We were learning about germs today. The class teacher sprayed deodorant in the room, to show how germs can spread. The children had to stand up, as soon as they detected the scent. Finally, it reached me. It reminded me of ‘Scotch 45’, an aftershave from the 70’s which could also allegedly kill house flies and cure dogs of ringworm. I didn’t ask if it was from the teachers own personal toiletries collection.
We also conducted an experiment. Each child doused their hands in flour, then wandered around the classroom interacting. One such child, Iza, complained to me that the flour was in her eyes and she couldn’t see. Iza is though, a perennial complainer. I refer to her as “my shadow”, as she often walks behind me at playtime, complaining for the most part. She talks in such a small, fragile voice, I have to bend double just to hear her.
As we leafed through books about germs, she shrieked constantly at every image, eventually refusing to touch the pages. She said the images frightened her, as did the germs on the page. I suspect she may grow up to be one of those adults who constantly look like they need a glass of water and to be helped into a chair. I often wonder whether she will one day arrive at school in a space suit or immersed in bubble wrap.
Zak had some interesting questions. Do germs run for cover if he stamps his foot? Does he kill thousands of germs every time he sits down or stubs his toe? It might be having had a ‘gutful’ of the intoxicating smell of the aftershave, but I struggled to articulate an answer.