Cut From The Book, The Birthday Party

The following post was originally written for Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures (The BOOK!) but was cut because it sucks. No, actually, I rather like this story. There just wasn’t room for it. 


The Birthday Party

Crappy Boy gets invited to a birthday party. It is winter, in the peak of flu season. The party is at an indoor play gym.

You already know how I feel about indoor play gyms. (Actually you don’t. Because that story IS in the book.) Plus, we have travel plans the following week. (Travel story also in the book.) We can’t risk getting sick!

But attendees to a birthday party will be considerate, right? Nobody is going to be an asshole and bring their sick child.

It will be fine.

We arrive and Crappy Boy runs off to play with the other kids. I sit on a bench against the wall with the other moms.

Then Crappy Boy comes back over to me and climbs up on my lap.


I can sense that something isn’t right. Just seconds ago he was laughing and running with his friends. Did something happen?

He turns towards me, opens his mouth to speak and:


He pukes all over me. The puke drips off my lap and onto the floor.

Puke that came out of my child’s mouth. MY child. I have got to get us out of here. Immediately.

Only I can’t just walk out and leave the puke on the floor for someone else to discover and clean up. Plus, more is going to drip off of me when I stand up. Miraculously, nobody has even noticed what happened. I have to ask for help.


The mom* next to me finds me some paper towels. I clean up the floor and myself as fast as I can, holding Crappy Boy the whole time.

People are starting to notice and whisper. I can smell the judgement in the air.

Then I get us the hell out of there. It is fine. We’ll never have to see those people again. Sure, those are all his friends but he’ll just have to make new ones. Start over.

Only when we get to the car:


Oh no! We left his shoes inside! His brand new, just bought them last week, shoes. There is no way we can leave them behind.

Part of me dies of humiliation, knowing that I now must walk back in there, covered in puke, through the sea of disapproving moms to retrieve the shoes.


Who was the asshole that brought a puking kid to a birthday party?

Hi. That was me.



*The mom who got me paper towels is actually a close friend of mine now. Anyone who will help you clean up your kid’s puke is a keeper. 

Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures will be in stores March 26th, 2013. Just five days from now! It is available for pre-order! (Warning: sales pitch alert! Mother’s Day is coming. This is the perfect gift for your friends. Especially the ones who help you clean up puke.) 

Still some signed bookplate stickers left if you fancy a sticker of me on the toilet. That I signed. With a pen. Pre-order and then fill out this form to join our exclusive hiding in the bathroom sticker club. I’m not much of a club joiner, but this one is pretty rad. You don’t even have to get dressed for the meetings. 

This entry was posted in book, sick kids. Bookmark the permalink.

209 Responses to Cut From The Book, The Birthday Party

  1. Rebecca Emin says:

    Laughed and cringed at the same time. That one in the green dress looking all cross – that’s almost me. Brilliant.

    • rachel defo says:

      The blonde in the red dress is me. Cept I usually run in fear from puke rather than judge or help. Sorry it’s a phobia can’t help it.

      • Jen says:

        I’m a fellow puke phobia suffer myself and I have a kid!!! Makes it interesting lol.

        • Paula says:

          I’m a puke phobic too! thought I was the only one…
          it does make parenting tough. it’s amazing I even got the courage to have kids. I have a panic attack just thinking about puke.
          My husband has had to take on more than his share of the responsibility for that part of parenting, bless him.

          • Lee-Anne says:

            Wow! I’m the only one I know with a puke phobia, glad I’m not the only one! I always feel so stupid for running away or crying when I see someone puke!

          • Brandy says:

            Puke phobia here too! I have been known to shove my own kid aside to avoid his puke from landing anywhere near me! haha! I have a saint of a husband that takes care of all that when it visits our home.

          • Alison says:

            I’m an ex-puke phobic myself. Having 2 kids and a lot of barf to clean up over the years has calmed me down. I’m a single mom, too, which means I’m on my own when it comes to dealing with barf. And I had a LOT to deal with last month when both kids got the stomach flu. Fun times. Mine never got sick at a party, but my youngest did come down with a stomach bug 1 hour into an 8 hour flight. We’re talking every 20 minutes. At that time I was still puke phobic AND plane phobic. Talk about nightmare!

        • Amy says:

          I am puke phobic too! I’ve gotten a little better by necessity, being a divorced mom. It’s usually me on the other side of the bathroom door, ears plugged, waiting for it to be over so I can come in with washcloths, water to sip, etc. That said, I have puked trying to clean up theirs.

        • Rayne says:

          Ha! Me too! To compound the issue, I’m also a sympathetic puker… The husband has to clean up after the kiddo when she’s sick while I cower in a corner and staple my lips shut to keep from adding to the mess… And I too have been known to launch the child into another zip code in the event of stomach-heaves while she was on my lap–or worse, cuddled up in the bed with her head tucked against my back or neck… *shudder*

      • Kristina says:

        Me too! I became a doctor instead of a nurse primarily because I knew I could never deal with cleaning up vomit. Really.

  2. Amanda says:

    I used to fume when parents would bring their sick kids to daycare. I’d rattle on and on about it.. how inconsiderate it was, putting work before your kids, blah blah..

    Until I unknowingly brought my son, two days in a row, with strep. No fever, drinking just fine, etc. I took him into the doctor once I noticed he was having a hard time sleeping.. and boom. Strep. They said he’d had it at least two days.

    So, we’ve all been there. And I don’t judge anymore (as much.)

    • Amanda says:

      I should specify.. its when parents KNOWINGLY bring sick kids. “Oh he was running a fever all night and clutching his stomach.. I’ll call today to make an appointment, but for now, here he is!”

      • Andrea says:

        Yes, or dose them with Tylenol to fake no fever. That is totally different. Sometimes, you don’t know your kid is sick until he’s sick!

        My husband took our 5 y.o. to a walk-in on the way to a party, to make sure he didn’t have pink eye. He did, so they just quickly dropped off the gift and left–I had texted a mutual friend to explain it to the mom. But he felt like people were giving him the evil, uh, eye…

        • Emerald says:

          In some situations parents don’t really have a choice though. I have a friend who is a single mom, makes minimum wage, pays out $1000 a month in daycare and another $1000 in rent. And then has to buy groceries, diapers etc. after all that. And she works 6 days a week. When her kids are sick, she simply cannot take a day off work to stay home with them if its not an absolute emergency. (Not that I don’t understand not wanting your children to get sick, I just had to comment in defense of single moms everywhere who are not “putting work before their kids” by choice)

          • Stephanie says:

            Thanks, Emerald. I have 2 under 2 and am a single mom. I finally managed to hire a live-in, but I spent numerous days at work debating whether or not I should feel more guilty about missing work (and possibly getting fired – which did eventually happen) or the possibility that my baby’s reddish cheeks might have indicated Scarlet Fever. It’s a tightrope and we all do the best we can.

          • Paula says:

            Working hard to make ends meet: totally understandable. A party? optional! Stay home! I once stayed in a tent for the majority of a weekend because I had a sick kid at a family reunion. It sucked, but it would have been worse if the preemie in the family caught the bug, too.

          • Andrea says:

            While I understand that (I am not a single parent, but my husband and I have used up our combined sick days and been stuck–work sick day policies is a whole other topic), that just ensures the sick-cycle continues as other kids get infected and it comes back around (not to mention the daycare is going to call when the fever comes back, so the parent is going to have to leave work anyway.) I still stand by not exposing sick kids–knowingly–to others.

          • Andrea says:

            And as someone else mentioned, this was about sick kids a party, not daycare because mom or dad have to work.

      • Amy says:

        My X’s family were/are BAD about this, especially with family get-togethers or holidays. We’d arrive for Thansgiving/XMas and hear, “Oh, so-and-so was up all night puking, fever of 102, but they are feeling better now!” Thanks. SO much.

      • Jenn says:

        Have to admit, I’ve done some judging in this area. We drove 3 hours to take our twins to their cousin’s birthday party in a play place like that and found out at the end of the party that he had had puking and diarrhea since the night before. Our kids got it midway through the week and it ruined our family vacation…

    • Christiana says:

      I actually have a different, although probably unorthdox opinion about sickness in general. Daycare or party or otherwise.
      My opinion is “Bring those germs on!” Makes my kids’ immune systems stronger. Maybe it’s weird, but it works for our family. We’re sick about once a year and when you consider I work at a school and my sons go to two different daycares, that’s saying something.
      I’m no doctor, but doesn’t exposure to more germs make you more resistant against them?

  3. Emma g says:

    Brings back a vivid memory of trying to catch my wee girls puke at the table in a restaurant. Where does that reflex come from???

    • erin says:

      I know! Where is this turning point where I go from can’t even handle hearing someone in the other room puking so catching it with my BARE HANDS because I wasn’t going to get my kid to the bathroom in time.

      • Taryn says:

        OMG! I first heard of that reflex from this blog when my daughter was a baby and I thought it sounded disgusting and I’d never do it. Um yeah, she is two now. I’ve done it.

        “I use two hands and bend down on one knee. Like I’m accepting some holy offering.” LMFAO from

        • Gina says:

          When my 2 yr old had a stomach bug I moved her head over my chest so she would puke on me instead of all over the sheets so I didn’t have to change the bed sheets. Total reflex 🙂

        • Jen W says:

          I remember dying laughing the first time I read that… Still just as hilarious today!

        • Helga says:

          That is still my favorite blog entry to this day. Died laughing all over again! Thanks for the quote!

        • Vani says:

          Totally do this – Holy offering! LOL!
          “I use two hands and bend down on one knee. Like I’m accepting some holy offering.” LMFAO from

          But now, when she starts throwing up I have a special “puke bowl” and carry it around the house where ever she is when the stomach bug hits her. Totally worth it. Did any one notice the smell of puke on your hand after your kid throws up in your hand? This makes me gag! So the special puke bowl!

          • nickol says:

            It is essential in our family to line a tiny garbage can with a garbage bag… This is your puke bucket, puke into this! I toss the bag and reline it when its used. (no cleaning, just trash!)

    • kelleyellen says:

      Haha, haven’t had that experience yet, but I can totally see myself doing that. What a strange reflex.

    • Jana says:

      that was me in a Cracker Barrel once. The whole chain is now off limits because any time we get close to one my daughter yells out, “That’s the restaurant I puked in!”

      • rachel says:

        we can’t eat at rainforest cafe. not because anyone puked IN it, but because 2 of the 3 (and dad the next day) puked AFTER eating there.

    • Carolina says:

      I just caught my daughter’s puke in my hands at our dinner table the other night. Granted, I thought she was just going to spit out what she had in her mouth because she was having trouble chewing it. I didn’t expect the projectile vomit that came out next. I’m glad I saved the carpet from another puke stain though!

      • Jade says:

        Puke I can handle catching, and have many times :/ the reflex I don’t understand is catching poop in my hands. Come help me with this nappy hubby says, she’s finished he says. Fast forward to me standing there with both hands full of newborn liquid poop. My hubby should just be grateful he didn’t have to catch my puke in his hands. she’s 2 now, so the puke to gross reflex has shifted – I’m hardened now.

  4. Micki says:

    Oh no! The mother’s walk of shame! I guess the good thing is that you can start getting ready for another book! Love the story and the fact that you made a new friend. You just cannot predict vomit. It happens. And when you have someone there to help clean it up or hold your hair (if it happens to be you doing the puking) then you are truly blessed!

  5. Lisa Lutes says:

    It’s one thing to have your kid suddenly get sick out of nowhere. It’s when I’m sitting next to another mom and she tells me ‘little junior was puking all day yesterday!’ as we sit there and watch my daughter lick the same toys as he is. Thanks for KNOWINGLY infecting a whole room full of children lady.

    • Karen (scotland) says:

      Yep, that always freaks me too. “Yeah, she’s got a touch of impetigo but not too serious…”


    • Elizabeth says:

      This. I was in the supermarket and another mother was cheerfully telling me that she “had to” go to work, so despite the fact that her child had a fever all weekend, on Monday she dosed her kid with medication and sent him to daycare fully knowing that two hours later she’d get a call saying he was sick and to come and get him. But she wanted to show up at work “for appearances” and then get called away rather than ring in to say she was taking a personal day. WTH?

      • Kendra says:

        At most place if you show upand work at least 2 hours it is not an unplaned absence. Leaving early is usually treated like a tardy and is less likely to get you fired than calling off for your sick kid. again. I work in one such place and when my sick time is gone if mom can’t keep the kids they are going to school medicated to the hilt so we can keep food clothing and shelter.

  6. alison says:

    omg. Anyone who is ‘judging’ you for your kid getting sick is a huge, gigantic, vile a$$hole.
    Seriously, I’m judging the judgers and I declare them unfit to breathe even puke scented air.

  7. Marcia says:

    I can so relate. Except my version is that I go on and on about the horrible tantrums my son is recently having. And then he turns out to have an ear infection. And then I look like an asshole. Every damn time. Life would be so much easier if he could just tell me his ear hurts!

    • Ginny says:

      This just happened to me. I was complaining about what a pill my daughter was being for almost a week before I took her to the doctor. In my (weak) defense, she had no visible symptoms other than being cranky and I was afraid she was just hitting her terrible three’s stride. Turns out she had strep and I felt like a total jerk.

    • Allison says:

      Yeah, I’ve been there too.

  8. Erica Melick says:

    I have a similar story. My son had his first “I actually have friends to invite to a party instead of just my family” party for his third birthday. I was so excited and scouted out venues and went nuts on Pinterest. We decided on a toy story theme party to be held at a local indoor splash pool. He was super excited but woke up that day a little off. I tossed it up to not enough sleep due to excitement and went on with all the preparations.
    Fast forward to his running leap into the pool, where he goes under and swallows a bunch of chlorinated water. He staggers out to me and pukes all over me…on the edge of the zero entry pool water…in front of me and his friends and his friends’ parents. Ugh. Thank you party planning gods for sending me that surprise that pretty much negated hours of my excitement and prep time not to mention broke my little guy’s heart.

  9. Angela says:

    This makes me even more excited for your book because this was hilarious! How is it that every story you write about is something that has happened to me almost identically?!? Mine was a park playdate though, not a birthday party. She wasn’t sick at all and then suddenly puking all over. That walk of shame is the worst!

  10. bridge says:

    okay, i couldn’t resist another sales pitch. I’m will be the proud owner of your book! Woo hoo!

  11. Kyersten says:

    This hits close to home…But from the other side of things! Almost two weeks ago we took our almost 17 month old to one of those indoor bounce house places. I could smell the germs as we walked in the door and we should have turned and ran. We’ve been dealing with both upper respiratory infections and the stomach bug (at the same time!) ever since!!!

  12. jill says:

    Okay, this one pushed me over the edge as well as your bathroom club invitation. I have never preorderd a book in my life but I have to have yours. You crack me up with every story!

  13. Woolies says:

    Is it wrong of me to be happy that those days are past? I have another story about a time at an indoor gym party that I won’t repeat, because it shows what a terrible mother I truly am/was. It involves me having a tantrum. But I’m not going to tell you that story. It also involved a 3 year old with a cold that wouldn’t stop whining, I think it was my kid. And a 5 year old that wouldn’t leave. But I’ll let the story end there…..
    Now they are 20 and 17. Thank God. I think.

  14. Lindsey says:

    A mom actually said to me once, “Little Johnny was puking all night but he only threw up once this morning and that was at least an hour and a half ago so I figure, he must not be contagious anymore.” While our kids were holding hands and spinning around. Those are the jerks you have to watch out for. These people are either grossly misinformed about how viruses spread or the world’s worst jerks.
    Then there’s me. My kid says she feels sick all the time because she likes the attention and because she thinks it will get her out of household chores. “Mommy I can’t pick up my books because I feel sick. Can we go to the park instead?” Nice try kid.

    • Jessica Flores says:

      I know that kid, that is my kid. I believe in fresh air will help, but not with the chores. Yes, the pair of pants are so heavy, but you have no problem with the box of Legos that you carried upstairs.

  15. Marcia Wells says:

    LMFAO, this is so exactly how it feels! The suddenly sick surprise is the worst! We had it happen at a friend’s house. Totally fine all day and then all of a sudden puking on their kitchen floor. Gah, talk about embarrassing.

  16. christina f says:

    Once I was at a play place when my friend’s son suddenly puked all over her. A staff member came over and said “it’s okay” and then walked away without giving her any paper towels.
    Fortunately, that provided a laugh for the rest of us, who then scrambled for paper towels.

  17. Laura says:

    The disapproving happens mostly with first child. After a second or more kids, you realize your children will never attend any social gathering if you always leave a week’s margin of healthy days for all members of the family before going out or inviting people to your house.
    The main thing is washing hands. Literally, to fend off bugs, but also figuratively if someone has the unrealistic nerve to disapprove.

    • Dawn says:

      So true!!

    • Becky says:

      Yes! I have three children and I, now, just give all visitors the warning that someone most likely will be a little sick or fighting a cold and to wash their hands plenty.

      The biggest blessing in my life right now is a couple of mom friends and their kids. We see them so much (and swap childcare with so often) that we even give each other our recovering sick children because they were exposed to the same germs in the days leading up to the cold anyway. So there is a solution to meetings/appointments that we really shouldn’t miss even though our kids are runny-nosed. Not to mention the occational break!

  18. Liz says:

    Oh, yes! We had the getting sick while AT the birthday party happen to us about 6 months ago.

  19. Erica says:

    I’m confused, did you know that he was sick and brought him anyway because that isn’t funny.

  20. Lisa says:

    Hahaha, tooo funny. I brought my sick kid to preschool (not knowingly). She was quiet on the 45 min drive ,wanted me to carry her when we got there. I no sooner than put her down at the doorway when she threw up! I caught as much as I could and scooped her up and ran to the bathroom. UGH. Cleaning the bathroom with bleach water and changing her clothes and apologizing 1000000 times; I took her, my 9m old twins, my husband (who said he was feeling off) all home. Only for a HORRIBLE 48 hour family bug.

    And why are mommies always the last to get it. So you can take care of everyone else first, I guess.

    You didn’t know, it wasn’t your fault :(.

  21. Sarah says:

    I brought my kids to a party with rotavirus.

    Oh yeah.

  22. Anne says:

    LOL you poor thing! I’ve been there. Puke cleaning friends ARE keepers, that is certain.

    • Melanie says:

      They are keepers! I went on vacation with my friends and while there my kid came down with a stomach bug. I was mortified, but they were so gracious about it. I have puke phobia so I was on the verge of a panic attack the whole time, and not only were they calm about it (even though their three kids were exposed), the dad even offered to take sick kid duty while I went to the beach. THAT is friendship.

  23. Lisa says:

    My 4 year food this to me @ his sister’s party which was our house. So I couldn’t even leave.

  24. Sara M says:

    Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever been invited to one of those parties when it WASN’T flu season. And every time, at least 2 of the attendees are home sick the next couple days.

    The last one we were invited to, I called the dad the day before and told him that my daughter was sick and we couldn’t come. And he was like, “Are you SURE?” And I was all, “DUDE. She is BARFING. Nooooot a good idea.”

    • Helga says:

      Are you sure? Really?? Dude, any time someone tells me they’re avoiding coming over because they’re sick my words are THANK YOU!!
      Those who tell me, while at church, that they won’t hold my baby because they’re sick get a thank you also, but mostly through gritted teeth. Don’t come to church if you’re knowingly sick! I don’t care what your position is, we can all survive without you for one Sunday. Or even two. Just don’t knowingly spread your germs!

  25. jen says:

    My son puked on a plane last week. Actually two planes. It was a combo of motion sick/excitement/being up way too early. Mortifying.

  26. Heidi says:

    LOL, the walk of shame and smelling judgment in the air, so true! And if those moms judged you, screw them becasue someday it will happen to them too and then they’ll feel bad.

  27. Jenn says:

    I’ve so been there- this exact thing has happened to me. Only in my version my kid kept puking before I could leave and my other child climbed in the back of the play structure and refused to get out- then when I finally convinced her to get out she threw a tantrum on the floor. Lets just say there was A LOT of judgment in that room by the time I left.

    Thanks for your stories! It helps me remember I’m not the only parent that goes through these kinds of things.

  28. Julia says:

    I was the mom who took her kid to the indoor play gym only for him to have a diarrhea explosion in his pants. Yup, I’m THAT mom 🙁

    • Karin P says:

      Me too! My 4 year old who has never had a poop accident (PTed over 2 years at this point) thought he had to fart. Add in the fact that he wasn’t wearing underwear and I was super pregnant (baby born 5 days later). Great times.

  29. tara says:

    Hahaha oh my god! Well obviously Crappy Boy was JUST given the flu from some other asshole kid at the party, right? 🙂

    Also, the puke on your dress is sooo disgustingly accurate!!

  30. Taryn says:

    I will never judge a mom for a surprise sickness like this! I will of course judge a mom who knowingly brings her sick ass kid over for a playdate like what happened to me last year because she has been “pent up with a sick kid for days and really needs to get out of the house.” Thanks, thanks for infecting our whole house because you couldn’t deal. It smacks of being so self-centered. They don’t even realize or care that they can get other people sick!

    • amber says:

      I’ve had plenty of those playdate experiences. It got to the point where I’d casually ask on the phone beforehand, “So, um, just confirming our playdate today… is everyone healthy?”

  31. Mandy says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with another poster: It’s the ones who KNOWINGLY bring their kids places who are sick. You had no indication that something was wrong, but if he had been puking at home and you brought him, that’s a totally different story. Hopefully, he wasn’t sick for your travel.

  32. Kendra says:

    I keep the infant room in our church nursery one Sunday a month. Last time, there were 7 babies in there. Six of those had green snot running out of their noses. One of the parents even wrote “she has a cold” on the info card. Really? Are you that dense? So, thanks to you all bringing in your sick kids I will now give their germs to my own kids. I’m sure God will forgive you for missing church if you have a sick kid.

    • h says:

      Your children are obviously not in daycare. My daughter has had a cold since October. If I kept her home every day she had snot running out of her nose, well, I would be out of a job, as I would have not been to work in, oh, let’s see, 4.5 month. There is a HUGE difference between a cold and sending your child somewhere with a fever, puking, diarrhea, etc.

    • Mary Beth says:

      Pediatricians will tell you it isn’t the green stuff that indicates the “contagious” stage– it’s the clear stuff accompanied by a fever and the crankies. Plus, if you live in a place like New Orleans where there is always something blooming, it’s all greenies all the time! Color does not equal contagion in the snot world! Just wash your hands and have a little compassion and empathy.

      • Becky says:

        Yes, I would never bring a kid to school or childcare who is puking, has a fever, rash or thick yellow or green snot (or has had one of those within 24 hours),but if I followed the same rule for clear runny noses, we would never go to school, childcare or anywhere! Luckily, our preschool is very clear about the rules.

        • brenda says:

          I am a working mother AND fulltime preschool teacher. I know you can’t keep your kid home for a clear runny nose, but if I see it, I also know that kid is going to be a snotty, crying, coughing mess in two days, and I’ll be hopped up on asthma medication trying to prevent bronchitis. I wash my hands eighty gajillion times a day, use hand sanitizer in between, bleach every toy in sight, and we’re still all sick. Kids are germy.

  33. I sent my son (unknowingly) in the early stages of the Flu AND pink eye to school. He had told me he had poked himself in the eye earlier (no ooze yet) and didn’t act sick or spike a fever till lunch… Sorry other parents of the children who my son most definitely infected. We were those plague rats….

  34. mar says:

    This happened with my daughter and husband at friend’s child’s birthday party. She hadn’t been sick at all prior to throwing up on my husband at the party. We’re still convinced it might have been a combination of having too much cake, being a little over-heated, and my husband tossing her in the air just moments before she puked, but whatever the reason, it was so embarrassing. Same thing, too — at first I don’t think that many people noticed, until I had to run for paper towels and napkins to clean up my little girl and my husband. We left shortly after. We only knew a few people at the party, too, ut I’m sure to the people we had just met that night we were that couple with the kid that puked at the party.

  35. akorn says:

    Oh no! Perks to not being a parent: I can be judgey all day long about parents knowingly handing me sick kids to care for (or my boss having me work from her home when she or the kids are home with the flu! UGH!)

    But I’m heartened to know that somewhere along the line my emetophobia will probably have to take a backburner to my maternal instinct to catch puke with my bare hands! OY! (I remember my own mom catching my vomit when I was little, and even then I was all kinds of confused and grossed out).
    Also, kudos on your increasingly less crappy vomit drawing! Looking more disturbingly realistic! Ack!

    • Lisa Lutes says:

      I’m an emet too and you just learn to face it when you have kids. They throw up SO often, you get used to cleaning it for sure (but you’re still petrified to catch it off them)

    • Helga says:

      Oy! That’s not a perk, it’s a detriment. One that you should seriously consider losing, for the sake of moms worldwide. If there’s one thing moms universally can’t stand, it’s a childless judgmental woman. To be judged by another mom is one thing…maybe they really are super mom, or they’ve got tons of help so they don’t understand most moms, or they’ve been blessed with most obedient/calm/clean/thoughtful/etc child in the galaxy. But to be judged by one of the people who have no clue what it’s like day in and day out? No, we can all do without that.

  36. DB says:

    Don’t feel bad. I used to work in one of those places, and kids puked all the time, especially the birthday party kids. Why would they not? We load them up with (very questionable) pizza and hot dogs and then send them to the play area to go nuts. The worst is when they do it in the ball bin or the tunnels. One time, I noticed that when a kid came off the slide, his pants were soaked. I asked very nicely where he was when he peed so I could go clean it up, but he thought he was in trouble, so he clammed up. Not knowing where it was, the manager made me crawl through the entire tunnel system with disinfectant. I’m sure the entire staff was grateful that Crappy Boy isolated his puke to one spot (you) and did it away from the play area.

    • amber says:

      Wow, you must have had a killer immune system after working there!

      • DB says:

        Yes, the only thing I never became immune to was the insidiously cheerful kids’ muzak that they played on a constant rotation. Grrr.

    • Dawn says:

      On the positive side for parents that had kids playing after that boy, the entire tunnel system had just been disinfected! 🙂

      • DB says:

        Yeah, but I don’t want to think about the kids who were playing between those two times. 😉

  37. Heather M. says:

    I agree anyone who helps you clean up is tips in my book.
    St. Patricks Day- decide to go to the pub for lunch with the kids. My Three year old, in a weird phase of coughing and puking,starts to puke at the table, I drag the whole high chair over to a less public place so the other diners don’t have to suffer. While I moped it all up with paper towels from a waitress my friends husband took my daughter to the bathroom and washed her off. We went home with my daughter in a new Guiness shirt and my respect to my friend and her husband.

  38. Corrie says:

    I have had exactly this happen! 100% agree that you found yourself a good friend in the lady that helped clean up. I think less judgement and more help is definitely in order. I love that your stories make me feel normal :-D, we all need to feel normal!

  39. Melissa says:

    I want one of those signed book plate thingys…as long as you didn’t sign them WHILE ON the toilet….

  40. Lisa says:

    I’ve definitely done this at play dates, parties, etc… Not even notice my kid is getting sick until we get there. Or I notice a sniffle right before we’re going to go but we’ve already RSVP’ed. So, I cross my fingers and hope that “barely sniffle” won’t develop into something bigger when we get there. Of course, when there, snot starts spewing like a fountain. It’s not like you intentionally bring your sick kid, it just happens sometimes.

  41. Kennedy says:

    This has happened to me so many times! First time was at church and my oldest (18 months at the time) was acting completely normal. Playing, laughing, being silly and waving at my mom who was directing the music for the service. Then she turns to my husband, climbs on his lap and projectile vomits into his chest! And it kept coming and coming. So. MUCH. PUKE! Right in the middle of the service! Thankfully we had a blanket with us and wrapped both my husband and my daughter in it to get them to the bathroom. The families sitting right around us were handing me wipes and two guys ran to the custodian’s closet and got us some industrial paper towels and some cleaner for the pew. We had it cleaned up in record time and I am so so SO glad people were so kind and helpful. My daughter broke out in a fever about 10 seconds after puking and spent 9 long days being sick. Horrible.

    I do want to add that my husband is the only one who gets puked on in our house and he is a BOSS at catching it. I’m always impressed every time it happens because next to nothing hits the floor!

  42. Chloe says:

    You really make me smile and brighten my day!!!

  43. Chris says:

    I was the sick kid at the party. I wasn’t sick from germs. It was always from the cake and ice cream followed by running around. I learned to either turn down birthday cake with thick frosting or not run during the games. So, if a kid turns down a treat at a birthday party, let them.

    • Erin says:

      Amen! I (as an adult) have felt sick immediately after eating one of those nasty things! They should be banned!

  44. CJ says:

    My neighbor once sent her 2 girls over to play with my girls knowing they had LICE. FREAKING LICE! Hands down, I’d take an entire neighborhood of vomiting children before dealing with that again.

    • Hyacinth says:

      Ick! I never knowingly sent a sick kid anywhere (but sometimes stuff doe happen). And certainly wouldn’t have with lice. bleh!

  45. brandi says:

    well, it wasn’t me but a good friend brought her kids to a homeschool fire station field trip. she had no sooner gotten out of the truck, with her hands full of goodies for the firepeople, walked over to us as we waited on the sidewalk to cross the street, and her 2-year-old projectile vomited into the road, narrowly missing several pairs of shoes. she handed off the goodies, grabbed his arm & said “welp, we’re out of here!” in time for him to barf again, this time on the sidewalk. and 5 steps later, AGAIN, on the sidewalk. no signs of any sickness that morning or on the way there. and no signs of sickness thereafter. or in his 5-year-old sister. sometimes little people tummies are just weird.

  46. LC says:

    You just don’t always know when puke is coming, so there shouldn’t be any shame! It’s the poor kids being dragged on family outings spewing flu germs and croup coughs and pink eye slime all over the place that turn me into that disapproving Mom. Of course, now that I’m the work at home mom of more than one child, it’s a tough choice sometimes between playing it safe or pushing on with plans with hand sanitizer and tissues in my pockets. We’ll never see the outdoors if I quarantine us every time I suspected one of te crew might be coming down with something.

  47. Kylie B says:

    I don’t judge anymore. Two weeks ago I was that mom (also at an indoor play gym). My 7 year old daughter came down with a horrible illness the day after the party, my five year old daughter woke up with chicken pox, so likely infected everyone (she’s been vaccinated so it was mild), and my 2 year old son had the world’s largest poop and we overflowed the toilet in the ladies, poop water all over the floor…had to walk back out in soaking wet poop socks….

  48. Hyacinth says:

    Ack! My son was playing with a houseful of kids (we were on the visiting team) and he threw his head back to laugh and I saw a throat covered in pus! Ugh! He had strep and we didn’t even know it. Oh, yes, you know every kid there ended up with strep in the next week. (To be fair, he had no fever and was acting fine and never complained! But still… talking about a crappy mom!)

  49. Bethany says:

    I’m the opposite, I think people have gotten to crazy about sick kids. When I was a kid we still did everything if we had a cold, now if your kid so much as sneezes in public you get stares. I’m not saying you should take kids with high fevers or who are throwing up to play with other kids but people need to relax a little. Sometimes we go to music class with a slightly runny nose and later it turns into a fever and I feel bad but we’d never do anything if we didn’t go out with a runny nose. Also, people are usually contagious for days before they have symptoms. So there’s really no avoiding germs. I think kids immune systems are getting weaker from the obsessive sanitizing etc. *Climbing off my high horse* Oh, and funny story 🙂

  50. Aliya says:

    One of my best friends helped me clean up my kid’s puke. At 11pm in a cold parking lot. Before we were particularly great friends. Definitely a keeper.

  51. Ypsi says:

    We had a playgroup Christmas party (some 20+ kids and almost as many parents). One of the activities was building “gingerbread houses” from graham crackers and canned white frosting. A few kids licked a few knives, double-dipped, etc. Within a week almost the entire group had rotavirus. Fun times. We still don’t know who brought the bug…

  52. annie says:

    I will never forget standing with my 2 two kids in a crowded streetcar, one in my arms about a year old and the other hanging on to my leg, 4 yrs old. My free hand was hanging on to the bar. The baby turned into my chest and puked bucket loads down my shirt. From out of nowhere, someone down the row passed up a huge wad of kleenexs to sop it up. I’ve never been so grateful! I couldn’t see who it was and we jumped off at the next stop. But I always remember that kindness and the wave of gratitude I felt!

  53. Kate says:

    Those that knowingly bring sick kids to school/daycare/play areas are the worst! Now that I am a parent, I totally TOTALLY understand that there are times when you don’t realize your kid is sick until they are in the midst of throwing up all over the place. However, before I was a parent I worked in childcare, and there were sick kids there all the time. (And not just of single moms who you might be a little more understanding towards). So many kids would develop a fever at lunchtime. Hmmm, how odd, exactly when Tylenol would be wearing off if they were given a dose in the morning. And the real killer, one morning when I was opening the center, a parent brought her daughter in and brought her immediately to the bathroom, which her daughter proceeded to puke ALL OVER. No, I don’t mean all over the toilet, I mean ALL OVER THE FLOOR. Then the mom leaves me to clean up while she changes her daughter’s shirt. And then, THE MOM TRIES TO LEAVE HER THERE!!! Um, no. She just threw up all over the bathroom, she can’t stay. Thanks.

    • Robonanny says:

      To be fair, when my son is ill he tends to wake up and feel fabulous, and get progressively worse over the course of the day so it’s not necessarily just Tylenol wearing off…

      I’m lucky in that I only work part time so I can take him out of school pre-emptively “just in case”.

  54. Sara says:

    My friend and I always say, “It’s never a party until someone pukes!”

  55. Jena says:

    Reminds me of when one of my children threw up all over the cash register, movie rentals, and blockbuster employee while checking out movies once. I will never forget the look on the poor guys face. It was awful, I could no longer go back in that store to rent movies. But on the plus side, I didn’t get puked on for once!

  56. AmandaPN says:

    Puke doesn’t always mean the kid is sick, either. My daughter seldom gets sick, but she pukes often. If she gets something stuck in her throat a little and is coughing, she will probably puke. Car rides can make her puke. Thank goodness my friends don’t judge when she pukes in the car on the way to the mall and I just clean her up and take her to our mall trip anyway… she’s not sick, just a kid who pukes randomly quite often.

    • Aliya says:

      Mine pukes easily too! So do I. Often we can throw up just because we’re too tired. Or drank too much water. Or got dizzy. 90% of the time he throws up he is NOT sick.

    • Erin says:

      I can relate personally. I have a sensitive gag reflex and though I don’t go all the way to puking, I come close many times – especially if I have sinus drainage tickling my throat. Sounds like your daughter may have that sensitivity too.

      • Amy says:

        This is happening in my house right now. My LO still can’t blow his nose. He still wants to suck in instead of blow out. Thus everything goes down his throat and eventually comes back up. Fun times! And yes, I do keep him home from daycare when this happens.

    • S.T. says:

      Yup, if a person is prone to puking, they may have many triggers other than being sick.

      One time my kid puked 7 times within 24 hours. Otherwise normal. Doctor couldn’t diagnose anything. No other symptoms came out in that timeframe, so I figured it was his 2yo stomach maturing – just like it did when he was a newborn, and his digestive system was trying to work out how to process new food types.

  57. Rebecca says:

    Oh yeah, this happened to us. In a pool. At the beginning of the party. Party lasted 10 minutes because my kid drank the water and couldn’t keep it down. I was definitely the asshole there.

  58. MamaBean says:

    Were we at the same party? My daughter also puked at an indoor play gym party, and I caught it in my hands to avoid getting it on her favorite shirt (the one that you have to wash overnight in the sink because she will fish it out of the hamper if you leave it there). She had a lumberjack helping of goldfish, apple juice, pizza and when the slice of cake touched down on the table, her little tummy decided she’d had enough.
    All I can say is thank goodness for the amazing staff at this place. They came over immediately with paper towels and disinfectant. I’m sure they deal with this all the time. But yeah, there were definitely “those” moms looking at us like we were bringing plagues number 5,6 and 7 to the party. No she wasn’t throwing up locusts. Just pizza!

    Of course, when all was cleaned up, my toddler asked to eat the chocolate in the goodie bag. I swear sometimes they have stomachs lined with Hershey bars.

  59. Jennifer says:

    Let me just say – you’re officially a mom at the moment you get puked on. My friend’s son and my daugther had awful reflux as babies and summed up being a mommy perfectly – “I don’t know which is worse – walking around all day with spit up on my clothes or not minding walking around all day with spit up on my clothes.” 🙂

  60. Kiinu says:

    when my step daughter was a bit younger she had a really sensetive gag reflex.. she nearly never threw up and she was an adventuerous eater. we’re out at dinner and she asks to try my salad, I give her some, she gags and I go “okay babe, obviously this isn’t for you, just spit it out.” and hold a napkin out to her…

    Puke. Everywhere.

    Oh, I’ve never caught puke with my hands, ever. I have thje biggest fear of vomit and I have gotten to the point where I can rub backs and speak nice things at a barfing child… but I have a racing heart and shake the whole time.

    • akorn says:

      Sounds like emetophobia. I’m at the point where I can say the words, clean up after others, LOOK at vomit, even get through being sick without having complete panic attack meltdowns, but I cannot wait til I get to where you are! You rock!

      • Alison says:

        I cannot believe how common emetophobia is! I’ve had it all my life but never even knew there was a word for it until a few years ago. I always thought I was the only one. It’s been agony and caused a lot of panic attacks over the years. The first years with my kids were really hard, too, but I managed. I’m almost completely fine with barf now. When my 2 kids got sick last month I rubbed their backs and comforted them while they threw up and then cleaned up their (bucket loads) of barf off the floor. (Lesson learned after first one left a trail of barf through 3 rooms trying to get to the toilet: just let the kid barf on the hardwood floor in one spot. Once it’s started, too late to get to the toilet…)

  61. Miranda says:

    I understand when a mom has been pent up with a sick kid all day and needs to get out. I even understand when that happens on a cold, rainy day and she gets out by taking her kid to an indoor playground. I understand b/c I’ve been that mom! (I can handle being stuck in my house for several days. I canNOT handle being stuck in a teensy hotel room for several hours. If kids get sick on a planned, non-cancellable business trip, we still go out.)

    But if that sickness is of the pukey kind, I don’t think anybody would take that out of the house! Besides, kids who are puking usually want to sleep a lot. They wouldn’t want to play!

    In other words, if I was at that party and saw you with your puking kid, I wouldn’t judge you! I would assume that your kid had no symptoms before the party!

  62. Sarah says:

    Argh, I was that mom recently. I was very much looking forward to my vacation to Florida to visit my snowbird parents when my 18-month-old woke up with a sniffle. Fast forward through 10 hours of travel and we are still on our second flight and my son is going through kleenex like its his job and has suddenly developed a strange sounding cough which I thought sounded vaguely croupy. By the time we landed and found my parents they both just look at each other and say “Croup”. The next morning we went to Urgent Care and got meds for his croup and sinus infection, the next day I went to Urgent Care for a sinus infection and the following day my husband went to Urgent Care for a sinus infection. I don’t care what the doc says, sinus infections have to be contagious! Sorry everyone flying in the Seattle, Dallas and Fort Meyers airports 2 weeks ago!

  63. rachel says:

    one time my friend offered to watch my youngest while i took his sister to an appointment. when i came back to pick him up, he was sound asleep in the middle of their living room floor. she said he passed out about 30 minutes after i left and hadn’t moved for about an hour. when i got him home, he didn’t want any lunch, and just laid on the couch, comatose. at that point, it occured to me that maybe i should take his temperature, and he had a fever of 103! oops. i profusely apologized to my friend! i think we’ve all been there, in one way or another.

  64. Amy says:

    I don’t think my kids who are 6 and 2 have ever puked in public , miraculously. They tend to save it for about 2am so we can all wake up and suffer together. I try not to be judgey though because I totally get how kids can be fine 1 minute and terribly ill the next. I don’t think my son has ever come home from a paly centre without some virus. It’s a law of averages, too many kids in an enclosed space.

  65. Claire H says:

    I was that asshole myself today – I went to see the doctor because I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather and was worried I had a chest infection. I left with a diagnosis of a viral stomach bug. The evidence? The fact that I projectile vomited in his office. At least, since I’m 38 and not 4, I had the presence of mind to ask for a bowl in time so there was no mess, but I was still absolutely mortified!

    I have now no doubt infected half the people who were also at the doctors today because of all the chair handles, doorknobs etc I touched. I’m so embarrassed – but I had no idea I was sick! Well, not sick sick anyway! Eek.

  66. Erika says:

    Oh yeah, been there! Crappy Daddy was out of town all week and I had been a single parent for about 4 days. I thought it would be a fun treat to take the boys (3 and 5) out for dinner. About 3 bites into his mac’n cheese with broccoli, my 5yo looked at me and didn’t even have to say anything–I knew! I looked around the table for something for him to puke into and since we had JUST sat down all the bowls and cups were full of delicious food!! I grabbed him (and left my 3 yo alone at the table) and we started to sprint for the bathroom. Well, we got about 3 steps and he let loose all over the floor–in front of all the other diners enjoying their delicious food! Talk about nasty looks!!! I must have turned 15 shades of crimson! I’m not sure how he did it, but those few bites of food managed to KERSPLAT about 8 ft across the lovely slate floor! Wow! That was one fun night out to eat!
    I never even got one bit of food until after we got home and bathed and changed and both boys were asleep. Sigh.

  67. Alicia says:

    Well, I’m the a-hole parent who brought her 8yo severely sick sone (turned out to be pneumonia) into the new pediatrician’s office and proceeded to sit down in the “well child” area. lol. I didn’t even notice. Then I noticed when people scattered after looking at my son and no one would come within a 10 ft. radius of us. Yeah, we moved.

  68. Sarita says:

    I now have that lingering puke smell under my nose, even though there is none in sight…

  69. Lynn says:

    Just pre-ordered my book! I can’t wait to laugh until I cry while reading it 🙂

  70. Rachel says:

    My son acted fine the whole ride to the restaurant only to throw up while we waited for a table. I was holding him so most of it got on just us but a little got on the floor. It was early dinner so a steady stream of people were coming in as he was puking. After my husband and I divided up the kids and us to clean up in the bathroom, there was no way to stay for dinner now, we noticed on our way out that they hadn’t cleaned up the puke from the floor. Eww! Never going there again, besides the embarrassment!

  71. Shelly says:

    So funny! But only two days ago a friend popped over with his two girls and after both had been to the bathroom twice in an hour mentioned that they had a tummy bug. And we are heading away for the weekend. I’m not sure what would be worse, the 3 year old or 9 month old getting it – at least the little one is still in nappies.

  72. Dawn says:

    Well, as they say, vomit happens. (That is what they say, isn’t it?)

    I’m also puke-shy and am very glad my husband and eldest child are both completely iron-stomached when it comes to cleaning people (and things) up. Because the other kids get car sick. Often.

    But the best episode of “Barf on Mom” at our house was the night our little one (then 9 months old) discovered guacamole (freshly homemade, with lots of garlic). She loved it and ate a LOT of it. Only to have it start coming up again an hour or two later, lasting until about 2 in the morning. I just stripped down and camped out in the bathroom with her (nursing between rounds) until she finally dried up. The funny thing was, she was actually in a pretty good mood the whole time.

    • amber says:

      When I read your comment I was all, wait, there is a parenting comedy TV show now called “Barf on Mom?” That would actually be pretty funny. (But not a reality show, that would just be gross.)

    • S.T. says:

      I’m amazed your 9mo likes guacamole and garlic. What a great idea!

  73. Erin says:

    I’ve got a related story. My son has asthma, but it’s not the wheezing kind. Instead, he has a cough that sounds exactly like croup. We were at the library one time for a program and he started the cough. I knew he was fine, not contagious at all, just sounded terrible, but as he continued to cough off and on, I got more and more looks. We left early – not because he was too loud, but because I got so irked by the looks. He’s seven now, and I’ve trained him to tell people “Don’t worry! I don’t have the plague – just asthma!” BTW – I had given him medicine for it before we left for the program and he wasn’t due for another dose for 4 hours, so no I’m not a neglectful mom ignoring symptoms so I could get out of the house.

    • Erin says:

      P.S. there must be something wrong with me because I definitely do not have the “catch the puke” reflex!

  74. June says:

    That happened to me at a wedding. It wasn’t illness related, but I was feeding the Small One goldfish crackers (and letting her chew on my phone, sigh) to keep her quiet during the ceremony. We were in the reception line, greeted the bride and family, walked away, and I was suddenly covered in puke, which also dripped into my bra.

  75. Melli says:

    OMG! I love this. I am a germ-phobe.
    We had 1 mother at our mothers group who would bring her son to play centers, and day care, with green snotty nose that was running down his chin (!) coughing and a few times with conjunctivitis. My doctor called her Typhiod Mary, every time we saw this kid, my kid got sick 🙁 We no longer associate with them.
    There is a huge difference between KNOWINGLY taking a sick kid places and them getting sick when they are there

  76. Kelli says:

    We did the walk of shame out of a Dollar General once. Husband was working, daughter had softball practice. Stomach flu had been going around school but they were fine right? Right?! Not so very much.

    On the way to softball practice my 7 yr old son starts telling me he doesn’t feel well. Okay, that’s fine, we’ll drop the sister off and I’ll call someone else to come sit with her. Only we had to get drinks before practice and that meant everyone going into Dollar General because I never leave them in the car.

    Quick walking for the Gatorade aisle, figured I’d get one of the daughter and one for each of the boys especially if the middle one was getting sick. Halfway up the main aisle I get ‘Mooom, I don’t feee’ *blergh puke everywhere! Not just once, multiple times all over the main aisle.* I just stared before shooing him off to the bathroom. GOOO wait there, throw up in the toilet if you need to. Make sure none of them walk through the puke. . . find someone to clean it up. Send daughter to check on her little brother, warn other parents away from the aisle with wandering children. . .

    I still haven’t gone back to that Dollar General. Thankfully they were understanding, sorta. 😉 And this ended up being way longer than I planned. Ahhh puking kids.

  77. Nat says:

    I read this blog a lot and never comment, but I just have to say I laughed out loud. The element of surprise. I totally didn’t see that one coming. And then the pictures of the puke. Oh man. Gold. Especially the remnants of puke on your dress after you cleaned up. Even more gold. Thank you for making my day. 😀

  78. Rachel says:

    We were taking coats off at nursery and putting soft shoes on, and my son turned to me and filled my cleavage and then my lap and then the nursery corridor with impressive piles of puke. In front of c. a dozen other parents I calmly took off all my clothes except my thermal vest and long johns, cleaned the floor with my shirt, and exited with my son hoping that they all subsequently had a good day. It’s always interesting to start your morning wandering the streets of Glasgow in your underwear.

    • amber says:

      Puke filled cleavage is so incongruous. Just wrong.

    • Karen (scotland) says:

      Glasgow?! I’m assuming Scotland?
      You’ll need to teach your kid to puke like Billy Connolly’s drunk impersonation – very tidy.

      • Rachel says:

        My kids’ accents would do Billy Connolly proud, but cause my (Canadian) husband utter despair. Semi-nakedness on Glasgow streets in winter is not all that unusual (as you might know, Karen), so I didn’t stand out that much, until you got too close and sniffed…

  79. Taryn Dudley says:

    When my little’un was smaller and puking I’d be all ‘ I love you very much and I know you cant help where you vomit but if you could just trrryyy to make it to flooring that is a hard surface (ie NOT carpet!) that’d be great!’
    Now she’s 9, the sicknesses are still there but she’s more aware, the asshole parents are the ones who don’t say anything about the NITS crawling in their kids hair!!! Worse when you spot the nits, tell the parents and see the kid there the next day still with creepy crawlies *shudder*.
    Then you have to explain to your child not to go near the other child not because there’s anything wrong with them per se but you don’t want the bugs!!

  80. Robin Jingjit says:

    Perfect residual puke bits and wetness. That is so accurate, I can smell it.

  81. Laurel says:

    I’ve been there! I work at the day school my four year son goes to. We’re always complaining about parents bringing in their sick kids. One morning my son was unusually quiet on the way to school, but I figured he was just still sleepy. He didn’t feel warm and wasn’t complaining about feeling bad. About 30 minutes after we got there, the director hunts me down to tell me he has just puked. It wasn’t even 8:00 am yet. Fail.

  82. michelle says:

    Am I the only one who is DYING to know how the preorders are going for your book? I think you should make a running ticker of how many are preordered on your page. That way we can root you on on your way to the top of tbe Best Sellers List! Counting down days till I get mine….

    • amber says:

      No, you aren’t the only one. I’m DYING to know too! I have no idea honestly. Actually, maybe it is better that I don’t know. Less nerves and ignorance is bliss and all that.

  83. Ashley Duncan says:

    Pre-ordered my copy! Love your blog, Amber!

  84. Stephanie badejo says:

    Once we went to a company party with my two-year-old daughter and five-year-old son… All of the guests were coworkers of my husband so I did not really know anybody… My husband fed Our daughter 3 hot dogs and one sitting… She then proceeded to climb into the bouncy castle and jump… After jumping she puked in the top of It coming down the slide… Her older brother ran to me screaming at the top of his lungs mom “Sammy threw up…” The worst part was I was eight months pregnant and couldn’t climb the bouncy castle to clean it up and my husband was missing in action… It took me a minute to find him and by then the parents all knew what happened. I definitely got some dirty looks from parents that day lol….

  85. Robonanny says:

    My work kid is a messy puker. Couldn’t possibly get it _in_ the loo, must throw up all over the loo, down the wall, behind the radiator, over the floor, anywhere else difficult to clean…

    Of course, the best bit of this is that he did it *AT MY FLAT*, not 10 minutes before I was supposed to take him to his father’s office for handover, so I could fly from the UK to NZ for Christmas.

    Thanks kid, I really wanted to scrub my bathroom from top to bottom so I didn’t come home to 3 week old puke, when I should have been on my way to the airport to check in, _and_ then spend the 25 hours’ flight time wondering when me, my 6yo son and my fiancé were going to start puking too… Merry Christmas to you too!

  86. Stephani Pucillo says:

    This EXACT same thing happened at a party I took my 5-year-old son to about a month ago!!! Luckily, the projectile vomit missed all of the kids and their cake! My shoes, not so lucky!! 🙂 So, no worries, puke, much like shit, happens!!!

  87. Leanna says:

    Yep, happened to me too. My oldest was getting over a cold and he had really bad gag reflex (he can thank me for that) and the coughing went on and on and all of a sudden up chuck all over the carpet at Chuck E. Cheese right next to the big ball pen (so glad they removed that yucky thing). The staff were really nice and came right over and cleaned it up. Total embarrassment for me except I was pretty much used to his barfing by then and always catching it with my hands.

  88. Rebekah says:

    Hey, there’s a difference between a mom who *knows* beforehand that her kid is sick, and the mom who gets there with a well kid and gets unpleasantly surprised.

    • Elizabeth says:

      You’re right that there is a difference between a mom who knows their kid is sick and one who gets unpleasantly surprised, but usually judgers don’t make that distinction and assume you are out there with the sole purpose of giving their child The Plague.

  89. Bryan says:

    Didn’t anyone recognize you as the famous Amber Dusick? “Hey, I think that lady covered with puke is Crappy Mama!”

    I’m all pre-ordered up and can’t wait for your book to arrive!

    • amber says:

      Nope, nobody ever knows! In real life I look more like a real person than a cartoon so that helps with the disguise.

  90. Juli says:

    It’s so nice to hear there are so many other mommy emetophobes out there! I’d love to hear how you deal with puking kids. I’m in a state of near panic most days wondering if this is “the day” my 16-month old will puke for the first time (and then when I will catch the bug!).

    This post is basically my living nightmare. I’m pretty sure if this happened to me I would crumble to the floor in a puddle of tears (and the puke).

  91. Megan says:

    My book arrived yesterday! Read the whole thing last night 🙂 thanks, enjoyed it!

    • amber says:

      Yay! You are among the bunch that got an accidental early copy. (A retailer messed up and sent them out.)

      • Megan says:

        Oh okay! I was surprised when it arrived thinking I didn’t think it was yet! I ordered it through Barnes & Noble 🙂

  92. kim says:

    My daughter had acid reflux when she was a baby and into toddlerhood, so she had her own “spit up” bowl. She would talk about how much she loved her spit up bowl, and when she stopped having “spit up” so often, she would talk about how she missed her bowl, and that she wished she could be sick so she could use it again. The silver lining is that at an early age she knew when she would be sick and could almost always could make it to the bathroom.

  93. Jaime says:

    I threw up *all over the place* in a department store when I was about 7 or 8. My mom was trying to get some shopping done and she had just run into a friend. I felt (bear in mind this was the feeling of a kid who got annoyed anytime mom turned away) that she wasn’t taking me seriously and I think I threw up partially in spite… 🙁 From what I remember, the store staff was really nice about it!
    But mom got me back; I had the stomach flu REALLY badly when I was a couple of years older. It was apparently a regional epidemic. Once I was well enough to leave the house and the toilet to go shopping with mom, I remember her discussing my stomach flu (including vomit and poop) in great detail with customers and cashiers! I was just at the age to find this *mortifying*!.. *lol*
    PS: I have no idea if mom ever “caught my vomit” – I have to ask her now (which may freak her out…)!

    • Jaime says:

      PPS: I apparently didn’t seem at all sick when I puked all over the store, which is one of the reasons mom took me out to the store. And I remember that she felt HORRIBLE afterwards. 🙂

  94. Serena says:

    I’m one of the moms that doesn’t have the reflex and I’m sorry to say, am rather unsympathetic when my kids are puking. I stay as far away as possible while still trying to act lovingly. “Here’s a bucket and a rag, please wipe your mouth and try not to hit the carpet. I’m sorry you feel sick!” However, my horror story is a little different. We were in the waiting room of the eye dr. for my eldest when my then 4 yr old son stands up and liquid poo dribbles down his pants leg and coats his shoe. Luckily there was no one there but the receptionist, but it was a very small room and no close bathroom. I cleaned up as best we could with the roll of paper towels the receptionist gave me and wet wipes.

  95. Victoria Wade says:

    Just wanted to drop in for the first time to say I received your book yesterday and can’t wait to read it but have just given birth to my second child and will endeavour to read it through the agony of after pains, stitches and sore boobs! Your blog brightens my day is arguably the best on the interwebs.
    Milo has never been sick at soft play but on his first birthday 11 people got a sickness bug who came to his party. He hasn’t been invited out by any of the kids who were there. Ah well!

  96. Kathryn says:

    Friends who help clean up your kids puke are certainly keepers, but friends who come to the baby shower you are hosting and then get fully vomited on by your 10 month old to the extent that they then have to shower themselves with the baby to get clean, and then the friend gets the same gastro bug that was just vomited onto them (when you don’t because you were hosting the baby shower and avoided being vomited on altogether) become very very very good friends.

  97. Anthea says:

    On my son’s fourth birthday he was having a dinosaur themed party and exactly two minutes before his guests were due to come he decided to get naked… now while you can explain this with a two year old it’s a bit harder when they are four. Thankfully it was a small party so it’s not like the whole neighbourhood got to see him naked…

    Oh your book is out now in the Uk, I got my copy from amazon yesterday

  98. RedinNC says:

    Then there was the time that my then 2 yo son had a diarrhea explosion all over the floor at our friends’ wedding. I’m not sure if he was sick or if it was an overabundance of strawberries. Pretty sure we’re banned from that church. Still ranks as our #1 baby mess story.

  99. Alison says:

    How about the asshole who doesn’t cancel her 1 YO’s party even though said child is experiencing explosive diarrhea? Luckily I was forewarned and left my daughter at home but I felt I had to put in an appearance. I was pretty sure the parents weren’t washing their hands after changing diapers and before preparing the snacks, which is inexcusably gross, so I didn’t eat a thing. My suspicion was confirmed when 90% of the people who were there got violently ill the following day.
    BTW I’m totally getting your book and I love your blog!!!

  100. 1. Can’t wait for the book.
    2. I’m a Judgey McGermaphobe who would totally have something like that happen to me. 😀

  101. Carol says:

    No judgment here. Twice I have taken my children to church to have them throw up there. The first time, I was singing in the choir so didn’t see my middle daughter throw up. A good friend of mine was nearby and actually caught most of it in her hands. (Yes, she’s a mom, why do you ask? ;)) The second time, I was sick, but sent the girls with their grandmother and my oldest decided to throw up downstairs. It happens. I’m glad the woman who helped you later became your friend, and of course, you get to tell such great stories!

  102. Mariah says:

    I’ve caught the puke in my hands before. I’ve manhandled kids into the kitchen so they wouldn’t barf on my or the carpet but would instead barf on the easy to clean kitchen floor. In my purse you will find both a gallon Ziploc baggie and those blue barf bags hospitals give out, because we’ve had one too many store barfs. One of the twins had to ride home sitting on a grocery bag after a runny poo in the underwear disaster that a whole pack of travel wipes couldn’t clean up.

    I have a huge puke phobia, worked in an ER, the blood and injuries didn’t bother me, but puke did. And still does. Whenever one of my kids pukes, I start to panic. Who else is going to puke? Is this just a case of too much rich food, too much mucus from a cold or is it the dreaded stomach bug that spreads like wildfire? What’s that secretary at school? You had to send home 7 puking kids today. Panic! What if my kid gets it. Please sweet Jesus don’t let them get it. It’s so bad that if I hear someone at work saying their kid had a stomach bug, I worry the germs will jump off her onto me and hitch a ride home to my kids. We’ve had influenza, strep, scarlet fever, week long fevers and I can handle it. Puke makes me want my mama.

  103. Joanna says:

    Ah, but have your kids puked on an airplane? Those are some great memories.

  104. Lauren Elysia says:

    I have yet to experience this mothering right of passage! But I don’t see myself having the reflex to catch puke. Surely, I would add my own to it…? We’ll see… Kudos for having a solid stomach! Feeling queasy just seeing your realistic pictures!

  105. Melissa says:

    I LOVE how the puke part of your dress is a slightly darker shade of purple. Such fabulous crappy pictures!

    Already pre-ordered my book…can’t wait for it to arrive next week. And happy to be part of the hiding-in-the-bathroom club!

  106. deanna says:

    we had to leave a birthday party at an inflatable place like that….due to explosive diarrhea. and when you’re three and half, you don’t care WHO you tell that you have soiled yourself. so my son goes and announces to the entire party crew that he just exploded all in the bathroom, his daddy had to clean him up with hand towels, and now his underwear is crusty and he has to go home. a simple ‘i’m not feeling so well’ would have been ok to me.

  107. Pingback: Saturday Round-Up March 23 |

  108. Pingback: Waiting for Snow….and flowers…. | SewShaz

  109. Lori says:

    I honestly think reading this the other day jinxed me! Took my little one to urgent care for a fever and earache and as I bring her into the waiting room…yep she pukes all over me and herself and the floor. OYE. At least I was IN the doctor’s office..another patient jumped up and said “you poor thing, i’ll get you someone to help”.