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Monday, June 08, 2009

Just, eewwwww!

Yesterday evening was a quiet one at home.  Zahava and Ariella went to see the Ballet for the evening, and Gilad was out late at Taekwondo practice... so Yonah and I were left to man the fort.

I don't often get home in time to spend a lot of time with Yonah, and it is a rare thing for it to be just the two of us at home... so we really pulled out all the stops.  We read several of his favorite books... did a puzzle... watched a little TV... and shared a little post-dinner dessert together.

Even then, Yonah didn't really want to call it a day.  But with a little cajoling I was able to get him headed upstairs for his evening ablutions. 

That's when the 'fun' began.

Yonah's bedtime ritual is basically comprised of the following 10-step program:

  1. Get into pajamas

  2. Lay out the next day's clothes

  3. Go to the bathroom (in both senses of the phrase)

  4. Wash face and hands (or a full tubby if he is particularly filthy)

  5. Brush teeth

  6. Final drink of water (hah!)

  7. Say Sh'ma (bedtime prayer) in bed

  8. Kisses goodnight

  9. Light's out

  10. 30 - 40 minutes of Yonah singing to himself (on a good night) or coming repeatedly downstairs to ask for extra drinks or more food (on a bad night).

Last night we got to step 5 when Yonah began insisting that he wanted to put the toothpaste on the toothbrush himself.  I always resist this request because he makes the overly-generous amount used in the toothpaste commercials seem downright miserly.  He basically squeezes until physically restrained.

About 50% of the time he will relent and let me apply the toothpaste.  But last night he decided that a tug-o-war was in the offing.  We each grabbed for the toothbrush, but I wasn't in the mood for a pitched battle... so I let go after only a token show of resistance.

Apparently he wasn't expecting me to give in so quickly, because the moment I let go, the toothbrush flipped out of his hand and landed with a splash in the toilet.

Now, Zahava can vouch for the fact that I'm a tiny bit of a germaphobe.  I don't like sharing utensils at meals, and I generally don't subscribe to the 'five second rule'.  If it's down, it's out!  But to be honest, if the toothbrush had 'only' fallen on the floor (even in the kid's bathroom which is a cesspool on a good day), I probably would have given it a good wash (with alcohol) and let him use it.

However, even a clean toilet is out of bounds in my book... and the kid's toilet (which is a superfund site as far as I'm concerned), is an automatic game ender.  Anything that goes in there that can't be flushed requires a 'Haz-Mat' suit and a CDC-approved decontamination station to retrieve.

I gently told Yonah to say bye-bye to his toothbrush and that I'd give him another one... but he immediately began wailing that he liked the one that was in the toilet. 

I asked him if he really wanted to put something in his mouth that had been in the place where his 'kaki' goes, and fully expected this to sway him.  Instead, he responded by telling me that whenever his toothbrush fell in the toilet, he simply washed it off.

As I considered this amazing statement, a few troubling thoughts crossed my mind:

  1. The word 'whenever' suggests that this happens on a fairly regular basis [~gag~]

  2. Yonah never brushes his teeth alone, so either Ariella or Gilad have apparently sanctioned this horrifying behavior

  3. Yonah apparently lacks the common sense that even Lulu has developed regarding personal hygiene

  4. I think all three kids are going to require a paternity test because there is no way they are my biological offspring.

Anyway, getting back to our story... I reached for a new toothbrush, but Yonah was in such a state of protest over his old one (still sitting on the bottom of the toilet bowl) that I gave up and told him we were skipping teeth-brushing... off to bed!

When I went up to wake the kids up this morning I was horrified to see Yonah's old toothbrush had been fished out of the toilet and was back in it's place by the sink.  I couldn't even bring myself to touch it in order to throw it in the trash.

Note to self:  Bring rubber gloves upstairs this evening for toothbrush disposal duty before Yonah's bed-time.

Posted by David Bogner on June 8, 2009 | Permalink


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Bwaaah ha ha..... either your bathroom is pretty small, or he's got good aim :)

Posted by: Safranit | Jun 8, 2009 2:18:04 PM

Safranit ... Actually the kid's bathroom is pretty big. The problem is that the toilet is right next to the sink.

Posted by: David Bogner | Jun 8, 2009 2:22:40 PM

Trying to eat breakfast here...

Posted by: Tovah | Jun 8, 2009 2:23:56 PM

Oh yuck, I totally agree with you! What was in the toilet and can't be flushed goes in the trash.
Uch, and I was thinking about getting lunch now...

Posted by: Kathrin | Jun 8, 2009 2:55:12 PM

Sounds like another step needs to be added to the nighttime routine: close toilet lid (and wash hands) before brushing teeth!

Posted by: Rahel | Jun 8, 2009 3:14:30 PM

I laughed out loud when I read this... because it was strangely familiar. The Kiddie Gross-Out!

Twenty-eight years ago, when She Who Must Be Obeyed and I were house-hunting in Atlanta, we were staying at one of the local Marriott hostelries with two-year-old Elder (then Only) Daughter. One evening we saw that she was chewing gum.

SWMBO and I looked at each other. Neither of us had given her any gum.

“Where did you get that?”

“Under here...”

It should have been no surprise when she directed us to a Mother Lode of wads of used chewing gum... all parked conveniently under the hotel room’s chair, right there at Toddler Level. Aaaaaaggghhhhh!

Somehow, she survived. Somehow, we all do.

Posted by: Elisson | Jun 8, 2009 3:37:02 PM

Tee hee hee.
I am a big believer in the 5 second rule but anything in the bathroom is completely beyond the pale.
Reminds me of when my nephew started wearing a kippah to nursery every day. After a week of proudly wearing the same kippah he told my sister 'guess what Ima, today my kippah didn't fall in the toilet at school!'

Posted by: Chedva | Jun 8, 2009 3:42:30 PM

Tooooo funny and yet oddly familiar.
You know, "true" germophobes would never even keep their toothbrushes in the bathroom! When the toilet is flushed, don't *ASK* what gets aerosolized and subsequently lands on brushes, cups, hand towels and the like....
And yet somehow we survive.... :D

From one germophobe to the other, don't you sometimes get squeamish with the laundry? I mean if boxers go with tablecloths or something to that effect..... {is this just me?}

Posted by: G6 | Jun 8, 2009 4:32:39 PM

Hrrrmmmm.... Suddenly the innocent call earlier (Honey, would you do me a favor? Would you please replace Yonah's toothbrush? The old one is getting a little game-y....) is making LOTS more sense!

Posted by: zahava | Jun 8, 2009 5:15:35 PM

Good times.

Posted by: Alice | Jun 8, 2009 5:22:49 PM

There are various products now available, such as ultraviolet light, that zap germs from toilet-side toothbrushes. Don't know if they claim to work on brushes that are fully immersed on a regular basis. That's a tall order.

Posted by: Ari | Jun 8, 2009 5:51:46 PM

wow...and to think of all the years I literally played in the dirt...am I the only non-germaphobe here? Or just the only non-parent?

hmm, I see a correlation here...

OK, that said, even for me who is a firm believer in the 5-second rule - the toilet is out of bounds. I'll grab whatever it is, no worries, but it's heading for the can!

Posted by: Jesse | Jun 8, 2009 6:28:11 PM

I'm guessing you've never seen the episode of MythBusters where they check the quantity/nastiness of germs in the bathroom vs kitchen and other places. And... probably don't.

But I'm with you. I'm not normally a germaphobe, but I threw away a toothbrush after it only fell into the bathtub. The toilet? Repeatedly? *barf*

Posted by: Tanya | Jun 8, 2009 6:53:27 PM

well, i guess i know what we're bringing you for a house gift next month - i'll tell dh to order an extra box of kid's toothbrushes and you can just tell yona that they're disposable!
btw, were you surprised - this is from the boy whose snot apparently needs its own zipcode - and give what you told us about the dogs and the snot, i wouldn't hold them up as paragons of personal hygiene anyway. and, about those dogs...you let them lick you?

Posted by: debbie | Jun 8, 2009 9:05:23 PM

been there done that, faced the germs and got the toothbrush and threw it out. 5 second rule doesnt work for me, but apparently for my boys it does. i can totally see many children calmly reaching into the porcelain throne and rescuing their toothbrush. enough to make one puke....

oh the other stories i could tell.....

Posted by: Hadassah | Jun 8, 2009 9:47:29 PM

Laughing...one moment...breath....remember to breath...
With the first we sterilize everything. With the second, we just rinse in water. With the third we lick it clean. With the fourth...oh...don't have a fourth.

Posted by: QuietusLeo | Jun 8, 2009 10:15:07 PM

Please tell me you remember the Seinfeld episode about this very thing...

Posted by: Maya | Jun 8, 2009 11:02:18 PM

Have you managed to find out who allowed the tothbrush to be used despite the fall in the previous episodes?

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Jun 9, 2009 12:29:09 AM

i read something similar to "quietusleo"'s comment in some parenting thing or other, referring to pacifiers: for the first kid, when it got dropped it would be sterilized in boiling water; second kid, rinsed off under hot running water; third kid, wiped off against one's pants leg; fourth and any subsequent kids, a quick visual inspection for any major dangling debris.

and yes, it's true that there are probably more (and more dangerous) germs on your kitchen sponge than in the bowl, but still... i'm in agreement, yuck.

Posted by: bratschegirl | Jun 9, 2009 1:51:32 AM

Well, toothbrush in the toilet is to be thrown away. But I simply stick my hand in, pull it out, toss it, and then wash my hand with soap. Germ-wise, the toilet is not that bad, probably better than the inside of your mouth :-)

Now to germophobia. Too much germ-o-phobia is very bed for you and your family. Many diseases or conditions, have thrived due to excessive germophobia and the preventative measures taken by germophobics. Asthma is up almost 10-fold in a bit more than a generation, and many scientists are blaming the increase, or at least part of it, on more hermetically sealed homes and central air conditioners. Bacteria are becoming more and more antibiotic resistant because we insist on overusign antibiotics, both the prescription kinds, and the kinds that come in everyday products like dishwashing soap.

Basically a little dirt is "healthy" and allows kids (and adults) to grow good strong immune systems that will help protect them throughout their lives. And if that is the case, my kids will be in good shape :-)


Posted by: Mark | Jun 9, 2009 6:54:59 AM

Uhm....are Yonah's teeth yellow?

Posted by: Baila | Jun 9, 2009 7:16:18 AM

Just think, he brushes his teeth and then kisses you goodnight afterwards. Hee hee. Sorry, couldn't help myself.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 9, 2009 9:19:48 AM

does that kid *kiss* you with that outh of his? ;o/

"he responded by telling me that whenever his toothbrush fell in the toilet, he simply washed it off." -- game, set, match! I love this kid; he'd be welcome in my home. You, on the other hand, Trep, would probably need levitation boots, Purell, and healthy doses of prayer.

Part of our credo: "we believe in the power of the liver..."

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Jun 9, 2009 9:43:52 AM

I agree with Mark.. >>some<< level of exposure to germs at a young age is acceptable - At Yonah's age I must have literally eaten batteries, tasted my own urine a couple of times (sorry for those having breakfast), chewed on rocks, soil, coins and old rusty nails.. and I'm still here, fit as a fiddle. :-)

Posted by: Rami | Jun 9, 2009 10:16:42 AM

Elisson: GROSSSSSS!!!! Actually, to nearly everyone, ylech.

I'm not a germaphobe, but I have my limits. Especially with my toothbrush. Do you know some couples *share* their toothbrushes?! They don't care if they "accidently" grab the other's brush. *gak* I hate the fact that I don't have a bathroom cupboard in which to place my toothbrush (away from the flush-spray). I have it as far away from the toilet as possible, as far back on the shelf as possible (but still with enough open space to dry) and just try reeeally hard not to think about it.

So I guess I'm actually a grossaphobe, not a germaphobe.

Posted by: Alissa | Jun 9, 2009 1:59:13 PM


My first thought was to totally agree with you --- ewwwwww -- but after having fathered 4 children I realize the changes in my wife's and my attitude about germs. Just recently, our 6 week old dropped his pacifier on the concrete in the parking lot. He's throwing a full-blown fit and I know there's no water available to rinse it for the next (oh, I estimating) 30 minutes and we're going to be in a relatively public location (i.e. -- other people don't want to hear our baby screaming for the next half hour).

As a first-time father, I would have probably left the venue and washed the pacifier off, or (more likely) had 6 back-up pacifiers at the ready. Now, as a seasoned dad, I popped the pacifier into MY mouth and suck on it, spit out the (I'm sincerely hoping) dirt and pop the pluggy back into the baby's mouth, which remedies the tantrum and allows all to enjoy the next 30 minutes.

As for the "toothbrush from the toilet" -- I wouldn't use it even if I boiled it for thirty minutes...


Posted by: ProphetJoe | Jun 9, 2009 6:02:45 PM

LOL!! the clincher was when Yonah revealed that this was not the first time his toothbrush needed to be removed.... yuch!!!

It is hard to believe that someone who has as cluttered a home as I do (just ask your daughter) is also a germophobe, but I am. (that is part of my problem.... when someone comes to clean for me, I am often horrified at how many germs they innocently spread!!!)

But, back to the toilet trauma -- when someone falls into our toilet, I take a plastic bag (no holes!!) and use it like a glove. Then I (gasp!) reach into the toilet, grab the item, and, as I remove my hand-in-bag-holding-item from the water, I turn the back inside out, preventing any icky toilet water from falling outside of the toilet. Then I shudder, repeat "ewwww, ickkkk, yuckkk" over and over as I throw the back into the garbage, then I wash my hands at least three times!! (can you say obsessive compulsive?!)

I know it's psychological, but... ewwwww!!!

I assume you know the joke about the guy who threw $100 into the toilet in a public bathroom???

Posted by: Rivka with a capital A | Jun 12, 2009 1:09:43 AM

I think RivkA meant "something"...
"when someone falls into our toilet"

Posted by: noa | Jun 15, 2009 7:08:47 PM

Last Thursday (June 18) I was getting the kids cleaned up before dinner. (3 daughters now, D1 - 5 3/4 years old; D2 - 4 years old; and D3, 1 week old). I walked in the bathroom and saw D2 drying D1's toothbrush with a towel. "Ummmm, what happened D2?" I was a little suspicious. "Daddy, it fell in there [pointing in the toilet], so I washed it off!" D2 answered, pretty proud of herself. D1 started freaking out, refusing to use the toothbrush. I told D2 to toss the toothbrush in the wastebasket. "But daddy, it just fell in a little bit!" D1 freaked out again, "Ew ew ewwwing" at the top of her lungs. I reassured D1 that she'd get a new toothbrush, and again insisted that D2 toss the toothbrush in the garbage. She gave me a look that made it crystal clear that she thought I was a fool, wasting a perfectly good toothbrush.

Thanks David... if I hadn't read your post, I don't know if my internal alarm would have kicked in that fast. (the internal gag mechanism came in a little later)

Posted by: JDMDad | Jun 22, 2009 6:04:22 PM

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