Tales from the Potty: Do You Wash Your Hands?

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If you’ve ever potty trained a child, you know it can get, well, messy.

We’re on hopefully, fingers crossed BIG TIME, our last time down this path and each of the kids has brought their own unique spin to potty training. Our middle child showed us just how alike budgeting and potty training are.

With our youngest, I swear I hear him humming lines to “My body is a wonderland,” every time he goes to the bathroom (which is ALL the time since his bladder is so small) but that is a MUCH different topic for a different day. Suffice it to say, he’s full on in discovery mode these days.

Potty training means one thing in our home…spending a lot of time in the bathroom. While he has done great overall, there is also some genuine fear he’s dealing with. So, that means either Mrs. Frugal Rules or I get to spend copious amounts of time in “the office” to make sure it’s anchors away as opposed to something else. Sorry for the visuals. 😉

While I use some of the time to encourage him, (and not go crazy listening to his 8th rendition of the Dora theme song…seriously, we have to go through Dora again? I thought that died once our daughter moved past it.) I also use some of the time to try and multi-task and read about things going on in the world.

That usually means checking out Flipboard or the NPR site to get caught up on recent events. I don’t know if I never noticed some of these things before, but there are some crazy things going on in our world that either make me laugh, smile, cringe, or scratch my head out of awe. So, I thought I’d share some of those tidbits with you today! 🙂

Tales From the Potty

This story takes the cake! Apparently, there is a new senator from North Carolina (Thom Tillis), who I kid you not, wants to make it so restaurant employees DON’T have to wash their hands when they return from the restroom.


Ok, so when I go out for lunch, do I ask for a side of norovirus or is it just assumed? His argument…that it’s too much regulation. Mind you, he doesn’t favor increasing the minimum wage or mandatory paid sick leave but he wants restaurant employees to have the right to make your dinner after wiping without washing.

Take That Developed World!

Another head scratcher…apparently there are some African countries that are better immunized than we are here in the States.

I know the vaccination debate can be a hotly contested one, but we’re behind some African countries for immunization against something that we’ve had a vaccine for since the 1960s? As someone who wasn’t vaccinated until college due to family beliefs I just can’t get over that.

Doing Good for ALS

Here’s one to make you smile…remember the Ice Bucket Challenge from last year? There was debate over where money was going and the like. Well, the numbers are supposedly in and the challenge raised nearly $115 million for the ALS Association.

The annual budget for the Association…$60 million. Not too bad at all and a great way to bring attention to a worthwhile cause – even if it did fill up your Facebook feed for what seemed like forever. 😉

Your Beliefs Are Odorous

Do you think how you smell indicates what your political leanings might be? Well, a study done by the American Journal of Political Science set out to see. Apparently it took smelling gauze pads stuck under the armpits of different people for 24 hours to determine that body odor has little to do with a political affiliation.

Imagine being the recipient of that test subject…all in the name of science I guess. 😉

Richy Rich, Anyone?

Are you looking to unload an extra $1.5 – $3.5 million you have lying around? Well, if you do, then you can throw it at a personal submarine.

That’s right, one of the new must-have “toys” for the uber-rich is a personal submarine.

You know, when a yacht isn’t enough and you really want to live outside the box…the 2-3 person sub can be personalized to what you want.

The Multi-Millionaire Who Pumped Gas for a Living

This story made me both laugh as well as pump my fist. Ronald Read, a 92 year old gas station attendant from Vermont passed away last year – his estate…$8 million!

He left the bulk of his estate to a local hospital and library. According to the stories I’ve read no one knew he had amassed such a net worth and at one point a breakfast tab was paid for anonymously because the person thought he didn’t have the means to pay for it himself. Talk about living out the habits of frugal people!

A Strange New Side to Divorce

As something that can likely only be described as “Only in America” I read about a new business that helps couples smooth the process of getting a divorce.

The business – Divorce Hotel. I guess I can hand it to them for thinking outside the box and wanting to make the whole transition a bit better, if it really can be, but at $5,000 for a weekend stay at a luxury hotel I think I’d rather split the $5,000 with my future ex.

Financial Classes Mean Fewer Delinquencies for School Kids

I’ll end on this one, another one that makes me smile…most of my readers know how much I support financial literacy – especially in schools. Well, a new study has come out with a relatively direct link between somewhat thorough financial classes and higher credit scores and fewer delinquencies.

I don’t really care as much about the higher credit scores as I do the fewer delinquencies, especially when it comes to things like dealing with student loans, credit cards and the like. I get excited when I read things like this as it goes to show that teaching students about money does work and will put them in a better chance to succeed in life.



What’s new in your world? What news story have you read lately that made you either laugh, cringe, scratch your head or smile? For any parents out there, any tricks for potty training success?



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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more.


  • Another one of those “This is going to be TMI but I have to read it anyway.” posts. LOVE it!! Seriously though, the hand-washing thing, this makes me more glad than ever that we’ve all but cut out dining out. Double-yuck.

  • It’s crazy to me why people don’t vaccinate their kids against some of these diseases. It’s seems that more people take the word of celebrities over doctors and researchers whose job it is to know/figure out if the vaccines are safe or not. You’re not just putting your child’s live in great danger, you’re also putting many others lives in danger too.

    As for the gas attendant, I’ve always dreamed of retiring early and pumping gas part-time. It just sounds like a fun part-time job. I get to see all sorts of cars pull up and chit chat with the owners!

  • I’m surprised rich people would be interested in personal submarines. That sounds like a fatal accident waiting to happen. I wouldn’t get in one for a million dollars!

  • We pretty much have our daughter potty trained as well, but she still wants an escort to go with her all.the.time. I’m often browsing the Internet on the floor just outside of the bathroom, waiting on little miss to do her thing. Oh, the things we do as parents!

  • Here is a funny TMI for you. After a recent viewing of Ghostbusters, I caught the boys “crossing streams.”

  • Nothing makes me cringe more than seeing someone leave the restroom without washing their hands. It’s such a no-brainer it’s hard to believe some people decide NOT to. Good for the gas attendant! I would love to have seen his wealth graphed by year as well as what he invested in over the decades.

  • Jon Stewart did a bit on that senator’s “no washing hands” bill and it was hilarious!

  • I really believe that when a kid is ready to be potty trained, he or she will just do it. We spent about a year working on the potty situation with my son and he fought every minute of it. Then literally one day he asked to go to the potty and from there on, he just did it. Of course he has had a few accidents here and there, but for the most part, he was trained. I don’t know why parents push for their kids to be potty trained other than just saving on diapers. Once my son was trained, I hated having to stop all the time to find a restroom. I really missed having the traveling restroom (aka the diaper) with us at all times.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Oh, I completely agree Shannon and he’s doing great overall. We’re very much the same way and let them start when they’re comfortable with it. It just takes a lot longer to get things done when we’re out and about. 🙂

  • OMG the first one about not washing hands?!?!? That’s insane!!! I have no words. When it came to the divorce hotel it got me thinking that maybe I could be on to something by getting into that business. Kind of seems like a good idea, albeit somewhat shady…or pessimistic about love? Hmm, not sure.

  • I’m dreading the potty training stage which is coming up soon. It’s tough since we both work so the routine/consistency is not there. But I’m with Shannon’s mindset…it’ll happen when he’s ready. My wife on the other hand tends to worry when he doesn’t meet certain milestones (though those are general guidelines and all kids are different).

    • John Schmoll says:

      Like I said to Shannon, he’s doing great – it’s just not a fun stage to be in at times. 🙂 That said, we’ve found that kids figure things out on their own timeframe…which is a good thing as I’m sure my wife and I would find some way to mess something up along the way.

  • Ahhh…so glad we are through the potty training days. A trick we heard about (not sure it’s that original) and used a bit was to let our kids run around without pants on (we have hardwood so it didn’t matter if you catch my drift). We usually dressed them in a longer shirt to cover up. It seemed to work…that and our second strategy which was giving them pieces of candy when they were successful. 🙂

    • John Schmoll says:

      We actually used that trick with our two older kids and it worked fairly well – especially with our daughter. But, our youngest…he’s a bit too much into the self-discovery (if you catch my drift;)) that we make sure he’s in pants most of the time.

  • Grayson Bell says:

    No, why did you have to bring up our good ‘ol Thom “dumbass” Tillis? I can’t believe the people in this state voted for this idiot! Anytime I hear his name, I cringe a little bit. I hope people start serving him without washing their hands. Dumbass…

  • Some of these are interested and others are scary, haha. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kim says:

    Maybe we could let the law include health care workers. I sure wouldn’t mind if my surgeon doesn’t scrub up! I

    I don’t remember potty training to be especially hard, but I think girls might be easier than boys.

  • Good luck with the potty training. It brings back a lot of memories. It’s so funny how we couldn’t imagine at one time dealing with all the bodily fluids, snot, pee, poop, of someone else but with kids – you get used to it, fast! Why would anyone want to pass legislation that worker’s don’t need to wash their hands after using the bathroom? That’s just beyond weird. I’m happy to see those results about the impact of financial literacy too. It does make a huge difference and we owe it to our kids to teach them, both at home and at school.

    • John Schmoll says:

      You definitely do get used to it fast Shannon! I knew those results would excite you. 🙂 It just goes to show you that it does work and even more reason why we need more teaching.

  • Omg, I am beyond disgusted over the senator who apparently does not value hand washing. It’s only been the single most important way that has been found to prevent the spread of disease! I wonder if there’s any chance of him getting laughed out of office…

  • Catherine says:

    Ohhhh potty training. We we’re pretty lucky with how quickly she took to it however she loves flushing the toilet, too much. She will look for excuse to flush…the result? About 100L more water usage PER DAY. Need to watch her more 😉

  • Our oldest took a while to potty train. Our second, no joke, trained herself very early on. It made me realize I may not be as good (or as bad) of a parent as I think.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Ha ha, love your last line. Our daughter started very early – right after she turned 2 and the day after we brought her brother home from the hospital. I was certain it was a conspiracy, lol. Our 2 boys had no clue what was going on but have been relatively easier to train.

  • Ben Luthi says:

    Love this, John! That personal submarine looks pretty darn sweet. Now if I could just get a rich friend to buy one so I can try it out…Also that senator should be slapped.

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