Hopefully your children are symbols of germ free, sparkling bright, GMO free, cleanliness. If not, keep reading.
1) Using public restrooms- In particular high demand are the bathrooms at Walmart and any gas station or grocery store. It is quite possible my children are training to be bathroom connoisseurs, and so must experience the filth of every single bathroom in town. Enforcing the "Use the potty at home before we leave" rule is of no use. They need to go again. Time to rethink this whole hydration focus I have.
2) Laying on the floor- Since we are in a public restroom, we might as well enjoy it to the fullest by laying on the floor. Or maybe locking the door and then finding yourself unable to unlock it and then being forced to crawl under it on your belly would be fun. I don't consider myself a germaphobe, but this does make me glad I do laundry. That outfit will NOT be worn again tomorrow.
3) Trash cans- OK- we are almost safe. We have successfully rubbed our body parts on the public toilet, rolled on the floor, but have redeemed ourselves by attempting to clean all invisible microbes off at the sink. Drying hands.....wadding up paper.....putting it in the garbage......make sure it is all the way in there.....push the paper towel under that little flapper thing.....feel around....get hand stuck under the flapper thing in the garbage can.....
Sigh. Well, we tried get clean. Let's just chalk the whole public restroom experience up as another notch on the "nature's vaccine" belt. They will be healthier for this experience, right?
4) Fruit snacks- Despite popular opinion to the contrary, and a wrapper that claims "real fruit" and "vitamin C" I am quite sure that the ever present fruit snack is in fact simply a glorified gummy bear. Tasty in their own right but most certainly not a health food or a type of fruit of any sort, despite their miniature squishy fruitish appearance. This is cleverly marketed junk food. Kids however, love them. Especially if I am ever fool enough to mention healthy eating habits in public. I may have found a cure for the fruit snack love recently though while camping. I will let you know how long the fruit snack aversion lasts in my house.
5) Dirt- Actually I don't mind my kids getting dirty or playing in dirt one bit. Kids and clothes can be washed but fun is just fun. Nothing wrong with some good clean dirt, right? I did however, when dumping bag after bag of steer manure on my garden this spring, have the privilege of turning my back, only to turn around to....you guessed it, a toddler actually eating manure. From a steer. That is a castrated bull in case you did not know. And manure is just a nice gardening term for animal crap. I am not kidding. And- she was smiling about it. Maybe a crude phrase is coming to mind. I won't mention it here. But, umm, yuck.
She was actually fine. She didn't even vomit.
6) Feces- Mom may only fertilize her garden once a year with bull dung, but it is easy to find your very own version of manure any day of the year! I don't want to really get into this one too deeply, and there are just too many fecal matter stories to even pick one. But, I will say this, if you have survived a toddler, you have probably learned from some expert on Google that eating your own poo is not near as dangerous as eating somebody elses. And they say motherhood isn't intellectually challenging. Whatever.
By the way, I consider my children geniuses for always finding something to play with and never claiming boredom.
7) Cleaning the toilet- I actually don't know how to handle this one. On one hand, I love that the kids are getting involved without being asked in household cleanliness. Yea for self initiative and picking up that toilet scrubber!
On the other hand, cleaning the toilet when you are two feet tall and everything splashes up in your face and you really hate washing your hands, is just a tiny bit gross. I usually just go with a somewhat strained "Thank you for helping! Can I have a turn too?!"
8) Goldfish- Not the real ones, but the little golden crackery ones that come in boxes. We were at Costco today (before the bathroom break) and my four year old found a box of goldfish that must have contained enough of those things to last through a nuclear winter in your bomb shelter. "Can we have some!?" she gleefully asked. Sadly, no. I think I would prefer that they actually ate real raw goldfish from a bowl. They probably have more nutritional value. (In truth, I have on occasion purchased goldfish, but I was trying to make myself feel superior just now.)
****On the up side to all the disgusting stuff, is the fact that kids are such pure little creatures that they are literally open to embracing ANYTHING in life still. Yet to come is the grown up aversion to anything new, unknown, foreign, or strange. They see it, they like it, they go for it. I will try to let them embrace that beautiful part of childhood, while still keeping them clean enough to survive to adulthood. Good luck to you too on this amazing, though occasionally disgusting, journey-