The Grossest Parts of Parenthood

by Erin Morrison-Fortunato
Originally Published: 
A blonde haired toddler looking to the ground with caption in blue next to it "The shittiest part of...

In the years before I became a mother, my husband and I parented a beautiful little lab puppy named Lola. She was our darling, doted on with love, cuddles, treats, toys, and walks. I loved her beyond measure, but, when she drooled one me, blechhh…I still cringe thinking about it. And the poop…yuck! The degradation of having to carry a plastic bag full of reeking crap down the street made me slightly nauseous.

But, oh… oh, if only I had known what I was in for when I became a mother. Turns out much of parenthood consists of feeling slightly nauseous thanks to your children. Let’s take a look at some of the grossest parts of parenthood, shall we?

1. Baby Poop. Many of us remember the sweet, milky smell of our newborns as they cuddled against our chests. I, too, remember this smell fondly. A smell I remember less fondly is that of a diaper full of stinking, loose, mustard colored shit. But, we parents do our duty (no pun intended) and change diaper after diaper full of the stuff, filling receptacles in our homes full of literal crap.

I settled my darling 2-week-old daughter onto a changing pad laid down on the ottoman in my living room. I was prepared with wipes, diapers, ointments, and cloths to pat dry her precious little bum. I removed her wet diaper, relieved that it contained only pee. I gathered her tiny ankles into my hand and lifted them to clean her as she let loose a small sigh…and a jet powered stream of fecal matter that splattered across my shirt, turning it into a disgusting man’s Jackson Pollack. Did I mention that the aforementioned stream also splattered through my hair and across the couch cushions? How adorable!

2. Spit Up. As a new mother, I spent hours of my day playing with my handsome little guy. As we lay together on the couch after his feeding, I began tossing him up into the air. He riotously giggled, screaming with glee. “Hooray!” I yelled, each time her flew up into the air. My wide-mouthed grin mirrored his own. Suddenly, my wide-mouthed grin was filled with something warm and sour. Yup.

3. Toddler Poop. There comes a point in a child’s life when he should no longer be in diapers. For me, this point occurred when my two and a half year old son was treated to a St. Patty’s Day cookie. The next day, I watched him hide in the corner, gripping a pillow and screwing up his face as he pushed out a deuce. When he was done (I knew that he was done because he immediately straddled his blow up Thomas the Tank Engine ball and began bouncing, testing the resilience of his diaper), I called him over to the aforementioned ottoman. What the mother of all that is holy…?!?! His poop was bright green, a man-sized shamrock shit.

Don’t even get me started on the poop in the tub. Because, while in the tub one morning, my daughter produced a poop so voluminous that it lifted her tiny body. Literally! I was so amazed that, before I went about dousing the tub in bleach, I texted a picture of the mess to my husband. Like a true man, he was proud of his daughter’s accomplishment.

4. Potty Training. With our son, we took the “strip him and let him run around naked until he’s trained” approach. Of course, our stubborn son took it upon himself to sneak into corners and take a dump. Never feels good to discover this as you’re strolling through your dining room barefoot.

I thought that the fact that the child was putting his or her respective bodily fluids and solids into a frog-shaped receptacle would make my life less poop-centric. But, no. I am still in charge of butt wiping and, now, I get the added pleasure of playing chamber maid and emptying and sterilizing sir or lady’s pot.

In a related alert, if I have to stain treat one more skid mark off of Scooby Doo’s goofy face smiling at me from the ass of my son’s tighty whiteys, I’m gonna spaz.

5. Blood. When my phone rang and the caller ID read “Transportation,” I had horrible visions of a bus accident. My baby! My little boy! My heart racing, I answered the call with bated breath. And…they were calling to say that my 5-year-old had a nose bleed. All of that terror, that drama because of a little nose bleed?

When the bus pulled to a stop in front of the house, I realized why they had called. The kid looked as if he had been jumped into Kindergarten fight club. Wet tissues stuck up his nostrils, his winter coat drenched in blood, I ushered him into the kitchen and began a litany of first aid measures involving Q-Tips, ice packs, and Vaseline.

By the time I got the damn thing to clot, I looked like a murder victim on CSI.

6. Vomit. “I have a headache, Mommy. It hurts. Make it stop hurting, Mommy!” screams my 3-year-old from the backseat. As I maneuver through traffic, trying to find a parking lot into which I can pull, it begins. I hear the gagging, a sound like a plunger in the toilet. Between rounds of gagging, a high-pitched whine escapes her throat. And, as tears trickle down her cheeks, the contents of her stomach (including a hot fudge sundae, bagel, hummus, cheese stick, and grapes) explode down the front of her shirt, blanketing her car seat and lap. As I swerve between cars searching for the elusive parking lot, the smell hits me, filling the car like tear gas.

When I finally pull the car door open to assess the damage, I am stunned. Where the hell to start? The only way is through it.

After stripping, wiping, drying, re-dressing and repeating those same steps on the car seat, she is ready to begin the rest of the journey home.

“I feel better, Mommy,” she smiles.

Although I’ve done my best to bathe myself with hand sanitizer, I’m about 100% certain that my nails are going to need a thorough trim after the conclusion of my steaming hot, hour long shower.

7. Snot. There is never a damn tissue around when one of them sneezes out those two long strings of snot that hang over their lips, tenuously dangling over the cavern of their gaping mouths. Yes, I have used my sleeve.

8. Urine. Have you ever had to regularly change a baby boy’s diaper? Enough said.

9. Potty Language. Five-year-old boys are obsessed with any and all bodily functions. Today, in fact, my son and his friend sat eating peanuts. They spent a full ten minutes repeating the phrase “pee butts” to one another and laughing hysterically each time.

This example is topped only by the full hour and a half my son spent watching “The Muppets Movie” and referring to Kermit as “Turd It the Log.”

10. Public Bathrooms. As soon, and I mean immediately, upon entering any public arena, my children will insist that they have to pee worse than they have ever had to pee in their entire lives. If I do not instantaneously take them to the nearest public restroom, they will piss the floor.

“Mommy, it smells.”

“Yes, yes it does. Okay, just stand there and DON’T MOVE!!!!”

I fastidiously check each stall to determine which toilet is least likely to be infected with herpes. All I can think about is the droplets of mystery liquid splattered across the seat, the toilet paper grazing the scum covered floor, and the lingering odor. “Okay, this one,” I order. “God, NO! DON”T TOUCH ANYTHING!!!!”

My daughter sings happily as her itsy-bitsy bum hangs precariously, her hands clasping the edges of the seat. I’m counting down the seconds until I can dip her into a vat of Purel. “Are you done yet?”

“No. I need to poop…I heard it splash into the water, Mommy,” she giggles.

“That’s just amazing, babe. Are you done?”

“All done.” I discard the ends of the toilet paper and hand her what I hope is a cleaner section. “Pat, pat, pat,” I instruct. “Okay, Babe, back up so I can flush.”

“NO! I WANNA DO IT! IT’S MY POOP! I WANNA DO IT! I WANNA DO IT!” she begins to tantrum.

“OKAY! Fine, fine. Do it already! Just hurry up.”

“Yeah!” She flushes. “Oh, Mommy, that one was a sprinkly toilet,” she gleefully informs me as I swallow back the bile rising in my throat.

“Let’s just go wash hands,” I say as I rush her over to the sink. “Oh, for the love of mercy!” Is it possible that the sink is more foul than the toilet?

“Why did you say that thing, Mommy?”

“Nothing, Babe, nothing. Just let me get some soap and…NO! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

“I just wanted to see what it tastes like.”

Ever seen the show “Dirty Jobs”? Turns out, all Mike Rowe needed to do in order to be covered in muck in filth was procreate Bon appétit!

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