Before you have kids, you might visualize what it would be like: rocking babies, taking toddlers to the playground, reading to preschoolers, attending Little League games. Then you become an actual parent, and from the very first pea-soup diaper blowout or projectile vomit, you quickly learn that there’s plenty you didn’t anticipate. Throughout your kids’ childhood, you can bet you’ll do things — and say things — that you never in a bazillion years could have imagined, those moments when you think, “How the hell did I end up here?!”
For me, those moments include cleaning my kid’s barf off the floor of Motherhood Maternity with half-dried baby wipes from my purse. Or saying, “Stop wrapping your penis around your fork!” and “Don’t put your penis in the DVD hole,” and “Do not dip your penis in that chocolate milk,” and…well, I think you can probably sense a theme here.
We asked a group of parents to spill their funniest OMG-I-can’t-believe-I’m-doing-this moments, and they didn’t disappoint. Read on for a laugh — and affirmation that your parental life isn’t so weird after all.
Brushing my daughter’s teeth because she ate my other daughter’s poo that didn’t go down the toilet. I thought, “Ew, her breath smells like shit,” and it’s because it did. –Carry
When we had to make a “no farting on people’s heads” rule in our home. –Katie
When I heard myself say, “First you eat your dinner, THEN you can smell my armpits.” –Ali
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined myself sitting on the couch calmly while watching my four boys try to catch a bullfrog hopping through my kitchen. –Kristina
My 2-year-old puts everything in his mouth. Never did I ever think I would be scrubbing his teeth with his toothbrush trying to get kitty litter out of his teeth! –Michele
The scene: a busy IHOP on a Sunday morning. Finally sat down after 45-ish minute wait and just got our food. The action: Catching my then 2-year-old’s puke in my bare hands while calmly (like this is normal!) asking the waiter for to-go boxes for the two of us who didn’t get sick. –Misty
Saying things like, “Ah, I see. So you washed your hair. With butter. You thought it was shampoo. Right. So, did it work?” –Darina
Picking up underwear and smelling the crotch to see if they’re clean. –Julie
I had a dirty diaper in my mouth while changing my kid in a truck stop bathroom once. It was pretty much “The Moment.” –Kenneth
Placing a toddler on my lap, holding a nostril closed and blowing as hard as I could into his mouth while he attempted to LICK THE INSIDE OF MY CHEEK. All this in an effort to get one of those iron-on melty beads out of his nose. It was so high up in there that it looked like it could come out of a tear duct at any moment. Then, of course, being extremely happy to pick up a snot-covered bead after it flew out of the boy’s nostril and bounced off my wall. –Alyssa
Shrugging it off when someone at work tells me (at around 2 p.m.) I have something on my shirt, and it’s baby poop. –Angela
Using a bobby pin to scrape a dried collection of boogers off my son’s wall. –Darice
After spending ages cleaning up my nearly 2-year-old’s projectile vomit from all over the couch and carpet, I sat down with him cuddled into my chest facing me — when he started to heave again. So instead of letting him vomit everywhere again and having to face another massive cleanup (and a spew-smelling living room for the foreseeable future) I pulled out my top and let him vomit down my front. Seemed like a good idea at the time! –Casey
Being handed poop. That split-second moment when you realize your child is freaking out over a double handful of their own feces, and that if you take the time to go get tissue or paper towels it’s going to end up on the bed or the carpet or somewhere worse. And so you VOLUNTARILY reach out your BARE HANDS and allow her to hand you her poop. –Kate
I was on a plane, and my son was screaming. He did not want to breastfeed but lost it even more if I tried to put my boobs away. We tried everything to get him to stop, to no avail, but finally accepted that we were “those people,” and he was “that baby.” So, with an inconsolable screaming child on my lap and two boobs out in the open, I grabbed the airplane wine and started chugging straight from the bottle. I figured, if he’s not going to nurse, I may as well catch a buzz. If you showed me that scene three years prior, I would’ve thought, no way in hell would that ever be me! –Alessandra
Telling my 2-year-old son, “No! We don’t lick that!” as I turn around from pulling my pants up in a public restroom. Yeah, he was licking the pipe behind the toilet where the flusher is. –Jessica
One day at the park, my 3-year-old ran away from me across a huge field and toward the road. With my 10-month-old on my hip, I trotted after him telling him to stop. Then it turned into yelling at him to stop. Eventually, I had to put my baby on the ground in the middle of a freaking field, toss my stupid flip-flops, and run him down. I threw him over my shoulder. He was pitching a fit, the baby was crying, and all eyes were on me as I did the walk of shame to the parking lot. –Katherine
Going through the junior high dumpster Thanksgiving morning in the rain looking for a brand new retainer (found it!). –Vicki
Using my tweezers to extract the FOURTH green pea out of my son’s right nostril/brain when he thought putting them up there was a better alternative to eating them. –Melodie
See? We’ve all been there, more times than we’d like to admit. You’re in good company, and you’ll laugh about it later — once the shock wears off. Consider it a rite of passage. I mean, if you’ve never found yourself with horrifying handfuls of someone else’s bodily fluids, are you even a parent?