Boys are so heavily invested in gross stuff that I’ve been forced to break down this topic into multiple subcategories. Therefore, following in the footsteps of “Eat Gross Stuff,” we find ourselves here to address the touching. Good heavens, all of the touching.
Having already quite definitively established the fact that boys touch everything (Every. Single. Thing.), it’s no surprise that they are touching gross stuff. The disturbing trend is that said gross stuff continues to be the single most attractive item for boys to touch. Without fail.
Case in point, our family is enjoying a perfectly splendid, meandering walk through the national mall in Washington, DC on a gorgeous summer night this past summer. The three boys are doing what boys do: picking up every item that is not permanently welded to a national monument and hurling it into lakes and bodies of water with a ferocity not seen in these parts in centuries. Pebbles, sticks, leaves, flowers. It’s all going in the lake. The ducks and geese haven’t been this worked up since the Union captured Arlington House.
And then Nathan hits the mother lode…
Nathan: “Heeeeeeeeyyyyyyy! GUYS!! I found something!!!”
(note: this phrase precedes parental discovery of gross stuff on approximately 97.3% of occurrences)
Me: “Uh-oh. What did you find?”
Nathan: “Look!” (Holds up used flosser. VERY used.)
Me: “DUDE!! Put that down NOW! That is disgusting – somebody probably flossed with that, man…
IT COULD HAVE BEEN A POLITICIAN!!”
(didn’t really say that last part but wish I would have)
Nathan: (forlorn look spreading on face, hand drooping back toward the ground and letting flosser fall) “But Dad, it’s just like our flossers in our blue bathroom.”
Me: “Dude, there are like 9 million people a day in this park. You don’t pick up stuff that even remotely involves bodily functions.”
Nathan: “Oh.” (Has no clue what I just said, runs toward Connor, who has cornered another duck.)
Pretty much if there’s a gross item within touching distance, boys are mandated by law of physics to touch it. Like magnets. When peeing in public bathrooms, boys will totally press their entire pants, legs and hands against the edge of the urinal. Always. Thank goodness all grown men are aware of this magnetic law of physics and take care to always avoid leaving any germs or other various DNA samples attached to the edges of public urinals.
Once after some afternoon field trip, I had all three boys in the restroom to change clothes before an evening service at church. Inadvertently let them lock themselves into stalls, leaving me outside to attempt coordination. Total rookie mistake. Eventually found myself bent over, head between shins peering upside down into stall #3 where Nicholas was doing the “try to rake pants/socks/shoes all bunched up at ankles off with one foot” move while grasping the toilet rim with both hands for balance.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! WE DO NOT HOLD OURSELVES UP BY THE EDGES OF THE POTTY!!”
Seven minutes later we emerge, three boys in new clothes, me with pants soaked by multiple soap and water washes/rewashes, at which point my wife gives me the I-can’t-let-you-supervise-anything look.
Whatever. You cannot win. Boys are gonna touch all the gross stuff anyway. Millenniums from now, the battle will rage on.
What about you, what gross stuff has your boy picked up? (Besides flossers.)