Charles, did you wash your hands?

All my friends and I were playing hide and seek in the pines and tussled a little too close to the poison ivy – it came home with me as an adopted friend on my hands and clothes.

Dinner was called and as we all sat down to eat my mother asked, “Charles, did you wash your hands before you sat down?” As any kid would answer, I said, “….. err well, I guess,” thinking to myself, I will wash after I eat, no harm done. Grab this, grab that, pass this and that…. touch touch touch. You guessed it, we all got the ivy plague. Mom and Dad couldn’t figure out how or what caused it.

Mom then remembered the new area that all of us were playing in and especially me and my forgetfulness in terms of hand washing. I think what cured my lapse in hand washing in my early years wasn’t the itchy ooziness of the ivy, nope – we were all marked with the curse of pink dots from head to toe of calamine lotion. I thought that was what we all were going to look like for the rest of our lives; I didn’t realize it was only temporary. Geeesh, I was only 4.