Saturday, January 14, 2012

This is the way we wash our hands!

Children often test your patience when it comes to doing their routine chores like brushing their teeth, finishing up food, putting away their toys, taking off their shoes and the list goes on. With Abhay – it is washing his hands after coming home which he stubbornly refuses to do throwing me into a tizzy, every time he gets home from school. As much as I want him to clean up the first thing after he returns home, Abhay is hell bent on doing everything but wash his hands! I admit I am little obsessive about washing hands ….(which I know has everyone comparing me to Lady Macbeth behind my back!) but hey…what’s wrong in wanting to stay clean…right? It is the same reason that whether or not my handbag has a wallet, it sure will have a hand sanitizer! In fact, when we left the US, I had got a year’s supply of travel size perfumed hand sanitizers and I’m already running out of stock! I’m even thinking of getting them shipped from the US through my friends or relatives visiting India! We even have a sanitizer placed at the front door to be used when heading out and when heading back in, much to the amusement of my in-laws who consider it all too American for our Indian household! So as soon as Abhay puts on his shoes to go out, or leaves the playground after play or is ready to eat his dosa at a restaurant – I have my favorite weapon ready! That said, it is also true that no matter how many times I make him wash his hands again and again and again….he still catches cold as often as he washes his hands!

I went looking for a book that teaches Abhay on the importance of staying clean and look what I found “I Don’t Want to Wash my Hands a Little Princess story by Tony Ross, conveying the message as directly as possible! Little Princess loves playing in sand and getting her hands dirty. As she tiptoes into the kitchen hungry and looking for something to eat, her mother asks her to wash her hands before she touches the pastry. When she wants to know why, pat comes the reply that it’s because she has been playing outside. As she pets her dog and cat, she is asked to wash her hands again…..“why”? – because she has been playing with her pets. When she goes potty, her father asks her to wash her hands which irks the little princess as she claims to have washed her hands twice already!  Then she lets out an “acchoo” when her maid asks to wash her hands again…when the little princess declares that she is tired of washing her hands again and again and again! (That sounds so much like Abhay!) Her maid then explains the logic behind washing one’s hands – to wash away the germs that can get into the food and then the tummy and can eventually make one ill. As the little princess realizes the importance of washing hands, she asks the maid serving cake if she in turn has washed her hands! As I tuck him into his bed, Abhay coughs into his hands and he smiles knowingly as he is well aware of what Im going to make him do next - wash his hands, of course!

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