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« 1-2-3 Magic Can Suck It! | Main | This Oughta Help You Through The Holidays »

The Teaching Of The 5-Second Rule

It’s one of the top 5 most epic rules of all time. And, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to teach it to my boy.

I spent the first 6 years of my fatherhood watching the kids crumble into tears and tantrums after fumbling a delicious goodie from their hands.

“Quick! Pick it up, pick the dirt off and eat it!”

“NNNNNOOOOOOO!!!!!!” was always the tearful response. And there it laid.

To make it worse, my obsessive cleaning of my hands in their classrooms as a volunteer has taught them that the outside world is nothing but a smoking germ factory. This only fueled their desire to consider their popsicle kaput.

We tried it all, “What? Dirt on it? Awesome!!!! Eat it quick, that stuff’s like a magical crispy awesomeness or something!!!”

“You’re not gonna eat that?” Then I’d reach down, snatch the popsicle up and cram it down my throat to show it was OK. I only did that once. It was like throwing gasoline on a match next to a paper factory.

Then, a few weeks ago, a light bulb went off. I remembered that I have the short-lived “my daddy knows everything and walks on water” powers.

So, in my most confident, happenstance voice I said to my son, “dude, you don’t know about the coveted 5-second rule?”

“The what?”

“Son!!!? Seriously? After all this time? Oh my…oh my.”

“Daddy, what!!?! Tell me!! What about the five…ummm”

“The 5-second rule Grayson!! It’s vitally important. Are you sure you’re ready? Are you sure you can handle this?”

“Daddy tell me!!! Please!”

“OK my son. If you should happen to accidentally drop a piece of food on the ground for a length of less than 5 seconds that doesn’t touch pee, poop, dead animals, your sister, or anything else that may cause death, you can simply blow it off, and eat it. That is all.”

“What do you mean that is all?”

“I mean, that is all. Drop an ice cream cone, quickly grab it, blow it off and keep chowing.”

“Really? That’s a rule?”

“I won’t lie, it’s saved me from being hungry many a-time. But keep in mind! It doesn’t work for gum, candy, etc… that’s been laying around for days. It has to have fallen within the 5-second time period.”

Immediately the boy dropped his pretzel stick on the ground and looked up at me.

I started counting, “One-one thousand, two-one thousand…”

The boy quickly snatched the pretzel stick back up, blew on it, then looked up at me again. I smiled at him and waited.

He took a bite, slowly chewing it to make sure it didn’t explode his jaw or cause him to clutch his chest and fall to the ground riddled with impending death. Then a huge smile came across his face and he mumbled, “so awesome.”

My job here is done.


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Reader Comments (15)

You are a God amongst little boys.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDC Urban Dad

Ha, love his response "so awesome". BTW I thought it was a 3 second rule and why does the post title say 5 "minute", shouldn't that be 5 "second" rule?

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersquirtsdad

Nicely done! I am a huge fan of the 5 second rule and use it religiously. It saves a lot of food, and money.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOld School/New School Mom

After a friend of the hubs dropped a hot dog, ketchup side down, on the ground at Angel Stadium, blow it off, eat it, and live to tell about it, I believe in the power ofthe 5 second rule. HOWEVER, there is no WAY I would eat something that touched the ground. Gah!

Great post, as always. :-)

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkathygee1

The "five-second rule" at my house has become "if you can beat the dog to it..."

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjodifinch

@jodifinch-Beating the dog to it means it will be on the floor considerably less than 5 seconds. You almost have to catch it on the way down in this house!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

The 5 second rule is right up there with the golden rule here!
Love your son's response - priceless.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHolly B

Depending on the delicious treat and the last time the floor was cleaned I've been known to extend it to 10 seconds.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen Koz

Actually, my kids were the ones that taught the 5 second rule to me. Shows you where MY parents came from. Slackers....

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIrene

LOL! That only works for boys. I could never teach my girls that rule.They would look at me like I was a complete asshole if I tried. They'd burst into tears and claim me the devil if I tried to force the issue. Besides, girls only believe in the 5 second rule when it comes to chocolate one is looking!

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTruthful Mommy

You know the 5 second rule is kind of healthy. Ingesting those germs only builds up your immune system. Hell I'd extend it to the 15 second rule.

Not only will you save money on food you'll also save money on doctors bills. Win-Win.

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandria

Too funny. I taught the 5 second rule to the kids about 4 years ago. My son is now nine. On Saturday night I took him to the local Dirt Track to watch some sprint car racing. He wanted popcorn, so I bought the two of us a bucket to share. As we are walking back to our seats, he drops a piece on the ground, bends over quickly and pops it in his mouth. Apparently, you need to clarify certain times and places where the 5 second rule does not apply.

Later that night, as we are hitting the bathroom before we leave, he drops his brand new Hotwheels car into the urinal trough. This time he turned and looked at me like "WTF do I do now Dad?" So I had to reach in there and fish it out, and then spend 5 minutes at the sink washing it, and my hand with as much soap as I could find.

I love being a Dad

September 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTom G.

I've been a big follower of this rule since forever. If something isn't sticky or wet and the floor doesn't have obvious Ebola germs, it's good to go.

September 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBodaciousboomer

Good job Super Dad!!

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKellie

My kids dont care, but I a pretty anal (am I gonna hear it) about being clean and having a clean home. And if they dont do it, I may finish it. Hopefully every-time wont add up to take years off my life...I guess I am going to rely on my digestion system to kill whatever is bad.

I do teach them not to pick up things outside the house, that I will add. Busy places are dirty...just not worth it unless the part that hit the ground can be removed or its like a hard candy or something I can wipe and blow off.

Keep it real.

September 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter@DelTheDad

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