her with Lysol disinfectant, too. 😜

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Every person experience childhood only once in their lifetime. We’ve been there before, even exposed ourselves to every kind of grime, dirt, bacteria and viruses and guess what, here we are today! So alive and kicking! Haha.
    I understand we can’t be too careless nowadays because bacterias and viruses have evolved upon realizing that they’ve been unsuccessful in taking us down before; now they’re off for revenge to our children.
    Be that as it may, our children may have also evolved tougher than us πŸ˜†
    Just let them be. Enjoy their childhood while it lasts.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I would rather say we are in an era of an extreme hygiene hangover. I pity those friendly endangered microbes. While there is little more affecting than a child who doesn’t know how to play outside, the child’s fear of getting dirty is also a health issue. If children are not exposed to low levels of bacteria in their early years, their immune system does not develop properly. Playing in the dirt, living with animals and interacting with lots of other children is not just fun, it is good for them. Filthy fingernails have always been a favorite fashion accessory of mine. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • …and it is a favorite fashion accessory of my Son too. My daughter manages to bring the park or the beach with her – a fistfull on her head and the rest tucked into her pockets, shoes and fingernails!
      But what is childhood without the fun of dirt and grime.

      Like

  10. Sheri aanu. Pandollavarkk okke nalla immunity ond. Ippo in this chase for cleaner and more hygienic environments, we are essentially rendering ourselves more prone to bacterial attacks! Very well written, my dear. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

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