One of those well known parenting rules is the Three Second Rule. Your child drops something on the floor, and if it is picked up in three seconds, it's all good. Hand it back. Germs are germs and they don't sit back and wait 4 seconds before jumping on, so in reality, whatever the item that has fallen, it's going to have as many germs on it after 1 or 2 seconds as it would after 5 or 6.
Fascinating, I know....
I'm a huge fan of the three second rule. In fact, I'm such an ardent follower, that my three seconds has been known to extend to 10 or 20 or 1,250 seconds. My kids are window lickers, floor lickers, wall lickers (literally), so as far as I'm concerned, they may well have more germs in their mouths than their dropped dummy or food is going to pick up from the floor.
Today I was at the shopping centre, and I watched as a roughly 6 month old baby threw its teething rusk out of the shopping trolley onto the floor. Mum picked it up, looked at it, then looked around to see if anyone was watching before handing it back to the baby. Love it.
My admiration for this Mother only grew as I watched her buy a donut, watched by her wildly excited kids (the baby, and a toddler of approximately 3 years of age). As she smiles down adoringly at them, she deftly slips her hand into her handbag, removes a plastic bag with home made pikelets inside, and hides it behind the donut bag.
Toddler and baby squeal for donut, Mother takes a couple of pieces of pikelet from the concealed bag at the back and gives them to the kids. They are over the moon, because they think they're eating donut - the donut with quadruple the sugar, fat and preservatives of her home made pikelet. The woman is a genius. I love this, and will be doing it myself in future. Besides which, it meant she got the donut all to herself - a foreign concept I haven't experienced in roughly 4 1/2 years since my oldest started eating solids.