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You Let Him Eat What? Out of Where?

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Last night, I did something so bad, so gross, so completely momspicable that I have to share.

woman looking inside toilet

Radical Mommy: What on earth could be so bad, you wonder? What could make me, Radical Mommy, the mom who drinks on playdates, the mom who has considered picking up dog poop with my hands because it would be faster than running inside and getting a bag, the mom who doesn't wash her hair for 10 days at a time, cringe? Well, let me tell you.

Last night, my 5-year-old came home from swim practice smiling ear to ear and announced that he had won a race. As a reward, my husband bought him a piece of Laffy Taffy-like candy. Being the fantastical mother that I am (not!), I actually made him wait until after dinner to eat the candy -- and like a good little boy, he acquiesced and did as I asked -- for a change.

After dinner, he was happily eating his candy when I announced that it was bath time. Into the bathroom we went -- candy and all. As my son was peeing (in the toilet) before getting into the tub, the candy in his mouth suddenly shot out and landed -- where? You guessed it: in the toilet. The freshly peed in -- still unflushed -- toilet.

At first, I thought, no big deal, he won't care because it landed in the toilet. Boy was I wrong. Not only did he care, he threw himself into the corner and started to scream and cry like his arm had just been cut off. I tried to calm him down. I offered him an ice pop. I offered him cake. I even offered him a sip of my wine (just kidding). Nothing worked, and his hysteria just escalated. Panicked by his reaction, I finally blurted out, "What do you want me to do? Take it out of the toilet?"

Never in a million years did I think he would say "Yes!" -- and never in 5 million years did I think I would stick my hand in the toilet, grab the candy, wash it off in the sink, and give it back to him. Yup, that's right: I took a piece of candy out of a peed-in toilet, washed it, and put it back in my child's mouth.

To make matters even worse, after I gave him the candy, I walked into the kitchen and saw that my husband had hidden some candy for himself, candy that my son loves and would surely have chosen over the pee-pee candy.

The next day I was driving to work and talking to my sister (yes, I also talk on the phone while driving), and I brought up what happened. Now, you have to know that my sister is my parenting idol -- she has three girls under the age of 11 -- and in my mind, what she says is gospel. I wanted to tell her because I needed to know what she thought. Was I the terrible mother that I thought I was, or was I merely in a crisis situation that needed drastic measures to resolve?

Much to my sheer delight, I was vindicated -- she thought what I did was what needed to be done in such a dire situation. She assured me that urine is sterile (although I am very aware that a toilet bowl is not), and pointed out that she occasionally picked things off the floor and then served them WITHOUT washing them, so in fact I am a better mother that she is.

next: Daddy Dozen: My Kid Needs a Costume!
15 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous October 21, 2009, 5:34 AM

lol. i don’t know what to say, just laughing. i guess don’t be so rough on yourself, i’m sure other people have done worse!

m October 21, 2009, 6:56 AM

it’s not THAT bad, (the candy didn’t have poison on it) but no, urine is NOT sterile.

Anonymous October 21, 2009, 7:12 AM

I get it cause I’ve been desperate to stop a crying child. But I probably wouldn’t have given in because I’d be worried about what was in the fecal matter still in the toilet bowl. Hopefully nothing bad will happen.

jennifer October 21, 2009, 7:21 AM

you rock radical mommy!!! thank you for your honesty- we have all been there in one way or another

MarMar October 21, 2009, 7:38 AM

Well, on the plus side, Laffy Taffy (or the like) is rather smooth and non-absorbent. It would’ve been something else entirely had he dropped a Twinkie in the can. ;-) That being said, this MMD, he he he…thanks for sharing!

rebecca October 21, 2009, 8:20 AM

m, you’re wrong. urine is, in fact, sterile.

Jerry October 21, 2009, 9:02 AM

Quite frankly, that’s disgusting. Every child needs to learn boundaries and needs to learn that they can’t have everything they want at all times. The fact that you would fish out a piece of a candy from a toilet bowl filled with urine to give back to your child makes you bad mother, no matter how you try to justify it. If it’s really that serious, then maybe next time you should just go to the store and pick up another one. I’m blown away by your idiocy.

Christy October 21, 2009, 9:32 AM

I completely agree with Jerry.

I find it appalling that anyone would even consider fishing something out of a toilet for any reason, unless it is something of value that can NOT be replaced: Just to clarify, the example I’ll use is a diamond ring.

As a teacher with many years of experience in child care, ages ranging from 3 mos to 10 yrs, I have learned so many things. Unfortunately, it has become apparent that many people are simply afraid to tell their children “no.” Along with that, many parents fail to follow through with the necessary consequences for their childrens’ actions.

Yes, it may have been an accident, but that still doesn’t justify what was done. If parents give in every time their children cry, the only lesson learned is, “If I push hard enough, scream loud enough or cry long enough I am going to get what I want.” Each time, the bar is raised just a little more. There has to be a point where a parent puts their foot down and says, “Enough is enough.”

Let me ask this. When that child is a teenager and decides that he wants to try some sort of drug, is he going to have the self-discipline to say no? What if he cries and says, “But I REALLY want to smoke it/shoot it.” Is someone finally going to step in and draw the line? Or is it going to be too late?

Don’t be afraid to say no to your children, even if the best you can do is offer an alternative…and some earplugs. Your child will eventually stop crying and they will continue to love you, perhaps even moreso because of the security that comes with parental guidance.

abbi October 21, 2009, 10:16 AM

wow. pushover mommy.

Reenie October 21, 2009, 10:47 AM

This is where the adage “Don’t sweat the small stuff” come into play…it was only a piece of candy, and as urine is indeed sterile (even though the bowl clearly isn’t) I’d hardly call taking the candy out and washing it off a major crisis. Kids eat worse stuff off the sidewalk and share germs by sharing drinks and food anyway.

Granted the tantrum wasn’t necessary, but who did it really hurt anyway? Get over it and go on…there are so many other things that are much more important to sweat over.

Christy October 21, 2009, 11:38 AM

In the end, it’s NOT about the dirty candy or whether urine is sterile.

It’s about setting boundaries and not giving in to a temper tantrum. The line has to be drawn somewhere.

Anonymous October 21, 2009, 11:47 AM

I think its funny, and yes, urine IS sterile. The only thing that would concern me is that kids mimic everything we do, so this kid will think its okay to fish things out of the toilet in the future, and it may not just have urine in it!

WritRams October 21, 2009, 3:25 PM

No biggie. You can drink your own pee (it’s not toxic and it’s almost all water), so it’s not a big deal.

Elizabeth October 21, 2009, 4:17 PM

I love the “urine is sterile” justification.

Do you all really think that every single particle of feces gets washed down the toilet when you flushed, none left behind?

Urine might be sterile, but toilets aren’t.

But you’re right, the candy thing is not a big deal. The big deal is that he got what you really felt it was wrong for him to have, just because he cried. Sympathy, empathy, and negotiation is in order, not giving in to something that should clearly be off-limits.

FunMommyk October 21, 2009, 5:09 PM


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