people who wash their kid too much

We had house guests the other day who had a 15 month old kid.

So, they show up in the afternoon, the kid runs around a little bit and the mom was like, “ok he needs a bath.” I didn’t think anything of it but after the bath she starts saying, “he had dirt all over his face.” She said it like 3 times. The kid was spotless, as far as I could tell.

Then, the next day, we all get breakfast, the kid walks back to the house, and they’re getting ready to leave and she starts talking about how dirty her kid is, and gives him a bath at like NOON before they get in the car. Puts on a whole new set of clothes.

He was spotless, again. All he had done since the previous bath was play in the house, go to sleep and go to breakfast.

The husband was clearly a bit exasperated by it. Not to the point of rolling his eyes or anything, but definitely exasperated.

Now, they were only at my house less than a day, but her behavior and language about it made it seem more than a little neurotic.

Is this a common “mother psychosis”?

Not common and not a psychosis. Does sound neurotic, though. She might need some counseling, both on what it adequate child care and to help her understand and control her impulse to wash her kid too much. Good chance she’ll “transmit” this to her kid.

This may be extreme, but if the kid never gets any germs into his system, he won’t develop a strong immune system.

Has she never heard of a wet washcloth? Wipe the kid’s face and hands and be done with it.

My guess is that she has feelings of inadequacy regarding her parenting abilities and she compensates for this by making sure that, at least outwardly, she appears to be a good mother. She’s probably a perfectly fine mom, but for whatever reason, something/someone is making her feel like she’s not.

And I agree with FilmGeek’s “washcloth” comment. Christ…if I bathed my kid every time he got dirty, I’d have to follow him around with a garden hose!

Dirt on face = bath? In that case, I had the worst mother ever. In my family, dirt on face = a little bit of mom-spit and a hankie. Mom-spit is the strongest cleaning agent in the universe.

And I think Kalhoun probably hit the nail on the head. Someone has this mom believing that she’s somehow substandard, and this poor kid gets dunked every time he makes a mud pie.

I think the most valuable lesson on child-rearing I ever heard came to me from an 80-year-old woman who’d raised six children of her own and thirteen foster children: Dirt don’t hurt.

A mom friend of mine is fond of saying, “You eat two bushel baskets of dirt in your entire lifetime.” Mind you, she is fanatical about preventing cross-contamination and such in her kitchen, but she also understands that Kids Get Dirty.

This sounds like a case of Obessive Compulsive Disorder (or at least the personality disorder, it’s milder cousin) to me. People who suffer from it (and I am one of them unfortunately) tend to be terribly weird when it comes to dirt and germs. Repeated washing is definitely a classic symptom.

Up here, we only go through an eighth of that. (The expression is “Everyone eats a peck 'o dirt before they die.”) :smiley:

My sister in law had a bit of that for a while, it was the cause of much eye-rolling in my family. But the kid turns three next month, and mom has now gotten over the obsessive washing thing. I’d say if that woman can maintain her neurosis throughout the terrible twos, then she just may qualify for psychosis! Keeping a two year old spotless is like trying to hold back the tide!