From the Blog

Testing The Boundaries Of Our Immune Systems

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The guys love the swings.


They LOVE the swings.


The swings. They love them.

There are a couple parks in our neighborhood that have baby swings. These are public parks and they are lovely. The weather in Portland usually turns chilly and dank by October. But we’ve had sunny, gorgeous weather this month. It’s been warm, and the fall colors have been vibrant, happy and energizing. I am thankful that we’ve essentially had another month of “outdoor weather” before winter socks in and I want to crawl in my oven rather than go outside.

In this wonderful weather, I’ve been trying to get them out to a park a couple times a week. It makes them so happy. They bounce with excitement when we roll the stroller into the park, because they! know! what’s! coming! THE SWINGS! OMG THE SWINGS!

The parks are well attended, and of course, like many public places, you just assume you’re dealing with public germs. Especially places with kids. Kid germs seem much more innocent and honest than adult germs. I mean, you know what you are getting. You are getting boogers. You are likely getting poo. Maybe sometimes spit up, or other stomach contents. You just expect all that stuff with kids. I’ve made peace with kid germs. Because the thought of any of those substances deposited by adults makes my stomach roll.

So the swings are probably dirty. I just put it out of my mind, the way other hundreds, maybe thousands, of parents probably put it out of their minds when they put their kids in the swings. I’m not going to bring anti bacterial¬†wipes and sterilize the damn swings. I’m not going to treat my kids like fragile teacups. I’m going let my boys smear their own damn germs on there, with all the rest of Portland’s adolescent humans.

Right? But goddamnit if kids don’t have minds of their own.


Really, kid? REALLY? You have to lick the swing? The public swing? In the public park?


No, kid. Don’t lick. Just hold on. Put your hands on the swing. Hold on tight. Kiddo, HOLD ON.


Our kids are going to have goddamn TOP NOTCH immune systems.


  1. Dori Strom says

    Better now then later!

  2. Aunty Laurie says

    HAHAHAHAHAHAH….HAHAHAHAHA I spewed soup on my lap top screen when I scrolled to Cask sucking on the bar, Ewwww and Too Funny at the same time!!!!! Thanks I needed that laugh!!!

  3. ¬°Que delicioso!

  4. You know how you KNOW how metal tastes? This is how!

    I am MUCH less fearful of outdoor spaces than indoor ones because UV light is not so friendly towards germs. I refer to our local indoor playground “Under the Sea” as “Under the Weather” because of the association I once observed between going there and illness. Surely, you have enough UV rays penetrating those Portland clouds to kill off the nasties, so that should hopefully keep your boys healthy. As far as the ick factor, I do believe this should help build a healthy immune system, so party on little dudes!

  5. They’ll learn another lesson as they try this when the temperature gets a few degrees colder.

  6. Classic post! I love reading your blog because my twins are a little older than yours and we are in Portland too…lots of similarities. And yes, they love the park and swings- and along with swing chains to chew on, they are stuffing anything on the ground in their mouths. Not that I am worried about germs in dirt, but sawdust? Really don’t think that is great for tender gums. Thanks for the blog!

  7. You and the boys are a riot! Good for you–let the kids experience germs. They will be healthier for it! I look forward to your posts.

  8. you need to submit this post to some writing/photo contest thingy. the photos are priceless, and hilarious. glad they are enjoying life.

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