Babies Crawl and So Does My Skin

Some of you may remember my rant about the Nutella commercial in which I take umbrage with the premise that giving Nutella to your kids for breakfast is acceptable. Well, boys and girls, once again a commercial has elicited a strong reaction from me and yes, it relates to my childhood. (I know that you’re shocked.)

This time the commercial is for Huggies and it features miscellaneous toddlers crawling all over the floor. I’m sure that most people find it cute, perhaps even amusing. It creeps me out. In case you haven’t seen it, here it is:

Why, you may be asking, does this commercial bother me so much? Well, to answer this question, I need to give you a little back story that may help. In my first post on this blog, I told you that my parents tried for nine years to have a baby and after multiple medical tests and novenas, ta dah! I was born.

Well, with all that effort, you can imagine how wanted I was and how protective my parents were. (I wasn’t allowed to cross the street by myself until I was 10. I’m not kidding.) One of the ways my parents protected me was by controlling my environment. Compared to the rounded corners, helmets, knee pads, elbow pads and the like that today’s kids deal with, my parents seem almost negligent. Then again, back in the 1960s and 1970s, kids got boo-boos and weren’t micro-managed. But that is a different post.

There was one area in particular in which my mother was obsessed. Dirt. I’ve written about growing up with an aversion to the beach because sand was dirty and dangerous. My mother had the same fear about floors. Not any particular floor, but all surfaces on which you walk: linoleum, wood, carpet and of course, pavement. These surfaces were teeming with all sorts of disgusting and unmentionable things. When I was a teenager, my mother and I were at some function and I saw the look she got on her face when some mother put her kid down on the floor to crawl. The look was a combination of shock and disgust.

Naturally, I asked her about this and here’s how the conversation went.

What’s that look for?

That baby. Crawling all over the floor.

That’s what babies do.

You didn’t. We didn’t let you.

What do you mean you didn’t let me?

Floors, no matter how clean, are not
hygienic. That child over there had his
hands where shoes and dogs have been.
Now his fingers are in his mouth. God
knows what germs he’s picked up.

O-kay. How did you stop me from crawling?

You went from standing in your playpen to
walking. Every night, your father or I would stand at
the opposite end of the playpen and get you to walk
to us. Then you started walking all over the place.

Except across the street alone.

What was that?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

So, according to my mother, I went from this:

to this without missing a proverbial beat.

(There was no way this outfit was going to get dirty, no sirree!)

So fast forward to me today at age 46 and this commercial comes on. I don’t see happy, giggling kids scampering across the floor. I see little human Petri dishes of disease. I bet you’re not surprised that I decided not to have children, are you? My cats are enough work and it’s a good thing that they wash their own paws. But, I do have these on hand just in case…

5 thoughts on “Babies Crawl and So Does My Skin

  1. Your last post about camping and those filthy crowds makes even more sense. 😉 As you know, the earthy commune I grew up inspired a live long clean freak. More similarities – this is getting weird.

  2. Somehow I knew that you would empathize, my dear. You know, it’s hard for me to picture a little mini-Adele on a commune sometimes.

    As for the similarities, it is fascinating. We sure will have a fun chat over a nice bottle of wine won’t we? 🙂

  3. How about those play-places in fast food restaurants…the ones with all the fun multi-colored balls! Oh. My. Gawd. Within 24 hours of allowing our tots to play in one of those Petri dishes, they were sick. And I won’t go into detail about what one of our tots steped in…

    Let’s just say, never again! Of course, they are almost grown now but still…

    Okay, my skin is starting to crawl!

  4. Oh, yeah. Those places are bastions of bacteria. If I could get through life without touching anything in a public place I would. As it is, I’m a diligent hand washer and user of hand wipes and the like. Some people may think it’s obsessive and ridiculous but people are pigs. If they’re that laissez faire in public, I don’t want to think about how they are at home.

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