It seems like a good idea to teach preschoolers about germs. They're always sticky and their idea of sneeze etiquette is to wipe their noses on your new pants. So learning how to properly wash hands is an excellent idea. And learning that germs can be on surfaces like doorknobs, and that there's germs in your mouth, and that germs are bad, bad, bad: All seemingly excellent things to teach a preschooler.
When your preschooler has Asperger Syndrome, he's going to take the video literally. Even if it is a cartoon. He is going to think that this guy lives inside him:
Also, he is going to think that guy lives on his blanket. And the other side of his blanket. And on every doorknob and possibly every surface in our house.
Now, as you may know, Little Dude is getting over a sinus infection, so last week we used up every tissue available in the Gulf Coast region of Texas. So while he was at school watching "Scary Germs Live in Your Head" or whatever, I happened to be at Target buying tissues. And coincidentally,
I had to explain that the box did not contain germy tissues. In fact, I exclaimed, these are awesome tissues that kill germs! Yay! Like Jedi tissues! And now he has a new bedtime ritual of wiping down his entire comforter (both sides) with the
So now, my friends, Little Dude has become Mini-Monk. He is obsessed with germs. He usually has new worries each night (like, "Are the Freshbeats real?") but he has been rockin' the germ worry for two nights and he talks about it during the day, too. He worries and frets and asks me questions in a trembling voice and then is compelled to hop out of bed to wash his hands, and these are not just bedtime stalling tactics.
I'm thinking about going to the library for a kids' science book about germs so he can at least see that they don't have eyes and fangs. But I'm not sure if realizing that germs are microscopic is going to make things better or worse.
So maybe not so much with the scientific approach. This isn't a fun obsession like Legos or Star Wars. Those obsessions are hours of family fun. This has the potential to be a real honest-to-goodness Lady MacBeth, Clorox-scented obsession.
What do you do when you're watching an obsession begin?