With my first child, I was like Chuck Norris when it came to fighting germs, dirt, bacteria, viruses, and strangers who wanted to hold my newborn son. I would heroically leap in front of a passerby when they started making a gesture that could be interpreted as “touching” my infant son. I washed my hands diligently, no less than three times after changing diapers, cleaning running noses, or picking up discarded food off the floor. My days were spent “fighting the good fight” when it came to keeping the house clean and healthy. At night, I feverishly dreamt of the Germapocalypse that was always on my mind.
Yes, without a doubt, I was neurotic, but what first-time parent isn’t?
With my second child, I was much less fearful but still vigilant and sensitive to strangers, areas of contamination, and anything that could spread germs or disease easily. I washed my hands fewer times and was less aware of all the things that could cause problems versus things that really were dirty. I focused on the real issues and let my neurotic mind tackle the rest in dreamscapes whilst I slept. I thought myself much less “crazy” and much more “focused”
Yes, without a doubt, I was less neurotic, but what second-time parent isn’t?
With my third child, I was more or less aware of the dirt in the house and did all I could to keep it at a minimum. Note I said “at a minimum” and not “hell bent on total annihilation”. Strangers who wanted to touch my son were welcome to if I thought they looked OK, dishes piled up in the sink, food was left on the floor, and dirty clothes piled ever higher until such time my wife and I could get to them and clean up the house. With two little boys running around and a third who needed constant attention, our duties in the housekeeping department were a secondary concern as we juggled all the rest. Diapers still sent me running to the bathroom to disinfect my hands, but I did it more out of habit than anything else.
Yes, without a doubt, I was too busy to give germs much mind, but what third-time parent isn’t?
Each child taught me just a little bit more about what was really important and required my attention. After being peed and pooed on by all three of my little geeks, nothing really phases me anymore in regards to “how” I get dirty. What has never lost importance is keeping my kids healthy. But there is only so much a parent, or even a highly trained military unit, can do when it comes to keeping kids out of the way of germs. And yes, I considered putting my children in big bubbles for a time.
If you were to stop by and visit my house today, you’d note that my two oldest boys always wash their hands before eating, coming in from playing outside, and using the bathroom. And that’s it. All the other times, we expect them to cover their noses with tissue or their arm, clean their hands if they feel they need to, and avoid coughing or sneezing on each other. We have also made it very clear that our boys should come see us if they are hungry versus grazing on what foodstuffs hit the floor and have not yet been picked up. My youngest little geek is too young to understand any of this, so everyone lends a hand, so to speak, to keep his hands clean.
But is it enough to simply tell your children to go wash their hands? Isn’t your request something of a chore for them? Of course it is. It is right up there with brushing teeth, making their bed, and turning off lights in rooms they are no longer occupying. We, the parents, must constantly be on our guard for infractions that could lead to an outbreak of the “sniffles”. But parents need not man the watchtowers and the walls 24/7 if we play our cards right with our little geeks. If we can make chores fun, everyday activities meant to establish good habits can be a game in itself.
Let’s see…games…playing…kids play with..toys? Toy soap? TOY SOAP! Yes, that’s it! But does such a thing exist?
Yes, yes it does.
Soap to Get Geeky About
As thoughts very much like the ones above were running through my head, I typed “geeky soap” in the web browser and the first link result sent me to GEEKSOAP. The web page was a storefront for a self-proclaimed geek and an exceedingly talented soap maker. Her work blew me away as I reviewed her d20 Soap-On-A-Rope, the incredibly detailed Retro 2600 Game Cartridge soap, and the nerd-tastic Donkey Kong barrel soap. I sent an email to GEEKSOAP that very night, introducing Father Geek, and my desire to review the fantastic soaps. Not only were they ridiculously clever, but I also saw the soap as a very fun means to an end.
Fast forward and GEEKSOAP sent me three of their soaps. Specifically, a Nintendo 64 cartridge soap, a Nintendo GameBoy cartridge soap, and a Dinosaurs on Parade soap. When I opened the box, my oldest son immediately wanted to know what games the two cartridge soaps were and if he could play them after dinner. Yes, they are really that detailed.
To be perfectly honest with you, I cannot bring myself to use the game cartridge soaps. They are simply way too cool and I plan to save them for a special occasion with my little geeks. That meant the “dino soap”, as it has come to be known in my household, was going to have to be tested and represent all of GEEKSOAP. I should also note that I planned to use GEEKSOAP to be part of a new campaign to reinforce our household rules of washing hands. The way I figured it, if they washed their hands with “blah-normal-everyday-soap”, I could expect the cleanest hands this side of the Mighty Mississippi with really cool soap!
I enlisted my middle child, Nyhus, to be the “official Father Geek” product tester for this project. My test would include the following questions:
- Was the soap of high quality?
- Was the soap “interesting” to my child?
- Was the soap easy to use?
- Did my child enjoy using it?
Was the Soap of High Quality?
All of GEEKSOAP’s products, according to the web site are “all natural and vegan friendly ingredients which are completely biodegradable and safe for baby’s skin. All ingredients are hypoallergenic and vegetable-based. Any fragrance oils used to enhance any of my soaps are phthalate-free, and all colorants used are FDA certified safe for cosmetic, bath and skincare use. “
This is all well and good, but means little until you hold the soap in your hand. I cannot intelligently comment on GEEKSOAP’s statement, but my wife tells me this is exactly the kind of soap she looks for because “it is not made with nasty chemicals you don’t want to put on your body.” Super good! If my wife says it has great ingrediants and is high quality, that is simply as good as it gets. GEEKSOAP has passed the mamma test!
Was the Soap “Interesting” to My Child?
As I have already stated, my boys were immediately impressed with the game cartridge soaps. Even more so when I told them they were actually soap and not something you could play with. This bit of news was met with equal parts amazement and disappointment for reasons that should be obvious. The “dino soap” was found to be less interesting to my children, only because it was being terribly overshadowed by the awesomeness of the other soaps. I did not count this fact as a negative, and when I asked my son to comment on the “dino soap”, he greatly liked the detail put into the dinosaurs. He knew exactly what type of dinosaurs they were and was strangely disappointed that they didn’t “come out of the soap”. I counted this comment as a positive and the soap proved to be “of interest” to my child. Once again, GEEKSOAP passed a test with flying colors.
Was the Soap Easy to Use?
The “dino soap” is a big bar soap. The soap will last for a long while and is solid through and through. However, the soap was hard for my little geek to handle because it was bulky. My little geek is also used to liquid soap and he found using a bar soap cumbersome. It took him longer to wash his hands, but I don’t believe they were any less clean. I gave his hands the “smell test”, wherein I smelled the back and the palm of his hands (don’t laugh, this is what parents do, people) to determine if he was able to cover his hands thoroughly. Because GEEKSOAPs do not use exceedingly, over the top perfume fragrances, the clean scent was faint but present all over his hands. My little geek had nothing negative to say about his hand cleaning experience, and might have actually thought it strange that I even asked such a question. From a parent’s perspective, I am pleased but do want to note that if your children are not used to bar soap, practice with them a few times to make certain they know how to properly use it, be it at the sink, in the bathtub, or the shower. When all is said and done, I gave GEEKSOAP a “GO” for this test.
Did My Child Enjoy It?
This was my personal test for GEEKSOAP and the original reason I reached out to them. I wanted to find a soap that would not only clean but would also be fun to use. Reinforcing positive and healthy behavior is never a bad thing. Make it a game and something enjoyable by using something that looks like a toy or is fun to handle, and you can really make an impact.
When I asked my son if he liked it, he gave me a big grin and screamed “Yes!”, jumping up at the same time. I can honestly not remember any such reaction from the typical liquid soap or even the occasionally “kids” soap we buy because we have a coupon. Up until now, my kids looked at soap in the same way they viewed toothpaste. That is to say, they simply understood it to be part of the process and didn’t give it much thought. My son talked about the “dino soap” after he was tucked in bed and ready to go to sleep. I once again reflected on the impact that a simple soap made and asked him if he would use it again tomorrow. He said he would and looked forward to it!
Looked forward to using soap? Woot! GEEKSOAP passed my final test!
After the results were punched into the Father Geek Power Super Computer (FG-PSC-2000), the calculated results showed that GEEKSOAP passed all our tests with flying colors. Not only is GEEKSOAP creative, geeky, and fun to own, it is useful too. If I had to offer up a negative, I’d say that GEEKSOAP is too good to be used as soap! I really don’t know when I will use the game cartridges, but I can say it will be a day of personal conflict of epic proportions.
I couldn’t be happier with GEEKSOAP and emphatically endorse it to all my family, friends, and strangers I meet on the street. It combines “real need” with “real awesome”. Throw in GEEKSOAP’s passion for their products and you’ve got a winner. Go checkout GEEKSOAP when you get a chance!
As for the Father Geek household, we will continue to wage epic battles against germs, bacteria, and all the other nastiness that comes from living our lives to the fullest. As a father, I do all I can to protect, educate, and love my children. As a geek, I try to find better and more entertaining ways to do all three. When you find that special something that allows you to do so, you run with it and never look back!
Yes, without a doubt, I love sharing my geeky passions with my children, but what parent geek doesn’t?
Review products were graciously provided by GEEKSOAP. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.