!!! vs. ???

Tonight, as we were getting the kids ready for bed, I witnessed something unfortunate. Archer was brushing his teeth and Fable was (brace yourself, germaphobes and everyone else) standing against the toilet, flipping the seat up and down and batting her hands around the sides, like she was searching for treasure.

kind of like this except disgusting

And the worst part? Hal was in the bathroom witnessing the whole thing la-di-da-whatevs.


"Hal!!!! What the hell? Get her away from the toilet! You can't just..."

"What? She's just having fun. No big deal."

"No big deal? Her HANDS ARE IN THE TOILET!"

"It's not like they're IN the water."






"Okay, okay! I'm sorry. I won't let her play with the toilet anymore."

Say it with me, people:




Meemo | 8:57 PM

That is most definitely a cringe worthy moment. My 16 month old was caught with his hands in the toilet too and I flipped. I must have washed his poor little germ infested hands about 10 times.

Men's standards are so different from ours.

Becka @Studio222 Photography | 9:01 PM

I know it's totally not funny but this made me laugh out loud.

Michelle | 9:01 PM

What your toilet isn't sparkly clean? I am almost ready to embark on "swishing & swiping" (see http://www.flylady.net/pages/FLYFaq.asp#swish )to keep my bathroom more clean for my 18mo old. I have little faith, but it's worth a try. My sink is sparkly clean.

swonderful | 9:04 PM

My Alice (14 months) loves the toilet. She also loves to eat the Cheetos I swept into the dustbin five days ago. These girls will have very strong immune systems.

Unknown | 9:08 PM

well, all i can say is at least she didn't have a tampon hanging out of her mouth like mine did at this age. and no, it didn't kill her.:)and yes, i freaked the hell out.

Heather | 9:10 PM

but how could you say no to that face. (is what I am sure Hal was thinking!!)


gorillabuns - that tampon story just made me ... VERY glad we are without tampons in our house for the next five years (my periods went away with my IUD and now NO TAMPONS FOR MILES!)


Maeby | 9:27 PM

meh. mine does it all the time. just make sure you clean the toilet weekly and as for the built up week germs....well ya gotta build up those human immunities somehow!

susan | 9:35 PM

My children are now a very discriminating, mature 6 and 7 years old. While they still eat off the floor, they now actually reject the cheerios deemed to be "too dusty" or "sticky" from all the other crap on the floor.

So, slowly, they learn.

Although they still only flush the toilet 25% of the time. So don't let Fable come to our house.

c | 9:37 PM

And that, in a nutshell, is why I have trouble getting along with other moms....because I'm Hal in that scenario...but I'm a mom, and I'm supposed to be more like you.

Beth | 9:37 PM

Read this to the baby daddy as a cautionary tale, because I could see him doing the exact same thing.

Karishma | 10:31 PM

hahahahahahhahaa oh god. i shouldn't laugh, but.... haahahahahaa. that is gross, but mostly just amusing.

and that tampon story? made me cringe more than i have ever cringed while reading a blog. lol. strong immune systems indeed! also, kids these days! when will they learn to stay out of the trash?

Anonymous | 10:57 PM

EEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK! I could see this happening at our place...with amazing ease.

Kate | 10:59 PM

Oh My God! Why do men not seem to understand how gross things are?

Anonymous | 11:19 PM

This comment actually goes with the previous post. I am a reader in Australia and every time I click on a link to GGC Babble posts, it re-routes me to Babble Australia. WTF. I don't have any interest in reading anything on Babble AU. I have tried everything to view the US website with no luck. Does anyone know how to get around this? Like, how to hide my ISP or something?


Hey, Anon!

You can read my SFTB blog on Babble by adding the URL to your google reader! Do you by chance have gmail?


Or try this:


Anonymous | 1:42 AM

hmm. The feed goes straight to the babble AU site as well. What's a google reader?

My husband has VPN tunnelling, which goves him an ISP in another country. There are companies which do this for about $15 a month. for that you get a number of ISPs from various countries and the advantage is that you can watch TV shows from the websites like BBC and ABC (the US version) that you can't access here in Aus

Apple | 2:12 AM

Lillie (10 months) thinks that the toilet is a huge drum.. as soon as she gets the chance to escape she's there banging on it-I'm just scared she'll fall in!!!! She is also obsessed with the bin, pulled out an empty butter packet the other day mmm greasy

Mammy P | 2:54 AM

Ugh, this is totally a man thing; my husband is exactly the same. My son is going to be 5 on Sunday, and he is SO SO SO SO impressionable right now and I'm really anxious that every little thing we do could be influencing him in some way, so I feel like a lot of my time is spent fighting fires and imparting wisdoms and indirectly instilling moral fibre.

Prime example: I came home the other day to find Ben jumping (jumping!) on our couch.

Jason barely looks up from what he is doing while this is going on, only to find out what the choking and sputtering noise coming out of me is all about.

I say that Ben needs to be taught not to jump on furniture because if he did that at someone else's house OMIGOD I would lose my mind with embarrassment.

HE says that it doesn't matter because our couch is totally trashed anyway and we need a new one.

WTF, husband's brain?!?!

the bellyacher | 3:13 AM

Oh thank you so much for that. I smiled...I laughed...I laughed some more. You are awesome. :)

Classy Fab Sarah | 4:24 AM


Billie | 4:44 AM

Blech!!!! Yesterday I was flying with my girls. I actually caught Emery (now 12 1/2 months) licking the floor of the airplane!!

Anonymous | 5:04 AM

Woah! I don't *think* B would let O play in the toilet... but I do think he is a little less cautionary than I am. Will be interesting as O becomes more mobile!

Unknown | 5:50 AM

Just the other day Ashelyn climbed up on top of the toilet, reached over to our counter, knocked the toothbrush container into the bathroom trash and then proceeded to dig around inside said trash to find her toothbrush. I ABOUT DIED.

You can bet we all got new toothbrushes.

mrs. q. | 6:25 AM

Men: WTF?

Spray that puppy with Lysol (the seat, not your sweet fairy)!

Jen | 6:52 AM

Oh seriously. My son once put his hand in the toilet water and then licked it. I about passed out. We have to watch him really closely because he still tries to lift the lid occassionally.

And I thought I was a laid back parent. Hal takes the cake easily!

mommymae | 7:03 AM

i don't even want to think about the baby sticking her hands in the toilet. i'm so sorry. thankfully, my husband is more of a germaphobe than me, so i don't have to worry about it happening on his watch.

GingerB | 7:15 AM

I guess this is just the first wave of gross behavior, before all the nose picking / eating / earwax investigating and so on that will take them through the toddler years. My dog loves tampons of the used variety, which is just one more reason to go on the IUD and get rid of them for once and for all.

MePlusMyThree | 7:24 AM

Yet more proof that I should have been a man - as long as it was OUR toilet I probably wouldn't have minded either because I know it is clean.

But I let each of our kids swipe a piece of dog food so they could figure out they didn't like it so I may not exactly be the poster child for mother of the year.

beyond | 7:50 AM

funny post. as i was reading this i thought: well at least it's their own toilet, and not some strangers. or god forbid a public toilet! my fear of public toilets is great and it's the thing i dread most when i have kids.

Amanda | 8:09 AM

I've caught my son chewing on the bottom of his shoe. At first I was like "whoa, hey" and then I thought about all the things we had done that week- walk around the mall, go to the park, playgrounds, etc...and then my head almost came off. Disgusting. And the toilet situation, totally been there too.

The husband is so easy breezy about it. I think in my next life I won't have to clean up after so many Y chromosomes.

Hubbard Family | 8:24 AM

The toliet is my son Cooper's (9 months) favourite place to play. It drums, splashes and has something to move up and down....entertainment at it's best. oh, and don't forget the toliet paper that goes round and round. DISGUSTING!

Unknown | 8:44 AM

Oh, eww. Just, eww a thousand times. It makes it so much worse reading the scene and looking at her all perfect and pink in the photos.

Kati Peterson Burnett | 9:01 AM

OMG I think I just threw up in my mouth a little!

MommyLisa | 9:02 AM

Boys are DIRTY.

SoMo | 9:47 AM

I can go one better, my dear sweet son licked the drain in a...wait for it...public bathroom. He has, also, licked the wall and every pastry case we have come in contact with. He had some kind of licking phrase when he was a toddler. I will say he is rarely sick and when he is it isn't bad and gone quickly.

I am still disgusted at his past and present antics. Currently, he has an interest in every trash can we pass. They MUST be explored.

Melissa | 9:53 AM

My son is toilet training and his hands are constantly on the rim of the toilet, even in [gak!] public restrooms. To make it worse, he's a thumb sucker. Ugh. He cares not whether his hands were just on his junk or scratching his rear. The thumb goes right back in his mouth. Utterly disgusting.

Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph | 10:01 AM

Oh yeah. I'll admit it here but not anywhere else- heard ALL day in our house: IS THE BATHROOM DOOR CLOSED!?

Because Ivy thinks the toilet is a freaking WATERPARK and she splashes and ick I just can't type any more about it.



Anonymous | 10:39 AM

My daughter gets into worse outside but I still freak when she goes for the toilet. My son is newly potty trained and no amount of swishing and flushing is going to keep that toilet clean.

Anonymous | 11:30 AM

We were once those hippy people who went by the code "if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flsuh it down" NOT ANYMORE. After our daughter pulled out some urine soaked TP and I almost barfed, had a stroke, etc. we are the "flush it now, right now" people.

Mammy P | 11:45 AM

Rebecca: tell the truth -- did you post this story so you could show Hal, "LOOK HOW OUTRAGED THE GIRLS ARE ABOUT THE GROSS TOILET INCIDENT?!"

(I totally woulda.)

Anonymous | 12:49 PM

meh, my kid plays in/around the toilet all the time. she loves to watch it be flushed, too. i figure this will help toilet training be a not too foreign concept in the near future. so, such things don't bother me, but then, i'm a dirty hippe.

Amy | 1:45 PM

I think men don't have the same germ radar gene that women have. I think my husband would do the same and I would be equally horrified.

I have to admit I've let her play with tampons and breastpads--clean ones of course. And they are sterile so it passes the germ test in my book.

My Bottle's Up! | 2:05 PM

i'm with you on this one... and would've responded the same way.

ps- when the hell did fable grow up?!?!?! and become a princess no less?!?!

Karen | 2:37 PM

Put me in the minority (but maybe more of us will admit it?) that says oh well, she's washable, whatever. Builds a good immune system. I'm trying to think of what would really gross me out and I'm hard pressed to come up with anything that makes me THAT upset. (and I'm a nurse!)

Ray | 2:53 PM

LOL, I'm with you on this one! ;o)

Anonymous | 5:27 PM

I have been there! I never thought the words "Stop Licking the Toilet!" would even come out of my mouth. And then I had kids!

Kendra | 5:46 PM

My kids know the bathroom door has to be closed all the time, My 20-month-old will happily splash in the toilet all day. Plus now she wants to "go potty" (sit on it and get a potty candy) 50 million times a day, and I'm sure if I turn my back for a second and she makes it in there, she'll either have her hands in the toilet or fall and crack her head trying to climb on.

Anonymous | 6:45 PM

Men definitely have a different "gross-out" and germ scale than most women do. That being said, let's all please remember that a baby can very easily drown in a toilet, it's a pretty common occurrence, so even if the germs don't freak you out, please keep your baby away from the toilet!

Surprised Suburban Wife | 7:47 PM

My 22 month old daughter was in the bathroom flushing throughout dinner tonight. It was the most peaceful dinner my husband and I have had in weeks! He finally went in to check on her, and well, things were WET AND COLD. Things like her hands, her shirt and her hair. All we could do was laugh.

Diana | 7:55 PM

Hi Rebecca,

I'm the first anonymous poster with the Babble problem. With the feed link, I am able to read the 25 most recent articles. That's good enough for me. Thank you so much for the solution. :-)

Scott White | 9:49 AM

Just cruising around looking for bloggers to ask to blog about a holiday shopping guide my company is coming out with when i stumbled onto your site.... i cannot stop looking at your facial expressions! What a riot!

Great looking fam!

All the best,

Melody | 11:44 AM

This really makes you wonder about what is acceptable behavior in men's restrooms. Makes me want to walk around all day with Lysol wipe hankies.

radiolariat | 1:43 PM

That there is a man who has never lived through a Norwalk epidemic.

vicky @ thecitycradle | 3:08 PM

So ashamed. My husband is actually the one running around WTFing in our house begging me to get the babies out of the bathrooms and off of the toliets.

Yikes, I guess he isn't crazy, you all agree with him about this!

Unknown | 9:06 PM

Well, you know she's so damn cute that I'd probably let her do whatever the heck she wanted too... ; )

Brooke - Little Miss Moi | 2:39 AM

Yes, it's scary thinking about all the germs on the toilet. But then, when you're 17, you get drunk and spend the evening throwing up in the toilet, washing your hands in the flushing water and then attempting to drink from the bowl.

Or. Maybe that's just me (and I can thankfully say that was over 10 years ago).

ladyslounge | 12:05 PM

ACK!! She's in the litter box!!
"Ok ok babe, it's not like she's eating the cat shit"


Anonymous | 1:33 PM

I can pretty much guarantee that this exact scene will play out in our house in the not-too-distant future. Except at the end Mr. Perfect will still be saying "What? What? What's the big deal?!" Ugh. :)

Heather | 1:46 PM

I think I need to wash my hands just thinking about that. Ugg... MEN!! :-)

Sarah Slaven | 3:29 PM

I'm just going to go clean the toilet now, and I think when i'm done I'm just gonna clean it again. Also I'm from Aus too and can't read the babble posts.


Hey there, Sarah! Yeah - I posted above a solution to that problem. You can either add my Babble Blog to your Google reader or go here:


Hope that helps!

jenelle. | 11:32 PM

while i was blow drying my hair my 15 month old daughter climbed into the toilet and sat there... indian style... like it was a new seat just her size. i told hubs to get the camera (while i screamed and freaked out and laughed) but he deemed it child abuse to not imediately remove her. we told my mil and she bought us a child proofing kit.. complete with toilet lock.

Kat | 5:52 PM

I love how Hal said "anymore." You know this has been happening for weeks, if not months! Thing is, she's probably been exposed to so many germs and now has a super-duper immune system!!!

Double Happiness | 2:06 PM

my husband "bathed" our ten month old daughter with a rag i'd used to clean the tub. dr. bronner's baby formula + mrs. meyers lemon scrub - no soap scum on that girl.