There are things that repulse you, and then there are things that repulse you. Remember back in university when you had that roommate who was the rudest, loudest, nastiest eater? The one who used to make your eyes roll and your stomach turn? Now, he ranks second.
Except, the guy who ranks first is really kind of adorable. His antics don’t elicit the same response (most of the time). Bet you didn’t see that coming, right? He’s one of the rare breeds who can throw manners and social etiquette out the window, and still have women smile and flirt. He is… a toddler. He is your toddler.
Here are four gross things that no self-respecting grown-up can get away with. Yet your toddler does them all the time and you don’t bat an eye. Somehow under these circumstances they seem acceptable.
1. Poop in a diaper
My wife is a nurse and bless her heart for it. The list of people whose diaper I would change is short. Luckily for all involved, my tot made the cut. Poop is nasty. Poop is vile. Poop is also all around, when you have an infant or a toddler. You get over the atrocious smell to simply complete the act of the diaper change. I am simultaneously dreading and anxiously awaiting potty training. It will be intense. There will be kicking and screaming and crying, I’m sure. And that’s just me. Even though I’m used to changing diapers, the completion of potty training will be a glorious time.
2. Wearing tomato sauce
It is always socially awkward to be “that guy” without a napkin at a meal. Maybe you are watching a stranger at a restaurant as he disregards that piece of food on his face. Maybe he just wiped spaghetti sauce on his pants. Who knows? It all goes out the window if you are two. Two-year-olds can wipe spaghetti sauce through their hair, and their parents are immune to the mess. Selfishly I sort of wish it was a behavior that could carry over into adulthood, but conversely, it is not a behaviour I’d find attractive in any other person. It’s a glorious double standard. Unless of course, you are two.
3. Hugging cat butt
Our toddler has struggled with the logistics of giving our cat a hug. Whenever he gives anyone a hug, he leans in with his head. He doesn’t understand what the business end of a feline is. This can get icky fast. No one should linger down there. Somehow an adorable little boy who doesn’t know better gets a free pass… and a bath.
4. Finger painting with garage floor liquids
Toddlers are not born with the instinct to veer away from disgusting and mysterious liquids puddled on the garage floor. This can become problematic when the path into the house from the garage is not 100% clear. “Jamie NOOOO!” only works about 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time he asks “What’s this?” while simultaneously immersing his hands. But no mess can ever stay isolated on a two-year-old’s hands. It ends up on his face, the walls, clothes and anything (and anyone) else in immediate proximity until addressed.
I will admit, as I write this, the ole’ poop-in-the-bath comes to mind. I can’t include it on MY list because thankfully, it’s not something I’ve come across in my brief blip of parenting experience. I consider myself lucky on this one, but maybe it’s on your list.
I would not accept the behaviours listed above in any self-respecting adult. Heck, I might not even accept them in other people’s toddlers. But life hands you a funny way of defaulting to problem-solving mode when your own toddler is involved.
Not all toddlers are created equal (I know plenty of others have soiled the bath). What else would you put on your list?