Tuesday, December 30, 2014

the gross kind of mom

What kind of mom am I?

The gross kind.

It's true.

I have no idea how I got this way. Maybe I was born with it. Maybe I've developed it over the years, like a well-practiced skill. Not sure.

The other day, I saw this post on Facebook - "What is your parenting super power?" Or something like that. The answers were actually pretty interesting. People said things like...

Getting my kids to love vegetables.

Making fabulous bento boxes. (I still have no clue what that is. Just a partitioned tupperware? How does putting food in a partitioned tupperware count as a superpower? Puzzling.)

Sewing unique Halloween costumes.

Planning Pinterest-worthy parties for kids.

What's my parenting super power? That's easy.

Handling gross stuff. Like a boss.

Earlier I said that I have no idea how I developed this super power, but I process things through writing, and I just had an epiphany. About ten minutes ago, Gus projectile vomited about two meals' worth of food all over the floor. Guess who cleaned it up. Yep, Murphy. If I'm the Batman of gross parenting, Murphy is my Robin. He's right there to back me up. The smellier, the better.

And not only that. If I'm the Karate Kid of yuck, Murphy's my Sensei. He trained me in on this stuff. Picking up dog poop? That's child's play compared to the countless animal carcasses I've pried from his jaws...mice, frogs, fish, random deer body parts. And if you have a dog, you know that if they eat something resembling a string, they're going to need help getting it out. The first time I did it? Nearly lost my lunch. But since then, it hasn't phased me.

Like I said, this dog trained me well.

So now, when a baby spits up on the floor, I wipe it up with my sock and one-sock it for a while until I make it back to my room for a new sock.

My kid hands me a piece of poop from the bathtub? I don't even flinch.

My sons have peas and carrots all over their faces and there's no washcloth in sight? I just lick it off. No biggie.

No kleenex for the kids? My sleeve works just as well.

Not sure how to dispose of the half-chewed grape Harriet just handed me? I eat it.

I use the Nose Frida without a filter, and the other day when my boys were desperately congested and I couldn't find the Nose Frida anywhere, I just sucked that gunk out using the classic mouth-to-nose method and spit it in the sink. Would I do it to someone else? No way. But my own kids? I can't think of anything they could ever do that would gross me out.

I mean, what could possibly be gross about these sweet boys? Well, a lot. They are boys, after all. 

But you know what? I do have one weakness. It's my kryptonite.


I cannot handle hair.

I'm eating right now...of course I am...and just typing the word "hair" made me gag a little bit. Now I'm putting the food back in the fridge. Totally lost my appetite.

Remember how I said that I didn't flinch when Harriet handed me a piece of poop from the bathtub? Well, a few weeks before that, she lifted a piece of my own hair out of her tub and said, "Here, Mom." Not only did I not take it from her. I couldn't even be in the bathroom with her when she was holding it. I just stood outside the open door and tried not to gag. Then she started pretending it was a fish.

Okay, I have to be done with that story.

Back to gross stuff that isn't hair...This past summer, Harriet and I were playing at the park and her hands were full of dirt. Well, it was actually more like mud. She was kind of freaking out because she likes to be clean and we didn't have any wet wipes with us, so I told her to just wipe her hands on my pants. She refused and started to whimper a bit. I couldn't convince her to wipe her hands on my jeans until I said, "Hon, that's why moms wear clothes."

She had a look on her face like, "Well, in that case..." and soon her hands were clean...relatively.

So I may not be very good at hosting epic birthday parties, getting my kids to love beets or organizing a seamless toy rotation schedule. But if muck and mess and bodily fluids are involved...step aside, ladies.

I got this.


  1. Love this, as usual! I can handle most gross things, but the sound/smell of vomit makes me gag. I may change my tune once Kieran gets his first case of the stomach flu and I'm catching it in my hands, but as of right now, when my husband has to throw up, I make him go to the guest bathroom.

  2. LMAO, oh my goodness Em, this completely cracked me up. You're a rock star! Stella puked twice the last two days, and though I didn't love cleaning her up, it didn't bother either (and yes, my husband was hiding in the corner). Can't say I've tried the nose suck method sans Frieda though. :)

  3. HA!!! And here I was proud of myself for using the Nose Freda WITH filter...because some of my family members gag just watching me do that, even though I've assured them that there's no possible way the snot could get to my mouth. You take this to the next level, though, and I must say that I have no desire to try and top you. ;) I'll just focus on organizing Millie's future food into really organized Tupperware containers...??? That's a thing?? Sheesh.

  4. Just reading this made my stomach clench in a dangerously close impersonation of pre-vomit spasms. Not. Even. Kidding. I guess my super power would be fearless talks about the "hard" stuff. My kids (four of them) come to me and talk pretty openly about anything. My second parenting rule after love them fiercely is always, always, always tell my kids the truth. It's hard but I believe they'd agree with me when I say it's how I've earned their absolute trust. If they ask Mom, they know they'll get the truth and we can talk about anything without being judged to death. Love this post, though...even with the spasms.

  5. Oh Em. Your heart is so big for your kiddos. Laughing as I'm picturing you licking food off their precious faces!

  6. Give a look into Bento boxes before you make a judgement >.>

  7. I totally have a new respect for you Em! Gross is right! I can't believe you actually luck their faces! Haha! And the nose Frieda grosses me out even with a filter, but you took it to a whole new level! And here I thought I've been doing pretty good with all the puke, spit up, and poop blow outs. I'm glad there is at least one thing that gets you though, although I do think it's hilarious that you run from your own hair!

  8. Hahaha! I love you so much. And now I think I get the cat thing. I live in a persistent world of cat hair... I find cat hair woven into Sam's beard!!! So yeah, if you hate hair that much, no amount of kitty kisses will make you like Everest.

  9. ha!!! I'm afraid of how I'm going to handle things like poop, esp since we want to cloth diaper ;) Glad you can handle it all!!!

  10. This post has me laughing until my eyes water! Who needs Bento boxes anyway?!

  11. Nice! I don't think I'll be as good with the gross stuff. But I will have to step up because hubby is squeamish with that bodily fluids….which is odd because he's a paramedic. But whatev!

  12. I love the picture of licking the food off those sweet boys. **laughing out loud, right now in the kitchen**

  13. You make me smile. I have five sons and oh....I understand! Thank you so much for sharing. Precious post.

  14. You are a hardcore mama! Ha!! I handle the gross stuff better than I thought I would too, but you take the cake with some of the stuff you are willing and able to do. :) And what is it about hair? It grosses me out too! When I went dark last year seeing a dark hair in the shower freaked me out, even though I knew it was mine, I just wasn't used to seeing them so...dark. And never ever ask me to clean out a drain!!

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