Gross Out: Don’t Read During Dinner

At the end of this post, you will be either grossed out or laughing. Or both. If you have a sense of humor similar to mine, you will probably feel both. Proceed if you wish but consider yourself forewarned.

Last week my blogging friend over at wrote a post entitled Getting My Report Card as a Parent. Melissa mentioned that as parents we get reviews or report cards. However, she said, the closest thing to a review is when we bring our kids for their doctor checkups and dentist appointment. Melissa is clearly worried about how the doctor will see her children and is certain the dentist would give her a C if he/she could. She does not have her kids floss.

Are you kidding? I exchanged some emails with Melissa. If flossing is the criteria, I would get an F. My kids brush their teeth twice a day – as long as they are reminded bugged threatened. It’s not that they are dirty children. It’s just that they are boys. They are not especially worried about dirt. To their further detriment, they are my boys.

I have told you numerous times that I lack patience. Any patience I do have is often taken up at work. By the time I get home, I am certainly patience challenged. Well, the apple doesn’t fall from the tree.

My children don’t have time to thoroughly brush their teeth. They have other things they want to do – watch television, play on the computer, build Lego, vroom Thomas trucks, etc. See, these other things are clearly more important. Ten seconds a brushing – that ought to do it is their attitude. I tried to make up a catchy tune to get them to be more thorough – up and down, all around and all over the place. Okay it may not be especially catchy – I am neither Lennon nor McCartney – but my mediocre at best voice makes these words sound not terrible. However, the desired affect is not there.

I think I know what you are thinking. While uncouth, this is far from disgusting. Your own boys may be in the same dirty boat. Well, I am not finished.

If you walk into any of our 2 ½ bathrooms, you will find wipes. Yes, both boys were on the later end of potty training. However, both are, thankfully, well past that stage. They are patient enough to sit and take care of their business. However, that is about where their patience ends. Wiping. Whose got time for wiping? This bathroom hastiness clearly goes beyond tooth brushing. One wipe, maybe two is about all they have time for.

Picture courtesy of

Picture courtesy of

This hasty retreat from the bathroom can lead to malodorous results. And, no I am not talking about farting.

So, Melissa, if the doctor was giving me a grade for my parenting I’m certain it wouldn’t be good. Dirty butts – I’m not even on the parenting chart.

38 thoughts on “Gross Out: Don’t Read During Dinner

  1. Yep, laughing and grossed out at same time. But not really grossed out – more impressed with your honesty! One of my daughters is very lackadaisical about wiping her butt also. I’ve given up trying to make her care. Sooner or later she’ll figure it out. Right? Ugh! Great post!

    • My wife questioned whether I should be so honest.
      Oh wow – I thought it was a boy thing.
      We have some nasty children. I guess you flunk parenting too.
      Glad it made you laugh.

  2. Hahahahaha!!!! Oh dear, I sure hope this parenting report card does not place a heavy weight on cleanliness. Wiping, teethbrushing, bathing, and any other activity even slightly resembling personal hygiene as far as my boys are concerned rate rather low on their scale of importance. I do try to spritz the air around them with Febreze as they run by but other than that, I think I am sorely lacking in that department.

    My stance on all this is that it is better to give the immune system something to work with, to fight against, otherwise it will be weak and worthless. My boys have immune systems with superhero capes as I bet your boys do. 🙂

    • I love your positive spin on it, and I am going to borrow it. Thanks. I will definitely give you credit when it comes up.
      To prove your point, my children rarely get colds or infections.
      It sounds like you are joining me in the “F” department.

  3. HaHa!! So funny! Well, let me tell ya…you can consider yourself lucky….We have 1 bathroom and everyday I have to go around questioning who didn’t flush and who apparently didn’t wipe at all because there isn’t even one piece of toilet paper in the bowl!!! Also, thank you so much for mentioning my blog…however, you had one thing wrong….my kids do floss but they don’t brush at night….see you are doing a way better job than me….you have twice a day flossers and semi-butt wipers!!! A+ to you Larry!!!

    • I am so sorry I did not get right. I apologize.
      Oh Melissa – you really do try to be nice. My children – NEVER FLOSS!!!.
      I do not envy that job you ahve of cleaning that bathroom. I really hope you win the lottery.
      I wrote a post way back about my kids having the worst aim. I have a feeling you know just what I mean.

  4. Larry, I agree with Melissa you would get an A+ , so would Melissa! 🙂 My little one is 21 months old and I’m scared of him having cavities because he hates brushing his teeth, I think, he believes I’m torturing him every morning. I sing to him the “brush-brushy” song from Elmo and he starts dancing but as soon as I try to put the toothbrush in his mouth he runs away! Now, before putting him to bed we are too exhausted to try, we used to try no matter how exhausted we were every night but he gave in! it’s too much and I don’t like it when he cries and screams before going to bed. So what would the doctor say about me? “Madame (in French), it doesn’t matter if you are exhausted, just brush his teeth” ha, see, I would get an F for being lazy! 🙂

    • I can hear the French lecture – nice.
      Does anyone get an A – we all have issues.
      Being exhausted – so get it. I lay down with my eldest and we read. He finishes his popsicle and I send him to the bathroom to wash up. I always yell out brush. Of course, he says I did but how can he do everything in there in 30 seconds. Uggh, I don’t feel like saying it again or getting up.

  5. Laughed and not grossed out. I have never met a child who willingly brushes his/her teeth for longer than 10sec so I guess yours are pretty normal. As for toilet issues if you have been a parent of a potty trained child you have seen EVERYTHING already.

    • Glad it made you laugh.
      My kids are normal? Wow. That is one of the best compliments I have heard in a while.
      Good point about the potty training.

  6. See, you think that is as bad as it gets. You think that they will grow up some and learn to wipe. Wait until you have to rewash a load of clothes 3 times because you missed the fact that there was a lump of coal in the boxers and it went through the wash with all of the clothes. You’ll repost this blog going in a few years wishing that this was still the problem. 🙂

      • yeah. When you have a kid that doesn’t want to stop playing, you end up with lots of surprises in the underwear! As far as the toothbrush issue, we went through that phase and settled on the “tooth tunes” toothbrush. It plays a song while they brush, so they have to brush for the entire song. Doesn’t mean they will, but it gives them a guide! Have fun!

  7. Have you tried showing your boys pictures of tooth decay on the internet? That’s all it took for my kid. They might also be interested in knowing that when you get a cavity filled, you get a shot. In your gums.

    My boy was really bad about wiping his behind. Like Melissa said above, you could tell that he went but didn’t wipe, because he didn’t flush and also didn’t leave behind any toilet paper. I think after he got a rash on his bottom and we had to put Desitin on him at SIX years old, he got the hang of it.

    • Hurt and scare ’em. Hmmm. I never did think of those solutions. I have tried to make them clean but that has not gone well.

  8. Thank you for reminding me how thankful I am to only have girls. I thought wayward urine would be the worst of my problems. Apparently not!

    • You are very welcome. Btw, we know wayward urine very well also.
      If it is not too long and you think it is appropriate, feel free to use the post for your site.

  9. Wow… I was giggling – and trembling…
    It’s kind of both… funny and… bad…
    Being a parent is quite hard work I think. LOOOOOL

  10. Ha ha, funny and only a little gross (which is probably good because I’ve probably got all of it to come if Elisabeth’s patience is like mine). Nice post.

  11. I have many thoughts right now, and I’m trying to phrase them carefully. First of all, you are certainly not alone in this parenting dilemma. Second of all, did your wife see this before you posted it? And lastly, those wipes might be a good idea in this house too.

    That’s all I’m going to say about the subject. 🙂

  12. Sometimes I think it’s easier to buy new kid underwear than enforce excellent hygiene before age 10. Doubt this is abnormal!

  13. I kept meaning to comment on this one … because yep, this is my house too. I don’t get it either but I guess this how it leads to skid marks 🙂

  14. Hi,

    This is funny. I never had children, but I have had animals, specifically cats and dogs. They display the same behavior when they are being potty trained. So yes, I am laughing.

    Great article and don’t worry. The boys will grow out of it. You’ll see and one day you and your wife will laugh heartily at these times.


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