Oh dear, it’s Friday

The in-laws are coming to visit this weekend. I love them dearly, but they chain smoke. I’m very sensitive to cigarette smoke, and Minnow’s still maturing (second hand smoke also increases the risk of SIDS), so I’m kind of dreading their visit. On previous visits we’ve asked them to not smoke in the house, car, or around Minnow or I, but even if they’ve smoked outside, when they come into the house, they reek of smoke. And if they hug me or hold Minnow, then we’re even more directly contaminated. They are staying in our guest room, so we can’t just plan out in public activities…they will definitely be in and around our house for most of the weekend. Does anyone have any suggestions for minimizing the contamination of our house and our bodies?

In other news, we have fairly robust evidence that at least part of Minnow’s recent sickness (she was home again today) was not a food reaction. How do we know? Because food allergies aren’t contagious, but vomit-inducing viruses are. Poor Fish.

I just hope that if/when it’s my turn, it’s this weekend and not next week. I can’t afford to miss work, but staying in bed/near the bathroom would be one way to reduce my second-hand smoke load. Not that it would be a good strategy mind you.

Can you tell I’m looking forward to Monday?


  1. #1 SuperBabe
    November 9, 2007

    I’m sorry about the smoke. I’m currently in Germany and went from “not minding smoke” in the US to completely being disgusted by it when I smell it here. I think it is mostly the fact that I have no control over it anymore. People here smoke everywhere, even in places where it is forbidden.

    But… I think what you’re doing sounds good. Make them smoke outside (and FAR AWAY from the door)… that should help. Other than that, I don’t think I have any extra suggestions… other than to keep my fingers crossed that one of these days they’ll see the light and stop smoking! I’d also suggest going to restaurants and stay in the non-smoking section… at least that way you don’t have to get extra smoke when you eat (something that I also hate here).

  2. #2 volcanogirl
    November 9, 2007

    I used to smoke and I remember how I had no idea how much my smoking bothered people around me.
    Here are a couple ideas. Is it cold enough that they will need to wear a coat when they go out to smoke? You can ask that they keep their coats in the garage. Also, hand-washing helps to keep the smell down too, particularly since they will be holding Minnow. You can pass Minnow’s recent illness off as an excuse to ask them to wash their hands frequently.
    Good luck!

  3. #3 ScienceMama
    November 9, 2007

    Ooh, I can sympathize. I hate the smell of cigarette smoke on people’s clothes and hair almost as much as the smoke itself.

    Volcanogirl’s tips are great ones. I wish I had something more to offer besides sympathy.

  4. #4 chezjake
    November 9, 2007

    If you can afford it, you might want to invest in a HEPA air cleaner. They seem to help my wife and daughter, who are both extremely sensitive to tobacco smoke.(You don’t need to bother with an ionizing air cleaner, as their value is quite dubious.)

  5. #5 Disgruntled Julie
    November 9, 2007

    I have very bad allergies to cigarette smoke, and my aunt is a big smoker. Whenever she would come visit, she always had some kind of shirt — be it her winter jacket in cold months, or just a button-down shirt in warmer months — that she would wear when she smoked outside, and then leave it outside. She would also wear a hat with her hair tucked up underneath. Not perfect, but it significantly limited the amount of lingering smoke she would bring into the house, as it seems like shirts/hair seem to collect most of the smoke.

  6. #6 Mommyprof
    November 9, 2007

    I have the same problem with my parents. An overshirt or coat that they wear outside and leave outside helps a lot, as does making them wash before they touch the baby. Febreze will help with the guest room when they are done as will removing soft things like throw blankets before they come. Leaving the other soft stuff like bedding outside on a windy day will help after they leave. The good news is that when Minnow is old enough to talk, you can fill her with anti-smoking attitude that she will feel free to share early and often with her grandparents.
    Have a good weekend!

  7. #7 Freiddie
    November 17, 2007

    Force the smoker to go outside into the wild forests. When he returns, ask the person to incinerate all the clothes and force the person to take a bath, while you stay far away. Of course, this is a bit extreme.

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