Small is quickly becoming a germaphobe. I can’t pinpoint the origin of his latest obsession but I know for sure that it isn’t me – I believe in the three five thirty second rule, will eat off someone else’s plate with his/her utensil, and have been known to “clean up” the kids’ creemees (Who can stand the drips?).

Just for the record: I won’t eat off just anyone’s plate so no need to fret that I am becoming a freegan.

Anyway, for weeks now, Henry has refused to drink from any water bottle he suspects has been contaminated with someone’s spit. The family is not allowed to take “bites” of anything Henry has on his plate and he will not eat anything that has been served to someone else. Until today, I was the sole person exempt from this rule.

As of 1:32 p.m., eastern standard time, I was deemed unclean like everyone else.

It happened like this:

“Mommy, I wan’ a drink.”

I handed him my water glass. “Here you go, buddy,” I said.

He peered into it skeptically. “Doeth it have your germth in it?”

“Umm,” I hedged. “It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”

“But it hath your germth.”

“It’s fine, Henry. You’re thirsty, aren’t you?”

“Why are your germth fine?

“Because you’re my son. You came out of me.”

The explanation just slipped out. I don’t know what I was thinking.


“Well, you know that when you were a baby you were in Mommy’s tummy. And then…you were born.”

We looked at one another.

“I want another glath.”

I got him one.

I know when to say when.