The other day my MILfreaked out when she discovered that I borrow board books from the library for J. "When my kids were younger, I never let them take those germy nasty books out of the library. They're gross." I just looked at her and responded with, "Well, I'm not a germaphobe. That's why we wash hands." Really, if I raised J the way she raised her kids, he would pretty much be stuck living in a boring little bubble with no friends. MIL wants to have a play structure put in the backyard to avoid J playing at the playground where there are germs, and constantly makes comments about the germs from library books, borrowed toys from friends, etc.
I happen to believe that there is nothing wrong with some exposure to germs of other kids. After all, the time will come either when J attends preschool that he'll be thrown in a room with many germs since let's face it, kids are germ factories, and if he is kept living in an overly sterile environment he'll be getting sick all the time at that point. Not to mention, every time J goes to the pediatrician, dentist office, grocery store, etc., he is in an area where there are some germs. I just pick and choose how to be safe by using a shopping cart cover at stores, always travelling with hand wipes, and teaching J about hand washing.
Do I want J to get sick? No, of course not; however, sickness happens and I want to be realistic.
How about you readers? Do you do everything you can to avoid other kids and their germs or do you feel that some healthy controlled dose of germs are okay?