Pregnant Days

Week 10: Can a clean freak handle parenthood?

Some people think my cleanliness habits are excessive but I think those people are crawling with germs. Their dirty bodies are hosting the next super virus that will wipe out 90% of the world’s population.

To say that I am a clean freak is an understatement. I have a selection of mini tube hand sanitisers, always at the ready. I wear gloves and a surgical mask on public transport, I was inspired by East Asians. I like order. I don’t like germs. I’m not at the Howard Hughes stage but never say never. But is it possible for clean freaks to have babies? How can you contain and eradicate their emissions without being arrested?

Last Sunday we visited my brother and his French wife for Sunday lunch. They have three children under the age of six. All of them have ancient Irish names that their parents pronounce incorrectly. My brother was as shit at Irish as herself. He hated the subject in school, in fact at one point he wrote to the Queen to ask her to conquer Ireland again so that he could stop learning, “this barbarian language”. But now that Irish has become fashionable amongst the upper middle class, he’s all over it like a contagious rash. Yet, he couldn’t just give his children run of the mill Irish names like Niamh or Ronan… no, no, he had to find the most obscure names because that obviously means you’re a real Irish aficionado and earn €90K+.

I still have PSTD from that Sunday visit. Their house is always covered in plastic neon debris that masquerades as toys. I nearly got anally raped by Peppa Pig’s pink slide. My two nieces and nephew kept trying to shove it inside my trousers. Their hysterical giggles were encouraged by the adults glee,
“Everyone loves Peppa Pig Birdie,” said my brother as he cleared unsterilized lego off the dinner table with the back of his hand… the lego fell onto the unclean floor. He just left it there. I shuddered.

Dinner was a horror show. Délámhach* shoved his hand in his nappy then shoveled potatoes in his wee mouth. Noting my revulsion, he smeared his urine and potato tinged hand on the side of my cheek. Oh how everyone reveled in my terror.

On the car drive home, I doused myself in my mini sanitisers. Herself could tell I that wasn’t myself. She pulled into the hard shoulder on the N7. Do you realise how much airborne dirt is zooming around the N7? Well at least it wasn’t the M50.

“What’s up Birdie?”

“It was so dirty and chaotic. I can’t let a baby dirty things up, promise me it won’t?”

“Of course it won’t!” Her tone was too enthusiastic, I grew suspicious.

“Are you sure?”

“Absolutely! You should see the baby cleaning gadgets.” Now she had my attention.

“Such as?”

The Mopet Robot Mop, it can constantly clean the floor, even when you sleep.” I kissed her.

“Maybe a clean freak can handle parenthood after all!” She smiled weakly and coughed without covering her mouth.

*Délámhach or dólámhach literally means “two-handed” in Irish, but it can be used idiomatically to mean “working all-out,” or “giving your best.”

2 thoughts on “Week 10: Can a clean freak handle parenthood?”

  1. Mikey B says:

    I don’t think I’d manage…my hand sanitizing and washing rituals borderline obsessive. Just reading this compelled me to sanitize with the Antibacterial Hand Wipes I keep in my bag.

    1. Birdie says:

      I agree, it is a very dirty piece of writing. Happy sanitising friend.

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