EVIDENCE THAT 2 YRS LATER, I'M STILL SCARRED BY THE WEEKS MY SON (BORN 12 WKS EARLY) WAS IN THE NICU

  1. I wipe down my phone with a Clorox wipe if I've touched it at all while out of the house, since out of the house = contaminated with the scary unknown.
  2. I know my son's "normal" temperature is 36.5 celsius, and if the thermometer says 36.6, I'm already worried. Also, we still talk about his temperature in Celsius even though we are in America.
  3. We still measure how much milk he drinks -- even though he's eating 3 meals a day of food! -- and casually talk about it in milliliters, like "we should give him another 40 before bed."
  4. We have never let him touch anything in a doctor's waiting room. We just hold him, standing, and if anyone there looks or sounds sick, we wait in the hall until the doctor is ready for us.
  5. When my wife gets home from work (she's a doctor in a hospital), she doesn't touch our son until she changes out of her work clothes, and if he ever touches her work bag, we freak out and scrub his hands.
  6. I used Purell on a playground slide once. Like, I poured Purell into my hand and rubbed it all over the plastic slide.
  7. We still interrogate everyone over email about whether they're sick before we'll see them.
  8. The first thing I do when I get my son from preschool is wash his hands.
  9. Whenever we watch TV now, if a character walks in from outside and touches a child without washing his hands, my wife and I look at each other in disbelief. Or when characters let a stranger touch their phones.