Posted by: zenmamajo | February 16, 2011

Cleanliness is *Not* Next to Godliness When You’re a Parent…

there are three types of people in the world:

1: 3-second rule people
2: people who turn noses at 3-second rule people
3: people could care less if something falls on the ground (most times…there are some exceptions like salsa, sour cream or any other semi-liquid consistency)

i use to fall in to the second category. i would *never* have dreamed of eating something off the floor and could rattle off a number of hygienic reasons why. i would share a drink with a friend, eat a fist full of m&ms after touching several public surfaces, but eating something off the floor??? nah-uh. that’s where i drew the line. those were the days i enjoyed having dust-free blinds, counters, pictures, and walking in to an uncluttered room without fear of twisting an ankle en route to the bathroom.

then came kids and out went cleanliness! okay…not totally…i’m all over frequent hand washing but our standards for other areas of cleanliness are definitely much lower than they were before kids. take last night for example…i was at a friends’ during Home Fellowship and was standing in the food line behind a 6yr old who dropped his tortilla shell on the floor then picked it up. i hardly noticed the drop until another friend told him that he didn’t have to eat that one and it was okay to get another one…the boy and i exchanged quick glances – his a little confused, mine with a knowing grin thinking “that’s a lady without kids”…the host family doesn’t have any pets and they keep the floor swept so that already exceeds our level of cleanliness…i can only imagine my friend’s reaction if she ever witnessed my kids helping me prepare a meal…i’m sure she’d be mortified…carrot on the ground? ah – just rinse it off…dropped bread? ah – just shake it off and it’s good as new…last night reminded me of a thanksgiving moment…

we had a couple friends over for dinner and had just started delving in to the standard 20 course thanksgiving meal…a few minutes in to the meal, one of my husband’s friends started glancing up at one of our twins then to us and waiting for us to notice what he noticed…finally, after he’d built up the courage, he ever so gently pointed out to us that she had “something” on her chin (as he swiped his own chin)…my husband and i looked at her and noticed one tiiiny little green bean on her chin…we both laughed out loud and waved it off saying “meng, she’s just getting started!”

i’m willing to bet that whoever coined the term “cleanliness is next to Godliness” never had kids…


  1. According to Doctor Oz its OKAY to use the 3 second rule as long as your in your own home and the dropped item isnt wet or mushy. I agree whole heartedly! And if I didn’t, my kids would starve, LOL 🙂

  2. hahaha – dr. oz – america’s dr *hahah* yeah a little dirt helps build up the immune system – hahah

  3. It’s amazing how the 3 second rule seemed to extend with each subsequent kid we had. The first one we were fussy about things like pacifier hitting the ground and then by the fourth one… you’d just say… “it’s okay that he’s licking the ashtray, it’s all roughage.”

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