Skip to main content

The Five-Second Rule Is Real

I'm just going to say it: The five-second rule is real. We (or at least I) practice it in our household.

Now, I realize that once food touches the floor, even for a second, it has probably 99% of the germs it would have if it was left there for a full minute. I'm not so naive to think that picking food up off the floor within some five-second time frame magically keeps germs away.

Instead, I use it as a guideline of sorts for my kids. Kids are devilish little things. They have lots of questions. How come we can say "yellow dye" but not "you die"? How come we can eat candy after dinner but not for breakfast? How come we can eat some food off the floor, but not other food.

Well, I'm here to tell you the answer is the five-second rule.

Again, its not a germ prevention thing. Lots of times I use this as a short hand. If an uncooked noodle falls on the floor and its there less than 5 second, I'm putting it in the pot for boiling. Hey, its getting boiled anyway. If while reaching down to retrieve it I see another noodle of unknown origin, well, its going straight to the trash. Both are probably equally germ ridden; I get that.

But it makes a handy shorthand for why we can eat that broccoli that just fell on the floor and not the remains of that apple we found stashed inside the leftover Christmas box. A true story, by the way.

Its all summed by The Five Seconds Rule.

I'm not big on telling the kids "because I said so." I don't like it personally. I don't like when people do it to me. You probably don't like it when people do it to you. Even when my boss says "because I said so," its a bad explanation. If you are going to do something, there ought to be a good reason. Or at least a reason.

So I don't wan to tell my kids we don't eat that mealy apple "because I said so." Also, I'm not always around, and I don't want them wandering around the jungle of half eaten bits of food that is there playroom unsure of whether we can eat whatever they found.

Sure, this sounds just a little like "because I said so" without saying "because I said so." Fine. If and when my kids realize that point, good for them. They can challenge me on the specifics then. For now, if its been on the floor more than five seconds, you leave it.

My kids will inevitably listen to this advice. Because my kids will believe lots of odd things. Especially if I tell them.

Its sorta like how we can keep our 90-pound lab out of a room simply leaning a gate against a doorway - not installing it, simply by leaning it; or how you can see elephants remain tied to a stake by a simple piece of rope. My own daughter believes I'm a super hero; she said so today at breakfast. Of course, this is only a few weeks after she explained that Mommy is the bestest and I'm the leastest.

So the five-second rule is not only real, its really real.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Parenting As A Two-Edged Sword

A) The other day I took time out of my schedule to play dolls with my daughter.

B) The other day, I took time away from playing dolls with my daughter to cook dinner.

Which really happened? A, or B?

From a certain perspective, both are true. As Obi wan Kenobi warned:


What I told you was true… from a certain point of view
In the moment, I considered myself a heroic Dad. Here I was, valiantly cooking dinner for the kids and their Mom while also managing to get in some one-on-one time with one of the kids. And playing one of her favorite things, too boot. That is perspective A. 
But it occurred to me that from her perspective (B), what I was saying might not be true. 
Instead of a Dad demonstrating superpowers of multi-tasking, she might simply be seeing me as too busy to really give her my full attention. 
When I look back in 10 years I might well remember the hectic but great times when I played dolls with her while cooking.
And as a teen, she may well look back as at a Dad too consumed with…

I Really Should...

... write an ode to Yunnan jig tea. It's great, honestly.  Smooth and delightful with just the right amount of punchy flavor.  Not coffee, but nicely caffeinated.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, find some loose leaf Yunnan jig and brew away.  May I suggest something from www.adagio.com?

... creatively write more.  I have a few story ideas.  At least 3, including the one I've already written and desperately need to edit and round out.  But its such a ... chore.  I really like reading, and I don't mind writing.  I actually enjoy writing one-off stuff like I do here.  But putting together 75k-100k in a complete order that makes sense and completes a story arc?  Ugh. Its all ... so much.  Blame my years in journalism, where I write tons of one-off stuff where the narrative is kind of half written for

(Speaking of this blog and writing)

... post more here.  As with all things, I guess, time is hard to find, whilst being a poor excuse.

... think before I agree…

The Dark Months

The holidays are over.  It only seems like life is over.

There is a solid three month period where holidays of various degrees are hitting you one-two-three style.  You have Halloween, which takes some of the sting out of the cooling temperatures and the disappearance of summer.  You have Thanksgiving, with rare foods and the promise of Christmas. 

Then you have a month of prepping and joy for Christmas.  You are so busy, you hardly notice how cold it has gotten.  And this year it got pretty darn cold.  And then Christmas itself.  My wife and I take a week off between Christmas and New Years, so we have that. 

Its a period so full of life.  And then the aforementioned NYE - when the cold decided to take it up a notch.

With triplets, its a little like being shot out of a cannon and taking three months to land.

But when you land, you land firmly in what I call the Dark Months.

There are no more holidays.  Yes, I realize MLK and Presidents Day are in January and February, and yes, I know…