I’m telling you, right from the start, this post is gross. It is the nastiest thing I ever wrote and it’s not for the weak-of-stomach. I wouldn’t have written it at all except you asked for it!
Last night I posted this on my Facebook page:
I may have had my grossest parenting moment to date, this evening. I was going to tell you all about it in excessive detail but then I thought, “No. I should spare them.”
So, if you were feeling like you had nothing to be thankful for, now you can relax and give thanks that I did NOT describe the horror of what I saw tonight.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go wash my eyeballs.
Ya’ll freaked out. You wanted to know.
You’re weirdos. The whole lot of you. It’s what I love most about every one of you!
So here’s the thing: Everybody knows that parenting is gross. Even the most inexperienced men and women enter this particular adventure armed with rags for mopping up vomit, rags for catching pee and poop and a mountain of disposable wipes for all those things that are, even in this earth-loving-hippie’s opinion, are unfit to be washed and used again.
But knowing and experiencing are just not the same.
A young friend of mine just had her first baby. A gorgeous little boy. She said the other day, “I really understand parenting now. I got pee on my shirt.”
I smiled warmly and thought, “after kid #4 I wouldn’t even notice pee on my shirt. It dries. What’s the big deal?”
Of course, I didn’t say that. She’ll figure it out.
But I digress… you wanted to know what happened last night. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. You could stop reading now and spare yourself the horror.
Toddler-saurus Rex was eating rice noodles. If you’ve never had them, they are basically a very thin, translucent pasta; very similar to angel hair pasta. He had some orange juice. All was well.
About 2 hours later we sat down together on the sofa to read stories. At just that moment he burped a very big, very wet-sounding burp. Almost immediately he started crying the particular cry he has that means, “Oh my goodness! I hate the taste that’s in my mouth right now.”
Obviously, he’d thrown up in his mouth a little. It happens to the best of us.
But then he coughed and whatever was in his throat apparently moved upward. Suddenly the entire serving of seemingly totally unchewed noodles crawled out of his nose, mixed with vomit and snot. It didn’t fly out forcefully. It just slid out of his face like sour-smelling worms and dripped onto my sofa.
I was paralyzed. I couldn’t help him. I could just sit there, watching this creep show in full color technovision, unfolding before my eyes.
Later, once the horror of the moment had passed and I was confident that I wasn’t going to dish up my own serving of pasta right there on the living room floor I began to reflect.
In the moment, it had seemed to be the grossest thing I’d ever seen but, the truth is that, as child #1 approaches adulthood and child #4 is well into his preschool years I’ve seen some things that would have left 17-year-old me trembling in fear.
There was the time that Crazy Hippie Drummer’s butt exploded in a book store. He was maybe 2-years-old. It was one of those lovely, huge, used book stores with plushly furnished reading nooks placed here and there among the stacks. He was a being so good: just sitting there, looking at pictures and minding his own business, when he started to fuss. One grunt later and the kid blew out like Mount St. Helen. No diaper was built to withstand that sort of pressure.
An especially smelly stream of poop continued to spew forth from him – UP out of the waistband of his pants. DOWN both legs. SPRAYING across the furniture and leaving a trail across the pretty green carpet as we ran from the store. Not kidding. An actual trail.
There was poop in his pants, his shoes, his hair. There was poop on both my husband and me. There was poop everywhere. So much more poop than could possibly be explained by the laws of physics. He was just a little boy, for goodness sake!
Do you know what there wasn’t?
A diaper bag. No diapers. No wipes. We forgot them.
I have never forgotten them since.
But I’m not sure that is as bad as the time Handsome Hippie Hubby decided to let the boy have as many bananas as he wanted. Apparently, he wanted… oh… maybe 7 or 8. After eating them he moved to the very center of the room where partially digested banana poured forth from every orifice of that kid’s body.
It wasn’t poop. It was actually mashed banana. He vomited it. He pooped it. He blew it out of his nose. I swear I saw it dripping from his ears and tear ducts.
Something about the fact that it still looked like bananas and smelled delicious made it a thousand times worse.
It was a long, long time before I could eat bananas again.
But at least it was bananas he’d eaten that time.
Kids eat stuff that you can’t even imagine. Oh, you know that you need to lock up the rat poison and drain cleaner. But you can’t keep them away from everything.
Once we caught him eating cat poop out of the litter box.
Not So Hippie Teenager ripped the head off a preying mantis with her teeth when she didn’t even have enough teeth to fill her mouth. She’s always been in touch with her dark side.
Sweet Hippie Daughter chug-a-lugged the better part of a quart of fermented apple juice, up chucked the whole thing directly into my waist-length hair, and promptly fell asleep for 12 hours straight.
No doubt about it, though, T-Rex takes the gold medal when it comes to eating the seemingly inedible.
We’ve caught him munching lady bugs like pop corn and masticating tree bark. He’s ingested glitter and polyester fluff. At Cocoa Beach he ate sand.
Maybe he didn’t get the memo that the beach is not actually made of cocoa. I’m not sure but he apparently found it delicious because he ate it All. Day. Long. We stopped him over and over again but, apparently we weren’t vigilant enough. A month later he was having some serious digestion issues and x-rays showed that his little tummy was all full of sand.
The doctor prescribed some especially powerful very fast-acting medicine via the fastest route (which is not the mouth, in case you didn’t have that figured out). I had the pleasure of dosing out that particular piece of pleasantness and, as a reward, got to hold his diaper on (no time to fasten things up) while poop-smelling sand poured out of my child.
Ever try to wipe wet sand off? Bet you didn’t have much luck. It can’t be done. It’s a physical impossibility.
My kid crapped wet sand for weeks. Not days. Weeks.
The same boy decided, not so long ago, to jam a plastic bean up his nose. WAY up his nose. So far up the pediatrician thought he would have to have surgery but, after a bit of serious archeological-style digging she unearthed the snotty treasure.
“He may bleed from the nose over the next few days,” she said. “Don’t be alarmed,” she said.
Easy for her to say. I walked into my son’s room at nap time the next day and saw a scene from a Peter Jackson movie. He was covered, head to toe in blood. The crib had blood pooled on the waterproof padding. I swear there were splash patterns of blood across the bedroom wall.
Janet Leigh had nothing on the scream I let out that day.
A little peepee on your shirt? Pfffbbbt. I can’t wait to hear my friend’s stories 10 years from now!
No. Parenting is not for the weak.
Still with me? I know from your responses to the original Facebook post that your stories are at least as horrible as mine. Let it all go like your a four year old vomiting downward from the top bunk (Poor Kelly. I think your story beats any of mine.). Dish them up like maggoty soup in the comments. There truly is something cathartic in the telling.
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