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10 Gross Things About Kids

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Poop or chocolate?

My husband is much braver than I am. He will always take a sniff, no matter how gross something looks, in order to discover what a mysterious substance is. And when you start having kids, there WILL be many mysterious substances in the form of wipes, streaks, puddles and smells. If you’ve already started procreating, you’ll laugh and nod your head knowingly as you read this list. If you’re about to start procreating, here are 10 of the grossest things about kids you should be prepared for:

  • Babies are gross even before they are born. They drink their own pee with the amniotic fluid (okay, can’t fault them that, when it can’t be helped and they’re still developing), they sometimes poop as they are being born (that thick, black tar called meconium), and the very fact they are in your womb causes some pretty gross side affects to come out your own body (goodbye, bladder control and hello, hemorrhoids).
  • The umbilical cord, as it dries up and eventually falls off, is a nasty affair. My second baby’s took a lot longer to fall off, and it bled and oozed a pus-like substance for so I finally learned I’d have to clean under the cord stump with a wet Q-tip and man that was gross. It stinks, too. The good thing is, you’re so in love and are still so excited about your new baby that most of this doesn’t bother you as much as you thought it would.
gross umbilical cord
  • They poop and pee a lot. Everywhere. My 8-week-old daughter once managed poop all over my husband’s face. And then there’s potty training your toddler. Potty training has one guarantee: you will be forced to clean up another human’s bowel excretions, and it can last anywhere from a few days to maybe months. You’ll wonder if your kid will be wearing diapers in college, as you scrub poop off the potty chair and mop up pee from the corner behind your couch. Sit down on the toilet and instantly regret it? It’s pee. Step in something wet as you hurry to use the toilet? Probably pee.
  • They backwash in everything. As much as I try to avoid sharing drinks with my toddler, there are a few times when I’ve forgotten her sippy cup and she’s begging for a drink. Of course I’m not going to make her stay thirsty! But this means willingly giving up my own beverage because I’m too grossed out to drink her very obvious backwash floaters.
  • The nose picking. I thought teaching second graders would have prepared me, but nope. It’s still as nasty as ever. And when they eat it, that’s a whole new level of sick.
  • They will eat anything from anywhere, mostly from the ground. My toddler is SO fast at picking up stuff she’s dropped on the ground and eating it, I don’t even have a chance. I’m barely forming the sentence, “Give it to me” when she’s already put the sand-covered Popsicle in her mouth and swallowed. Oh well… And lazy mom-hack for you: don’t bother cleaning out the old Cheerios, crackers, or whatever snacks get abandoned in your car or the kid’s car seat. They’ll eat those again someday without even caring, because kids are gross.
  • At some point, they will get sick and they will throw up on you. And what’s more: you learn to catch it, instead of squirm away from your vomiting child! It’s like you totally forget that barf is nasty and it’s just the reaction you have to try and save yourself some cleanup by catching it in your hands if a bucket isn’t nearby.
  • They don’t hesitate to explore any hole they find. Mouth hole, ear hole, butt hole… There’s a lot you’re going to have to teach them and not sticking their hands or fingers in gross places is one of them.
  • You’ll catch your kid licking something weird more times than you’d like to admit. My toddler likes to lick random things in public, so I get to assume my kid is the “weird one” during playtime get-togethers. I didn’t realize I’d have to tell her things like, “Don’t eat the table,” and “stop licking your shoes.” Hopefully it’s a phase.
  • Playtime can sometimes be really gross. The other day, a toddler at the park was acting like an elephant and spit all over me as she mimicked an elephant’s trumpet. And I was expected to cheer her on and keep playing pretend, as if I wasn’t repulsed and squirming on the inside. It’s one thing to deal with your own kid spitting on you. It’s another, even grosser thing when a strange kid does it. Other gross playtime activities include digging in mud (at least, I HOPE that’s what it was), accidentally squishing bugs as they try to pick it up, and covering you in sticky bubble juice as they try to blow their own bubbles, in your face.

While this is definitely not a complete list of all of gross things your kid will probably do as they grow, it’s a good start. Don’t let any of it scare you out of procreating, though. It’s amazing how you learn to adapt and go with the flow once it’s your own kid’s poop or vomit. When you love that child more than life itself, you end up not caring when they announce their farts to the world or share their already chewed up sandwich with you. Most things are gross in the moment, but make for funny stories later.

What other gross things have you caught your child doing?

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