Babyproof Your World, Girl

Because You're Worth It

Warning: This is probably going to be the grossest thing I have ever written about on the Internet. And I have written some gross fucking things. So, proceed with caution. Or don't. Just leave. Run away! Look out, behind you! It's a compulsive oversharing blogger in her pajamas! OH MY GOD WE'RE DOOMED.

Yesterday afternoon, Ezra shuffled from his room post-nap. "My tummy hurts," he whined. We had a little chat about Poop, Do You Need To Go Do That, and I expertly diagnosed him with Who The Hell Knows, But Let's Try Some Cuddling On The Couch. 

So we cuddled. On the couch. Which is where we were when he suddenly bolted upright and vomited on me. A entire container of raspberries came up in repeated waves of bright reddish-magenta-colored puke all over my chest and lap and then the couch and on the floor as I picked him up and hauled ass towards the bathroom, where it also just. Kept. Coming. Holy. Fucking. SHIT.  

When it was over and the bathroom walls and surfaces were as coated with splattered raspberry hork as we both were, he burst into terrified tears and put his arms out for a hug. 

This is one of the things that you know, logically, going into parenthood, is a distinct and likely possibility. I mean, kids get sick and throw up and when they're little they have no idea what's happening to them, and no instinct to run for the bathroom and barf into the toilet like a civilized person. As a former child yourself, you probably have at least one memory of a truamatic throwing-up event in your bed or on the floor or all over the backseat of the car. 

You probably DON'T, however, have any memory of cleaning up the carnage after the fact, because you didn't fucking have to. No, you got cleaned up and put to bed and left to wallow in your own snuffly misery with a popsicle while your parents dealt with the rest of it, desperately praying to the Clorox gods that they would escape coming down with it themselves. Because even if they do get violently ill they'll STILL have to take care of your helpless ass and cater to your every Saltine-and-Ginger-Ale-related whim.

So I totally had one of those moments of Hideous Soul-Breaking Clarity while peeling off my vomit-soaked clothing and giving us both a bath, while I spread a sheet across the freshly-scrubbed (but still rank-smelling) couch so he could lie down and watch Blue's Clues. I put a trash can next to him (which would be repeatedly ignored and/or missed during the next five or six bouts of vomit that were still to come) and went back to wiping off befouled surfaces that like, did not even MAKE SENSE, from a PHYSICS PERSPECTIVE, because HOW DID HE MANAGE TO VOMIT ON THE UNDERSIDE OF THE SINK COUNTER. 

I meticulously scraped smelly day-glo goo from in between the planks of the hardwoods, all while realizing that 1) no one was going to come help me, and 2) no one was ever going remember that I once did this for them.

And that I would do it again, and let's be honest, probably will. 

And I'm more okay with that than I ever thought I'd be.


P.S. Except for the part when I realized the baby -- who was scooting around on the living room floor during our initial frantic dash to the bathroom -- had something in his mouth and it was part of a raspberry and OH MY GOD THAT PART WAS NOT OKAY AND MADE ME CRY NO NO NO.



Poor Mighty Ez. Puke is the worst. Hope he feels better soon.

I'll leave you with a bright side, though. I've been a parent for many many years, and let me tell you, the day they feel like they're going to throw up and then throw up IN THE TOILET? Best Day of Parenting Ever.


Yep, we're all part of the same club...been there, done that, wrote the book and then cleaned it off after they vomited on it.


it's weird to cry-laugh and be sad at the same time. you need a manny and I ain't skeert of vomit or sock zombies.

Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey

Oh god. Oh, oh god.
Not two weeks ago I got to experience the 2 year olds first real vomiting experience... in MY CAR. She regurgitated up an entire smoothie (mmm, blueberries and curdled yogurt). It was the loaves and fishes of throw-up. It just kept coming. We were only 5 mins from home, and I had to roll the windows down just to make it there without losing my own breakfast. Let's just say, we retired that carseat, because there was NO getting it completely clean. And she had NO idea what had even happened.


Poor kiddo. And poor you. Stomach viruses are the DEVIL. Thankfully, the childling has only been sick once in his life and that was only for about 12 hours. But still. Twelve hours of projectile vomiting is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.


Ew, I am so sorry. Poor Ezra and you! I had a similarly gross experience with poo this morning and a hugging kid who couldn't keep his hands out of the diaper during the change. I didn't realize all the different levels of gross associated with babies/kids, but I want another one anyway:)


Poor little dude and poor you. We just had gastro (boy 2 on Christmas Ever, Boy 1 on Christmas Day and just when I thought it was safe again...husband on New Year's Eve eve). Boy 2 wanted with me with him in the bathroom every time he got sick (he's 10 yrs old) and for every 20 minutes from 7pm until 2am I was exactly where he wanted me. I'll never forget his tear stained face saying "I"m sorry I'm ruining Christmas" (I assured him he wasn't) and "You're the best mom in the world" (I assured him I was - joking!).

Anyway, despite lysoling everything on over Christmas, when husband came down with it I thought I'd lose my mind. Suffice to say I bought a new bucket, new mop, new rags and 2 bottles of lysol (which according to the internet is the thing that will kill the virus). I spent an entire day wiping down every possible surface in my home - light switches, door knobs, door frames, counters, game controllers, remotes, etc.

I love in fear of vomitting myself so this was 1 part "sweet mercy I can't have this travel trough the house again" and 99 parts "by all that is good in this world I don't want to catch this!!!".

Good luck, buy lysol, I hope he's all done with the ugly parts now and I'll keep my fingers crossed that the rest of you escape this.


Sorry for the typos!! It should read "I LIVE in fear of vomiting" because I REALLY don't love it!


My son once puked from the top bunk, down the ladder. As it hit each rung, the splatter effect was sensational. A whole room effect, really. It took me days to get his Millennium Falcon (that giant lived beneath the ladder) meticulously clean and I remember thinking that he would never know that I did this... scraped vomit from a toy with a toothpick. How I love this child.

Years later, we were moving. Embarking on a 500 mile journey to a new home. Leaving the old home on the market and empty. I'd spent hours bleaching the bathrooms and disinfecting all things the day before. With a broken air conditioner. In August. In South of Hell Carolina. After a horrible, hot night of exhausted sleep, we woke up to the sound of puking. All over the mother effing place. I think I did sob as I cleaned that at 5am. That kid puked in a Halloween pumpkin for about 150 miles that day. We laugh about it now. But, oh it was awful.

Hope Ezra feels better today. And no one else gets the funk.


The last time my daughter had a Vomiting Thing she was not quite 5. I remember being SO HAPPY that she was now old enough to aspire to the goal of getting all puke into its intended receptacles. I praised her up and down every time she got it all where it needed to go--not a drop went astray! What a relief. I don't miss those toddler-puking days.

But for some screwy reason, I warmly remember the time she was a tiny baby and puking repeatedly and I realized the easiest way to contain it and keep cleaning simple was to intentionally aim it right at my shirt. Somehow my logic was that it was easier to clean me than to have a befouled mattress. The things we do for our children. (shudder)

Call Me Jo

Poor little Ez! He's had a lot of sickness lately.

Also, reading through the comments has me worried. I know to expect puke (I've nannied and have had a lapful of it before) but the repeated mention of bleach products isn't going to work for me. I'm allergic. Any suggestions for alternative virus-killing agents for when I'm experiencing the turbo horking throughout my own home?


Oh dear. This is very high on the list of parenting things I do no want to deal with. I do not handle vomit well, and gag at just the sound of someone else doing it. I've been lucky so far, in 3 yrs of parenting, to have only dealt with two very minor gagging due to post nasal drip incidents. Nothing much was in her stomach at the time so it was no big deal. Hope Ezra feels better soon.

Salome Ellen

Oh, I have so much sympathy! Once upon a very long ago, my son threw up Taco Bell nachos and orange pop all over the inside of a BORROWED car. And we weren't near home....
In about a year it will become kind of funny. Right now,I'm so glad you are seeing the long term!


I haven't dealt with real puke yet, as she's only seven weeks old, but just this morning she shot poop over three feet, splattering the carpet but not me! Nope, I'm a master of the dodge and dive now.

Also, I've surely cursed myself because I laughed so much at the last line of your post.


I have a whiny baby who refuses to go down for a nap but instead of playing will only crawl around the house banging on surfaces and wailing like he's being mistreated and I SO NEEDED A GOOD LAUGH! Thank you for turning your misery into a moment for myself to regroup and compose myself (because I was about to start wailing and banging on surfaces, too!)


Oh my God I'm crying. You said hork. That is one of the funniest words in the English language to me. Oh it's so funny. So gross, but so freaking funny. Ike ate the raspberry!!!!

2-1/2 years ago at the pinnacle of the swine flu freak out, my daughter caught it, precisely 2 weeks before the vaccine was available to the public. Despite that being the scarriest thing I've ever experienced, I cradled my lethargic baby girl in my lap and waited for the on-call nurse at Children's Hospital to call me back, when I felt her wretch, and then promptly caught the contents of her stomach in my cupped hand without missing a beat. It was the most vile thing ever, but I did it without hesitation because as a mom, it's what we do. The torch has been passed on, so to speak, and now it's our turn.

Good post. Good post indeed.

Feel better, little man.


I cried a little at that last bit, too. That is some sad stuff.

Poor Ezra.

My ten-year-old son just had it a few weeks ago and he also wanted me in the bathroom with him every time. He kept apologizing for making me watch. Know what? Watching a kid puke--on his own--into the toilet is COMPLETELY AWESOME compared to getting doused and having to do the kind of cleanup job you did. I don't even know how many of those I've done. Awful. Also? When my kids were tiny, they actively, screamingly avoided any receptacle. Kind of like a Water Wiggle, but with barf.

Call Me Jo, I'm asthmatic & bleach gives me trouble. I use a lot of Lysol spray and isopropyl alcohol. Boiling water, too. No one tell me it doesn't work, I need to believe it DOES.


Oh god, this is just a reminder of how unprepared I am for when That Day Comes. I don't handle puke well but I'm hoping that now being a mom will give me hereto unseen super powers.

I remember having a terrible migraine as a kid and having to puke very suddenly. I tried to run to the bathroom but threw up all over the floor. My mom, understandably peeved, said "You couldn't make it to the toilet??" And I was devastated by her words. To this day.

Michelle Baum

I did okay until the P.S. part. Ugh. Sorry!


So, my Dad is sick. As in end of life sick. Yesterday while wheeling him around the grocery store in a wheel chair....he horked all over himself. I dashed for the in-store coffee bar, stole all the napkins to try and wipe him up and mentioned to the clerk that there was um....*a spill* on isle 4. The giving it just keeps on going.

The Diamond in the Window

I was...I was thinking this was going to be about hair dye. Instead I am reliving the moment when I pick up the dreadfully seasick 4-year-old, and she spewed directly into my face from 6 inches away, all witnessed by a 14-year-old boy who couldn't stop goggling at the horror and saying, "Dude! Oh dude!" over and over while I tried to see through the grossness.


It is not a good idea to read this and then go to pinterest. Lesson learned.

Hope the Ezra feels better soon - and I hope no one else gets that nasty bug.


Oh, how I've been there. I actually caught myself telling the pediatrician once that my kid is a puker. To prove the point, on one of our visits, the kid vomited on me as we were walking into the doctor's office. He got me from my neck down to my toes, including in my bra. A kindly father shoved a package of baby wipes at me and then ran his child away from me as quickly as he could. But I did discover that if you walk into the doctor's office covered in vomit, you will be the next patient they call into the exam room.

Several months later, out on a rare date with my husband, I looked down at my feet and realized that in cleaning both of us up, I had forgotten to clean my shoes.


You know, I've been there, done that, on more than one occasion with my daughter, so I was okay with the whole thing. Until the P.S. That was just cruel, and I am gagging in my office. And of course I read you over lunch. Thanks for that.


I do NOT do well with the vomit. HOLY HELL I'D VOMIT ON THE VOMIT. I HAVE vomited on the vomit. And then cleaned it up if my husband weren't home (he's usually on vomit duty b/c I VOMIT ON THE VOMIT).

And yeah, happens to the best of us. The unsuspecting, everything's hunky dory just chilling and BAM! VOMIT! EVERYFUCKINGWHERE! Also, the raspberry...too gross, but also too damn hilarious b/c really? How does this shit happen?


Ha! What excellent timing for this post. This morning I had my very first experience of casually glancing over to the playpen and seeing my 9-month-old experimentally squeezing two handfuls of poop. And, because she's in an extra-wiggly phase, the cleanup was a complete gong show with approximately 75% of her skin surface area needing to be wiped off two different times.

What do I take from the whole experience? Parenting WIN: She didn't eat any poop. (I think. Don't question my WIN!)


Poor, poor Ezra! Poor, poor you!! Poor little Ike!

My youngest had her first bout of intestinal nastiness last February, when she was about 15 months old. Of course, my husband was leaving on a business trip. Of course my then four year old caught it. There was vomit in our house for over a week because, apparently, my kids are pukers, require Zofran so they don't get dehydrated, and the littlest one was so terribly sick that between the nasty coming out of both ends, she had damage to her intestines and had to be put on a water, broth, plain rice, plain chicken diet for seven days. Nothing more pitiful than little people who can't understand the puking - much less make it to the bathroom.

To those who wonder how you do it: I can't handle puke on a regular basis, but somehow, when it's my babies that are puking, I soldier through without any thought to the nastiness.

That same business trip is this coming week - my fingers are crossed. If our house is cursed again, my husband may not be allowed to attend this meeting ever again!


So, yes, this happens often. The worst was when I was in the throws of pregnancy nausea and my sweet girl threw up on me and I promptly, reflexively, threw up on her. Awful.


Not even a week ago I had my first, honest-to-goodness being barfed-on-by-my-3-year-old episode. I was sitting on the floor playing with my 1 year old when Sebastian came out of the bathroom where he was supposed to be pooping, said his throat hurt then promptly barfed all over my arms, hands, and legs. And then did it again. I finally got him to go to the bathroom and had a moment of panic when I couldn't figure out what to do because I didn't want to track more mess all over the house. Luckily (?) I was wearing a cardigan and used it, locked the baby in another room then tended to the oldest. It's going to sound strange but in the middle of it all I kind of felt a sense of purpose, or pride. It's like I was introduced into the real Mom's club, or something. Because breastfeeding each child for 13 months and cloth diapering isn't enough, apparently. It takes barf.
(I apologize for the length of this comment, plus the barf talk.)


Oh no, oh no, oh no! I'm due with my first child 5 months from now, and THIS is my biggest fear as a parent. I can't even handle when my husband throws up, and he can usually take care of himself when it happens (or at least aim it into a proper receptacle). I don't even fear poop as much as I do vomit. I still cry when *I* throw up even. And - your P.S. just killed my soul a little. You are my hero for not only being able to take care of Ezra (and Ike), but to have the intestinal fortitude to document the experience!


Oohhh god, the child puke. You don't have an HE washer do you? Because when you wash stuff with, ah, chunks, there is this totally disgusting tendency for them to get lodged in the rubber gasket around the door opening. Regurgitated and laundered blueberries in the dark crevices of a rubber gasket are just DELIGHTFUL to find with your naked fingers, let me tell you.


There must be something wrong with me (hormones) because I'm reading this and getting a little teary because of course! of course you cleaned it up for him! because that's what good mamas do! I have done it myself--ahh, undoing all those effing ties on a puked-on bumper at 2am, what a joy--and there's no one else I'd do it for. Not even my husband, no kidding.


Oh, poor both of you... we went through a puke-fest about a month ago where the only acceptable vomit receptacle seemed to be down my shirt, so yeah, I feel you on this one! (Though the upside of being the only thing the baby would puke on? Less couch/floor/etc cleaning for me... though many, many more showers!)


Oh - I was good until the last paragraph. Then I wanted to vomit... Oh well, I'm sure the baby will eat worse. Rinse and repeat.


What Val said. EXACTLY what Val said.


I was OK with all of it until the end when your baby ate regurgitated raspberries and then I was crying right along with you. Ugh! so glad my kids can make it to the bathroom now, although even 3 short years ago when my oldest was 12 and should have known better, he threw up in his bed then rolled around and slept in it all.night.long. Bleah!


None of my sisters or I can eat cherry Pop Tarts to this day because of an incident about 35 years ago. Pop Tarts were a huge vacation treat that we NEVER got at home, but apparently were not the best thing to feed four young girls who were prone to motion sickness, especially while driving through windy mountain roads. Once one of us started there was no stopping us! At least my mom had very quick reflexes and got my dad to pull over immediately and got us out of the car before too much damage was done!


I was okay until you got to Ike eating the berry.


You know, Amy, every time I start thinking about how much I want kids, I read a post like this.


I was also ok until the end!

@Babs, I'm sorry but that made me laugh/snort out loud (Sorry, sorry!!). It's only funny after you're feeling better ;-) .


You are all rockstars. Seriously. I am so not looking forward to my first toddler puke-out but at least now I know I'll be able to handle my husband goes running from the house.




I feel ya sister. In the past 3 months, I've had 2 very gross episodes with my daughter. The first involved cleaning chunks of cottage cheese looking, death smelling milk vomit out of every crack and crevis of my daughter, her car seat and my NEW car. The second involved a bad constipation issue where I had to "glove up" and help her out....if you know what I mean. But, I would do it a million times over because that's how moms roll.


I still remember when I was 7 and power-barfed grape juice and blueberry bagel all over the bathroom. Seriously, I think I hit the ceiling. Of course I didn't have to witness the clean up, but my mom still talks about it. I think she is just waiting for the day my son gets his first stomach bug.


The first time my son puked, he was about 3...and he talked about that puking for months afterwards. "And the stuff? It just came up? And I didn't know what was happening? And my tummy went "bleh!'Because it wasn't happy! And we don't want that to EVER HAPPEN AGAIN."

But I Do Have a Law Degree

Oh lord. That is the WORST. We had the stomach flu sweep through our house over Thanksgiving and it got 7 out of 8 of us. Worst. Thing. Ever.
I will be crossing my fingers that you, and none of your other children get it. But lets be honest, that probably won't happen.
So, in that case, Godspeed.

Heather B.

Lemme tell you what it's like to have your friend's 17 month old puke in his bed, then roll over and puke again and then when you're all STOP WITH THE PUKING, have him chase after you for comfort only to puke on the floor. And then you're standing there with a puking, crying child who is all "holllld me!" meanwhile there's just puke everywhere.

On the other hand that was the moment I knew I loved that child because I dealt with the puke and I still adored him even though I wanted to puke myself.

Yeah. Remind me to tell you that story. xoxoxoxoxo


exact same scenario at our house yesterday - well, except for the baby eating a puked up raspberry!

hope ezra is all better today!


this and the nighttime wakings are my biggest fears about having kids. well, that and what if my kid becomes an axe murderer.

I was a carsick, colicky, baby. LOTS of puking. My parents would put me in the car in just a diaper and dress me once we'd arrived and they'd wiped me off. My dad says the worst was in a rental car. In Florida. In August.

My least favorite was when my mom had made an extra special dinner of Taco Night and then I got a stomach bug that night. I was about 6 and while running to the bathroom I puked on the tile floor, kept running, and slipped in it. Banged my head and got taco-puke in my hair.

If it makes you feel better, all that hurling made me really never want to do it again, so I don't drink a lot. Maybe Ez will remember this at college parties and say "nah, I'm good on beer for now."


Probably the berry won't expose Ike any more than he was already exposed. Probably. I have seen a delighted child recognize the components of the vomit and exclaim delightedly, "Oooh, appulss" before eating a piece before I got the car stopped.


Tina Fey: “A Prayer for My Daughter”, from "Bossy Pants"

Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches (1).

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers (2).

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.



Oh poor all of you! And why is it always the high-staining food that gets horked up?
My daughter did a number on us once with splashes down my front and to the other side of the room. I think she was trying to hold it back, which only made it more multi-directional. And this is why I prefer clothing that can be washed in hot water and bleach these days. The furniture and rugs, on the other hand... not sure what to do about that. I need more lysol.
On the other hand, I got to hear repeated tellings about how she "frew up" a hairball "like the cats."


We hit the finally-puking-in-the-toilet stage a few years ago, thank god. But, we were in the car a couple summers ago, just after I'd picked her up from camp where they'd learned to do some cooking, and she said she her stomach hurt. Then promptly added "I'm pretty sure I'm going to throw up right now." Somehow I had a beach towel in the car that I threw back to her and she managed to get most (but not all!) into the towel. In between heaves she piped up with, "Oh, look, those are my huevos rancheros!" I nearly lost my own cookies.


My 4yo vomits when she gets a cold. Apparently her tummy can't take any amount of snot. So we are even more irritated by sick classmates around here. And as soon as I notice the sniffle, she's surrounded by towels. Especially at night. I have never run so fast as when I hear her start to hurl and I know I gotta get that towel under the stream. Sometimes I don't make it. Sigh.


I'm sorry I laughed so hard at this. So, so hard.

But it's only because we were JUST THERE. A week before Christmas, everyone started throwing up. Everyone except me. Three vomiting humans, and me the sole caregiver. And nothing makes you resent your husband more irrationally than watching him sleep while your puke-covered self takes care of miserable babies.

Then I got strep. Over Christmas. On an 8-hour drive to my sister's. And then everyone got sick again. Including me. Thankfully only one vomit incident that time, but 2012 had better be freaking spectacular.


No puke stories from me...just, thank the LORD I am not the only one out there with a puke phobia as my number one concern about having kids...(I really thought I was the minority...)


Stomach bugs are the worst! It's my goal as a parent to make it to the point when all 3 of them can vomit into a toilet. Hope he feels better soon and you all don't get it....


I will never look at a raspberry the same way again. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarf!


My son repeatedly horked raspberries last summer and all I can say is that raspberries must multiply in the stomach while they are turning that unearthly color, because wow...what a mess. Poor Ez. Hope that the rest of you stay well.


When I was in the 3rd grade, I had one of those hurling-beyond-reason events, in the middle of the night and while sporting a 104 degree fever. While my folks were cleaning up my bedroom and then the bathroom, I sat on the sofa with a bowl, fevered and shaking. It would seem I owe the folks a "thanks."


I knew I was a real, no-kidding mom when my three year old walked towards me in the hallway, saying his stomach hurt, and I suddenly lunged to cup my hands under the pizza-laced puke that was hurtling out of his mouth the next minute. Because i didn't want it to get on his feet. Because puke on the feet, oh god, the TRAUMA. I am not kidding.


'Splattered raspberry hork' made me pee a little. OMG, hilarious. I'm so sorry Ez got so sick on you!! I hope he's on the mend now!


Every mother has fought bravely in The Vomit Wars.

Picture it. 5- and 9-year old sisters. Had baths, had their nearly waist-length (this detail becomes important later on) washed and meticulously dried with a blow dryer. They go to bed in the double bed they are sharing. Half an hour later, I hear the 5-year old crying. She has thrown up right into the back of her sister's hair, at about neck level. Sister is blissfully asleep, totally unaware of the puke fest hairstyle she is now sporting. Here is your assignment:

a) which child do you clean up first? The sick one? Or the one who might roll over in her sleep and I can't even THINK about what that's gonna look like.
b) how to get sleeping child awake enough to get her to the bathroom, keep the puke contained and not freak her the hell out, because... GROSS!!!
c) how do you get puke out of waist-length hair without making the child sit in a tub surrounded by little floating bits of someone else's vomitus?

Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

Needless to say, this story has passed over into the family mythology, OMG remember when? chapter.

Has Ike gotten sick yet?


I will never forget, until the day I die, the pukefest of 02. My darling boy, 6 years old, puked off the top bunk because he didn't want me to have to wash his sheets again. So instead, I bathed his sister, the bottom bunk sleeper, and her waist length hair, changed HER sheets, and wiped ricochet off of every toy, book, furniture and wall in a 12 foot radius, and 5 feet high.
It took all 3 hours that my newborn would sleep that night. Where, you may ask, was their father? Working nights.


Norovirus! It's going around, including here in the DC region. All three of us are laid up with it right now, but of course I'm Mommy,so somehow I'm trying to survive. Ugh. Daddy hasn't even thrown up yet but he's waylaid on the couch moaning about how hard life is.


Christmas night, 2011. I was two weeks' married, and my new MIL came to my parents' place for Christmas dinner. We were all basking in the post-wedding glow.

Until the drive home. When my upset stomach became full-fledged food poisoning. Violent food poisoning. Projectile vomit all over your new MIL while she was driving food poisoning. Horrifying, humiliating food poisoning.

And yet, there was so much more. I managed to crawl into the house, strip and shower, and call out profound apologies to my MIL, who, with my new husband, cleaned up the very pukey car. But my comeuppance was coming.,

Food poisoning hits you from both ends. I awoke at 4am and resumed puking, but made it to the toilet. But remember the stripping of the clothes part? Well, that wasn't the best idea when you have projectile poop happening at the other end while you are horkimg your guts into the bowl.

What I did to that bathroom was unspeakable. And it HAD to be cleaned up immediately, what with the profound gross. So I was scrubbing shit out of my tiles with a bucket of bleach and a bucket of vinegared water at 4am on the sickest night of my life.

Bring it on, my unborn kids.


Oh nooooo. I have not had to do this yet for my child, but I did it for my little sister when I was a college student and that's a vivid memory.

I will say the detail of the (formerly) fresh raspberries does make this vomit story somewhat less disgusting.


I don't often comment but this reminded me of my childhood. I had a death gripping fear of vomiting. So badly that I would PASS OUT COLD when I started throwing up. My poor mother (and its always the mom right?) would have to hold me in bathroom while I was not only puking but also my eyes rolling back out of terror of the whole situation. In my adult days since, when I find myself praying to the porcelain gods whether due to tequila, wine, or bad meat I wish my mom was there with me. I always remember the comfort of my mom with me. As will your children


OMG! I was totally fine with the grossness until Ike ate the raspberry puke!!! GAHHHH!!!


This is where I tell you that my daughter once vomited IN my husband's open mouth. And, then all over him, the baby, the floor, the couch, under the bar, the windows. OH GOD, MAKE IT STOP!

Good luck.


Fun! Sharing vomit stories... One of my most vivid babysitting memories:

A 3 year-old boy stands on a living room couch, projectile vomiting like a statue in a garden fountain. His 2 year-old brother bounces on the carpet, clapping his hands, laughing, pointing, and and exclaiming appreciatively.

Brothers are so cool. The tricks they can do...


All I remember of all my gastrointestinal discomforts as a child was having a plastic bag looped on my ears. It was standard protocol to ask for a bag if anybody felt nauseous.


Holy flipping cow! I'm so sorry for all of you going through that. I had something similar happen when my first daughter was an infant. I hadn't figured out my daughter was allergic to formula. When she was born I supplemented her with formula because I was worried I wouldn't have produce enough milk at first. She'd spit up but I thought that was "normal". When I figured out that wasn't a problem I stopped giving her formula and nursed 100% of the time. One day we'd stayed at the grocery store too long. I was starving too so instead of stopping and nursing her, I tried to pinch hit the situation by giving her a small bottle of formula for the ride home. At home after nursing her because the bottle wasn't enough, I held her up to burp her and she began projectile vomiting all over us, the walls, the couch...I feel your pain. I hope Ike is well soon and that no one else comes down with it.


Ack! Ez. I hope EZ gets better and that IKE doesn't even get it. Oh the horror.


When IzzyB was about 2 she came into bed with Hubby and I because she wanted to snuggle with her mama. She burrowed herself against me and then puked directly down into my cleavage! I (miraculously) contained it all in my shirt when I got out of bed and cleaned us both up without getting a drop on the floor or bed or IzzyB!!!
It hasn't always been that successful but I did have a proud mommy moment a few weeks ago when IzzyB vomited at school and when I picked her up the nurse complimented me/us on how well IzzyB was receptacle-trained :)

Hoping Ezra is better VERY VERY soon and that no one else gets the bug!


Every so often I'm reminded that you also live in NoVA, because the dread gastric flu which is doing the rounds of this corner of the world has clearly paid a visit to both of us. I had my two year old vomiting all over the place on Monday, wailing 'Oh poor, poor ME!' in between retches.

Helpful tip: if giving your sick child your smartphone is the only thing which distracts him, wrap it in plastic wrap first. That way, when he vomits all over it, you just have to gingerly peel off the plastic wrap rather than replace the whole phone.


I have a vivid memory of barfing eggs on my dad and he had to clean it off of all of us. I thanked him for it on his 65th birthday...(along with 64 other things).


I should have heeded your warning and read something else while I was eating my mid-day candy bar. Blah. I was having flashbacks to last week when I was cleaning barf off of a wall, as well.

Feel better, Ez.


My son got sick in my van once the only thing that got rid of the smell was Detol. It is the best on really gross smells.I will never use anything else.Try it you will love it.

Rebecca Van Hout

Awww poor Ezra! I hope Ike doesn't get it. This reminded me of the time one after another everyone in the house got the stomach flu. My 14 mo old was next to last to get it and at the time he was still nursing which he called "happy side" because one breast produced more milk and he always wanted that side. Poor guy would throw up on me, then want to nurse to feel better, then throw up. He did this over and over all day. It was unbearable knowing there was no way I was going to avoid getting it not to mention I had been cleaning up vomit for a week at this point. And yes I did get sick and still have to take care of everyone! Being a mom is the most awesome job. Totally worth all the times I've cleaned up vomit in the last 19 yrs :)

Rebecca Van Hout

Awww poor Ezra! I hope Ike doesn't get it. This reminded me of the time one after another everyone in the house got the stomach flu. My 14 mo old was next to last to get it and at the time he was still nursing which he called "happy side" because one breast produced more milk and he always wanted that side. Poor guy would throw up on me, then want to nurse to feel better, then throw up. He did this over and over all day. It was unbearable knowing there was no way I was going to avoid getting it not to mention I had been cleaning up vomit for a week at this point. And yes I did get sick and still have to take care of everyone! Being a mom is the most awesome job. Totally worth all the times I've cleaned up vomit in the last 19 yrs :)

Ashley Fitting

Holy shit, that mess is really going around isn't it? Out here on the west coast we all had it too. And it is so sad, that look in their eyes, especially when they are little. My kidlet had no Idea what was going on and only gave me a MOMMEEE right before he would hurl all over the couch. Worst part? I gave it to him. And he gave it to my parents and then my husband and then the neighborhood kiddos. Holy fucking shit... It's like typhoid toddler


Just stumbled upon your blog and just have to say you are freaking hilarious! I may start reading blogs now...

Wombat Central

Oh, barfing babes are so sad! I got christened by unexpected barf as a teen as I babysat on New Year's Eve. Now that I'm a mom, any talk of tummy woes are immediately greeted by a toilet or barf bucket!

I hope your little guy feels better soon. :(


Poor guy! And poor YOU! My son is almost 3 and has a GI disorder that makes him puke all.the.time. While I feel your pain, I LOVED your post!! Because I've sooo been there. I knew I was officially a mom when my1 yr old (who could barely walk) came over and hugged me while he puked and cried...and as I looked around for someone to help me I realized "SHIT, no one's coming because I'M the mom!!!"


Wow. I can't say I know how you feel...YET. Although I did have a yucky experience recently. A week-long bought of the "hersey squirts" + a 2 yr old = disgusting. Imagine going in your kids room after they get up from a nap and you see brown stuff and smell a horrible disgusting odor of poop. My hubby could not even handle it. Needless to say, she got a nice LONG bath and her crib got a nice scrub-down (thank god for vinyl mattresses). Luckily this mama has a tough stomach!


Oh my...poor Ez...poor you...poor Ike!

Vomit is the one thing I can't handle. I had sinus surgery this spring and completely lost my sense of smell. Thank goodness because one night, one of the kids I babysit for probably puked 10 times in two hours. When his parents finally got home (to which mom said to dad, "you didn't tell me he was this sick!"), I still couldn't smell a damn thing. I thanked God for the rare side effect, went home, and took the longest shower ever.


I never comment on your blog, even though I've been reading it for years (like, since before you had kids, which was long before I had a kid). But this post almost made me cry with the simultaneous sad loneliness of motherhood (the things we do out of love, pure love, because what else would compel you to scrape vomit from between floorboards - an act of love that will be lost to history, because yes, he will not remember!) and the heart melting sweet/sourness of a scared, vomit-covered kid with his arms out, desperate for a hug. The amazing part about that is he never doubts for a second that you won't reach your arms out and hug him back. And you don't either. Well, maybe for just one second... ;)


While in the throes of gastro in the wee hours of Sunday I turned to your blog for a bit of distraction, I quickly had to turn away. We had the same weekend, minus the baby (I only have two kids). Was able to come back today and finish the story, even though I am still only able to keep down water. Hope everyone is better and able to eat cookies in your house today.

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