In our never-ending quest to ensure that our children are safe, protected, risk-free, germ-free and sanitary, we give a nod to gLovies, plastic gloves for children, described as a "simple yet brilliant solution to the 'don't touch that!' problem."
I thought the "don't touch that" problem was solved by giving the child's hand a light rap and saying "No!" but such action is probably considered felonious assault today.
Today, a day in which we find ourselves so enlightened as to border on lunacy, we can purchase plastic gloves for children to protect them from germs on airplanes, public transportation, in grocery stores, public restrooms, playgrounds, theme parks, the zoo and arcades.
Granted, I can see a few practical applications in extreme situations, but plastic gloves as a regular staple, I am having a hard time picturing.
"C'mon kids, put on your flip-flops and grab your gLovies; we're going to the zoo. Yes, Mommy knows it's 90 degrees outside and your hands sweat and feel like they're on fire, but Mommy doesn't want you getting germs."
What do I know? I'm no expert.
No, the experts are the ones giving testimonials for gLovies, experts like the OB/GYN who says, "This is a great product for young children who are meeting a newborn sibling for the first time."
Mom and Dad bring the new baby home from the hospital. Everyone is excited and then Mom says, "Sweetie, you can't touch the new baby until you glove. Suit up!"
Why let the kid touch the baby at all? Why let anybody touch the baby? Studies find that roughly a fifth of the population (and you know who you are) don't wash their hands after using the restroom. In the interest of germ-free living, why not keep a large pair of tongs nearby and let people pick the baby up with those?
Here's an idea, and it may sound totally out there, but why not simply ask people to wash their hands before holding the baby?
I know; it's crazy. Forget I said it.
Let's say you are able to plead, beg and cajole kids into wearing the gloves. Then what do they do?
On the way out the door, they grab the dog's tail, run their hands down the banister, pick up a bug, lift the toilet seat and throw the bug in to watch it swim, grab the door handle that 50 other dirty hands have grabbed, jump into the car, find an old Gummi Bear on the car floor and immediately pop it into their mouths, along with three dirty fingertips from the germ-slick glove.
I pity the kids who are going to be wearing plastic gloves on the tram at Disney or on the playground at the park. Do you know what the other kids are going to say? Well, I don't know either, but I can guarantee you it will be extremely clever, although it won't be kind.
And then the parents of the clever but unkind children will have to tell their children to shush and scold them for staring at gloved children who obviously must contend with some very serious problems. And I don't mean the gLovies.