A few minutes ago, Wolfy walked up to me and licked me on the arm for no apparent reason. Where did he get the idea that this was okay? I don’t go around licking my friends and family. And I’m almost certain that my husband doesn’t do that kind of thing either. Yet when I ask my two year old son, Wolfy, any of these completely reasonable questions and all I get in response is a blank stare.
Toddlers are gross. It just seems to come naturally to them.
This means that the idea of not being gross is actually a set of cultural expectations that need be taught because they are not inborn. Not being gross doesn’t just come naturally? That seems insane to me, and yet my toddler proves this to be true every single day.
It seems like Wolfy basically came into this world with a firm grasp on concepts like mine and no (him saying it, not listening to someone like his mother saying it, of course). Yet the instinct that tells him something is disgusting just seems to be missing. Shouldn’t evolution have taken care of this flaw? Doesn’t it go against the idea of Survival of the Fittest for humans between the ages of one and three to go around putting their mouth and hands on everything that is dirty and filled with germs?
The other day, my sister who was visiting from far away, asked Wolfy to give her a kiss goodbye. He started puckering his lips so she bent down to receive some nice affection. Instead, he reached out his hand with the index finger extended.
“Here is a big booger for you,” he said.
Seriously!?! Who does that? Two-year-old children do that. Everyday. They see nothing wrong with offering their aunt a big booger like it’s some kind of prize.
And have you ever shared a drink with a toddler? Just. Don’t. Do. It. Ever.
I know better and yet I make this mistake over and over.
I think, ‘Here, nice little boy that I love, have a sip of my cool, clean water’ only to have it returned as a cloudy cesspool filled with unidentifiable floaties. And if you dare to watch them drinking out of your glass, you will be greeted with the terrifying sight of their tongue completely out of their mouth.
Why do toddlers do this? Trust me, it’s for no reason at all. Toddlers are gross. They do gross things simply for the joy of it. Simply because they can.
Okay, Wolfy, you know how that was my glass of water? Well, it belongs to you now. I’d rather just die of dehydration than take a sip after you.
Can someone please tell me, why do toddlers think it is okay to fart on people?
Half the time, Wolfy is not even doing it to be funny. Farts just come out and he’s sitting on your lap and he doesn’t even seem to notice.
Also, he loves to hang out in the bathroom with me when I’m trying to be alone. He has to stand right next to me, preferably in close enough proximity to always be touching some part of my body. It’s just not right. No one should have to endure someone touching them while they take a poop. You should especially not have to endure having someone touch you with mysteriously sticky hands.
My biggest fear is that this gross behavior isn’t confined to the toddler years.
When I worked at an elementary school, the bathrooms for the primary grades were a terrible, terrible place. The handle to flush the toilet was always sticky. The sink was always plugged with who-knows-what. And worst of all, the whole place reeked of pee from thousands of little boys missing the bowl and having it soak through the tile into the sub-floor. I’m not exaggerating. They had to rip up the entire bathroom to solve the problem of the smell. But it will be back because the little kids are definitely going to trash the new bathroom. It’s only a matter of time.
I can handle a few years of gross, but it has to stop somewhere.
Please, someone with older children, tell me this too shall pass!