Toddlers are basically one adorable cuddly germ just waiting to open mouth kiss you while sneezing. If we had to wait until both of my children’s noses were clear to leave the house, we would basically just call ourselves a family of bears and emerge in April. As sure as your kids will look epically precious in their Halloween costumes, when the first leaves begin to fall, every family we know will be in a constant state of quarantine. Pick your poison: the stomach flu, the lingering cough, or the boring old common cold. As a parent you learn about new diseases which sound incredibly alarming like roseola and hand-foot-and-mouth, but are incredibly common and yet not sexy enough for someone somewhere to create a vaccine. It becomes mission impossible to keep their tiny fingers away from their mouths and even when you do they will find a way to spread the "joy". Like last week when Madeleine licked the fish tank at the doctor’s office, which I swear they just put there to drum up more business for themselves (I’m inclined to blame Obamacare).
With one child I lived in a constant state of germaphobia. Along with a helmet, I was seconds away from having our family wear those masks you only see on that one person you will definitely not be sitting next to at the airport. Cut to real life with two kids and we are constantly in a cycle of “getting over” something involving an excess of fluids. Only one kid catching a cold is physically impossible, because if they aren't actually licking each other's eyeballs they are trading sippy cups and kisses.
I can hear my pre-kids self naively saying, "Well, we will just stock up on hand sanitizer and never spend time with any kids that are coughing or parents that like to travel to Africa". But just like when you are hiding in your closet for one moment's peace and your kids come barreling in with an entire unrolled roll of toilet paper and what you can only assume is deodorant on their forehead, the germs will find you.