A Post About Puke

Most of my close friends are parents. As such, I spend a lot of time wondering about how I will compare. As a person who is naturally always anxious, I’m really good at worrying about things that might happen 20 years from now to hypothetical little people. Remind me to tell you about the number of times I have fretted about whether or not they’ll be able to attend public school given the current state of things. Key word in that sentence being ‘current’. But here is something I never thought of, because why would I allow myself to contemplate something so severe?

Puke. Vomit. Throw up.

Christ. The other day I was talking with a colleague, and somehow one thing led to another, and suddenly he’s telling me about how his child was one or two years old and he – my colleague – had just purchased a new car. But then the child got sick and he – again, my colleague – stuck out his hand to catch his child’s puke.


As a childless person who has spent plenty of time with children with a variety of bodily fluids I was still horrified at the thought that he STUCK OUT HIS HAND TO CATCH PUKE. Even more horrifying was that this was the second parent catching vomit story that I had heard that day. So, I did what anyone would naturally do; I hightailed it to Facebook to ask whyyyyyyyyy?!?

Why would a parent catch vomit? Why do children not know where to puke? And more importantly, can’t I just get a child who already knows how to take care of…all of that?

I will also mention that my reasons for being averse to vomit is not just because it’s disgusting (DUH) but because when I see it then I want to throw up, too. And…I am so, so sorry. You weren’t eating were you? But really, there’s another good story about someone puking on my school bus and then I puked, too and then I got to go home at 9 AM and miss my clarinet lesson. Best day ever.

But really, I went to consult with other friends and here are some of their answers:

And a moment of reason:

Later I spoke to another friend whose daughter was camped out in front of the television after having her own encounter with projectile vomit. Luckily the child managed to make it to the toilet for which I gave her major kudos for being wonderful. Her mother then explained to me, very, very slowly, that kids are dumb. They don’t know these things. They aren’t born with the ability to keep their fluids to themselves. You must teach them. Imagine that! I then thought about how I feel about vomit: I hate it. When it starts I want to it to stop immediately. Sometimes it hurts and then I want to die. I cannot imagine how horrible it feels when you don’t know what throwing up is and then your body does it and there you are as a toddler all, “WTF?!? IS GOING ON WITH MY BODY?!” and then you cry. And then I felt bad for judging a five year old.

The moral of the story is that vomit sucks. While I say now that I will not catch anyone’s vomit, talk to me in five to six years. It’s really no fun for parent or child. I need to have some perspective and feel bad for the kid. Seriously, I might have to catch vomit and it will be gross but I will not die. Hearing about kid vomit is good birth control. Writing a post with the word vomit in it 57 times probably makes the readers grossed out. I still definitely want children and…screw it…here’s my hand, future child of mine. Go for it.

Keep the conversation going with Heather Barmore at Poliogue: The Art of Political Dialogue, Twitter and Facebook.

Article Posted 3 years Ago
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