Embrace the spit bubble

My son has a cough. And by cough, I mean nasty, deep, retching, spit out of the lungs, hacking, open-mouthed, toddler cough.  He coughs at me, on me, and next to me. He wakes up in the night, climbs into my bed, and coughs in my hair. He wipes his nose- won't let me wipe his nose- and then hugs me. It's his cold, but he wants to share. What can I say? A toddler who shares, I must be doing something right. 

Tonight I gave him a hot bath to steam some of the congestion out. It's not a pretty picture, but I'll give you a peek:  Runny-nose-and-hacking cough-boy took one boat into the tub and enjoyed himself for a little while.  Then he coughed like crazy, produced a large spit bubble, and deposited said bubble into the bath.

Alex, don't do that.
I have a watey, mommy. It watey in my mouth. (water).
Ok, spit in in here (I hand him a cup).
Okay, spit it in here. (I hand him a tissue).
But, Alex, that's the bath. We don't spit in the bath.
It watey, Mommy. It deep, I needa put my watey inna tub. 

Some might say that's just plain gross; but raising kids isn't for the weak. It's not clean, not perfect, and definitely not sanitary.  It is funny, however, provided you have the right attitude. You have to embrace the grime... yes, actually embrace it.

My grandmother used to say, "Everyone eats a peck of dirt in their lifetime." That's because she had nine kids and didn't bat an eye if someone ate something dropped onto the floor/driveway/playground/litter box.  

When my first child was born, she dropped her sippy cup and I  gave her a fresh (if not hermetically sealed) one as a replacement until I could boil the germs away on the dropped one.  When the second was born, I picked up the dropped item, rinsed it in the sink, and handed it back.  By child number three, I looked down at the item, casually picked it up, blew on it, and handed it back.  "It's good for the immune system."  Now I am certainly not the first mom to relay that little quip about the cups and the reason is because it's true.  As the kids grow, and survive our mistakes, we realize that they are going to be okay... and sure, a little dirt never hurt anyone.  

But I do draw the line at germs.  Dirt is dirt, but germs are...  germy.  When my kids get a cold, I inquire everywhere... who had a cold.. who was sick at school...  Oh God! Did we go to Mcdonald's??  I will track that germ down and well... do nothing... but I like to track them down.  I like to know the origin of the germ so I can avoid it next time, or at least have a source of blame. 

So what's the line on Alex's spitting in the tub?  Gross, germy, or plain old-fashioned humorous kid-dirt?  How do you find the "right" mommy attitude? The attitude that isn't grossed out by kid's actions but also isn't completely immune to them either.  I guess, for me, it's a matter of weighing the harm.  Is spitting in the tub likely to be harmful, cause bodily injury, or spread infection? No. Okay, then, file it under "Funny".