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I May Be Childless, But I'm Not a Disease

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Childless Bitch: Mommies, you've gone too far. I am utterly offended. This proves once and for all that you think human beings are uncivilized predators out to get you and your precious spawn.

childless without a disease

We're living in the age of paranoia. Not since the McCarthy era have we been so suspicious of our fellow man. We're convinced that every stranger's sneeze is a receptacle for H1N1, that the guy in line in front of you with the uncovered cough deserves corporal punishment. We've practically replaced our vanilla citrus shower gel with Costco-sized bottles of Purell. All for the fear of catching a little cold or flu that might ground us in bed eating soup and watching daytime TV while we moan to our significant others for a few days.

But this, this is f*@&ing ridiculous! How dare you assume that I am not clean enough to handle your child? That sign is so condescending and offensive that it actually makes me want to grab your baby, open its mouth, and sneeze into it. That's not right, I know. The baby is an innocent victim. I should really be sneezing into your mouth. Have we really reached the point where, because you have a child, you get to treat the rest of your peers like children? This sign says to me that you think I don't have enough common sense to realize that babies and children have weaker immune systems and are more prone to illness than we adults are. Basically, the sign says that you think I'm a dirty idiot.

What if I posted a sign on myself when I came into contact with your babies? "If your baby drools, poos itself, or is incapable of keeping its snot in its nose -- kindly back the hell up." After all, your baby is much more likely to be crawling with microscopic domestic terrorists than me.

I think it's pretty safe to say that unless you saw someone crawl out of a Jersey Shore hot tub, you can assume they're not going to spread disease onto your kid. And if you still think they (perhaps another child) are, then a simple verbal reminder -- "Hey, would you mind washing your hands, Carson's been sick lately?" -- is more than okay.

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56 comments so far | Post a comment now
Julie December 27, 2009, 5:59 PM

My baby was 6 months old when she was diagnosed with cancer. The chemo killed her immune system. Did I keep her home away from germs? Absolutely. But twice a week we had hospital appointments. The hospital shared a parking lot with a shopping center. So many little old ladies would peak in the stroller and I would think, oh, they just want look at her, but out of nowhere, they would grab her hand or stroke her cheek. I finally put up a sign. “Please do not touch the baby”. A lot simpler than telling the little old lady that the baby has cancer, which would lead to tears from the old ladies, etc. Like I have time to console a crying old lady, when it’s my baby who has cancer. You have no idea what is going on in people’s lives. The sign is not about offending you. It’s about saving my baby’s life. And if you’re offended, I don’t give a f@ck.

Platoon Sergeant December 28, 2009, 5:16 PM

As a father of 4 children, I don’t want anybody touching my children either, unless I know who you are. Even if I know who you are, you still don’t have free reign to touch my children. This has nothing to do with worrying about the H1N1, I don’t want your dirty hands on my kids. Now if that sign hit a nerve, then you need to take a look in the mirror, because you probably are dirty and need a shower. If you honestly think somebody wouldn’t break your arm and/or jaw after PURPOSELY sneezing/spitting in their childs mouth you must be extreamly stupid or plain crazy. by by all means go out there a sneeze in somebody’s kids mouth, but please post pictures of what happens afterwards I need a good laugh

Amy December 28, 2009, 7:58 PM

I don’t get people who touch my baby without getting my permission first, for one thing. I am also an example of the fact that the more you are exposed to as a kid, the less you will get sick. I’m sure East Texas is home to every allergen in existence, but I am not allergic to anything except poison ivy. So yeah, this sign might be a bit over the top (unless there is an immune deficiency or something). That being said, isn’t your response a bit… over the line?

ZenNihilism December 29, 2009, 8:15 PM

I would be behind signs like this 100%, if they only said something like, “Don’t know me? Don’t touch me.” I do resent the implication that i can’t keep my hands off the drooling tyke, who therefore needs to be protected from my disease-ridden cuddling. Anyone who actually has the right to pick up a particular kid shouldn’t need a reminder like this.

Ash January 7, 2010, 12:27 PM

I used to work as a children’s photographer. And part of the job was any time we touched the child (posing, holding babies heads up, etc) we had to put on hand sanitizer, and we had to make sure that the parents saw us do it. Working in that job, showed me just how paranoid these mothers are.

NICU RN February 8, 2010, 12:25 PM

Many NICUs give those signs out when the child is discharged. A child born before 36 weeks is not conferred the maternal antibodies that a full-term child is. And honestly, most people are dirty, including the parents themselves - and they know it and wash their hands before touching their babies.

Germs that will not make a grown up or even a normal infant sick could be serious to preterm or otherwise compromised children. They don’t need random strangers touching them without washing their hands.

If mom was announcing to everyone constantly via loudspeaker that they needed to wash their hands, that would be one thing - but a sign on the carseat, intended only for the people who are actually going to try and touch the child, is completely reasonable.

Katie February 22, 2010, 8:24 PM

I totally understand all the paranoia about h1n1 and other diseases is out of control. I don’t sterilize everything my daughter touches and I let friends and family handle her. There is however, a line. I have had sick women at the Dr.’s office come and pick up my baby from her car seat without so much as ASKING me. Dripping nose and coughing and they think they can just come and pick her up? I think that’s just rude. No, I don’t have a sign on my stroller, and I let strangers in the grocery store touch her if they ask, but the pendulum swings both ways. Some people get out of hand. Also, if you have ever had to stay up all night with a sick baby, you would take measures to try and not have it happen if it can be avoided.

kembial February 23, 2010, 9:49 PM

You’re offended? My sign would say, “Who the hell are you and why are you even THINKING about touching my child? His 6-year-old brother introduces enough diseases from school, as it is. You’re not the one who has to deal with 3+ nights of super-grouchy no-sleep, because you pawed up my baby. YES, he’s cute as hell, but they don’t let you handle the awesome stuff in museums, either. If I don’t know you, DON’T TOUCH. I don’t even care if you’ve washed.”

I can’t even imagine where you can find the space to be offended by a response to protect someone else’s personal offspring. Can I personally come and sneeze in your mouth? I promise it’s just allergies and not contagious!

Mommy  April 28, 2010, 8:50 AM

My 4 month old son has been in the ICU twice because of colds that turned into pneumonia. So that cold you have that you don’t know about yet could put my son back on the ventilator!! So I am going to get one of these signs for my son!! I am going to do everything I can to keep him Healthy!! But we have to go out some times… Do you want to be the person responsible for putting my son back in the hospital just so you could tell him how cute he is? … He may not be as lucky the third time he may not make it back home… all because of a little cold that you gave him!

mommy April 28, 2010, 10:07 AM

Would you prefer a sign that says “I know I’m cute, but keep your hands and Germs to yourself, I’ve had pneumonia twice and almost died”

mommy April 28, 2010, 10:09 AM

Would you prefer a sign that says “I know I’m cute, but keep your hands and Germs to yourself, I’ve had pneumonia twice and almost died”

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