By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK.Child covered in dirt.Kids are gross. And not just kinda gross. When it comes to hygiene, eating boogers, licking trash cans and sticky hand prints are all in a day's work for tiny people still trying to figure out what "contagious" means, much less "e. coli". As parents we just learn to expect them to fish for a salty snack during their kindergarten concert, but there are a few things kids do that can make even the most seasoned parent wince. Here's a roundup of some of our favorite atrocities. (Names are removed to protect the innocent and guilty.)
1. "My son licked ice cream off the floor at Dairy Queen." Eating something dry like a Cheerio off a floor is no biggie (I just repeat "it's good for their immune system" until my vision clears), but it gets sticky when the dropped item is, well, sticky. And when there is tongue-to-tile contact.
2. "My 7-year-old bites his toenails. Even when his feet are stinky and covered in dirt." Toenails are pesky, teeth are handy-how cool is that? Considering I know adults that still do this, it's obviously not fatal.
3. "My 2-year-old daughter had a tea party with the contents of her diaper. And when I told her she wasn't allowed to play with it she dumped it down the heater vent. Now that's a smell you never want to smell." If there was a parenting "first moments" book, there would be a page for "First time finger painting with fecal matter".
4. "My son peed on a plastic tree in the middle of an amusement park." Oh, the fun we have with bodily fluids! How did Dr. Seuss never write a book on this?
5. "My 19-month-old tries to gag himself in the backseat (sometimes successfully) while I'm driving... then he laughs about it!" As a kid, my brother once intentionally regurgitated his dinner onto his plate. My mom made him (re)eat it. Last time that happened.
6. "My boys have a hard time remembering to wipe their backsides. Then, if it's really bad, they leave a smear on the toilet seat as they slide off. Always look before you sit down at my house." Potty training is the bane of my existence for this very reason.
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7. "When we were hiking, my daughter saw a pile of deer droppings and before we could stop her she yelled, 'Look! Olives!!' and popped one in her mouth." How nice of the forest elves to leave out our favorite snack!
8. "My daughter shares food with the dog. She gives him a bite, and she'll eat a bite. Sometimes she eats his food." I tried dog food once: it tasted like Cap'n Crunch crossed with paté. All in all, not too bad.
9. "My son's best friend hawks a loogie, catches it in his mouth and then re-hawks it again." I'm not sure whether to be horrified or impressed. Future Olympian?
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10. "Every time we go to the mall, my kids have to check every candy vending machine to see if there are any stray candies. Once I caught my daughter shoveling in dust-and who knows what else-covered Mike and Ikes she found underneath." Whoever said taking candy from a baby is easy has obviously never done it. Tantrum on aisle 3!
11. "My baby loves rifling through garbage cans. Once we found her sucking on used Q-tips." It's Toddler Rule #1: garbage can = treasure trove!
12. "We found our classy daughter rinsing her toothbrush in the toilet and then continuing to brush her teeth." Hey, it's water, and it's way easier to reach than the sink.
13. "My granddaughter ate the gum from under the table at a restaurant a couple of years ago." Complimentary appetizers!
What's the filthiest thing your child's ever done?
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