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Mom's Got Germs

Clone Wars. And break dancing. Only recently, though, have I learned that I am also polluted with a particularly aggressive and especially repugnant strain of cootie. For which, naturally, there is no antidote. It’s the only way to explain why my children — who spent the first years of their lives gleefully gnawing on my fingers — now recoil when I offer them a bite from my fork, insist on fresh straws when I proffer my milkshake, and wipe off their cheeks (oh, no, they di’nt!) after I kiss them. They don’t see the generosity in these gestures of mine; they see germs. Like I’m spewing deadly pathogens. Like I have a rare strain of parental Ebola that could seriously tweak their weekend plans. A swipe of my ChapStick? Er, no thanks. A slurp of my ice cream cone? Um, I’ll pass.

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