On Stomach Flu

I had stomach flu (or food poisoning, I suppose, but I did have a fever…) Sunday and am still a little sluggish from it as of Tuesday night. So far, the girls have not caught the bug, which is such a relief, half because I don’t want them to be miserable and half because I don’t want to deal with the clean-up.

Actually, I might be more not want them to be sick because of the mess than because I don’t want them to be miserable. Does this make me a bad parent? Maybe. But if you’ve ever found a toddler covered in puke holding out her arms crying to be hugged by you, you know what I mean. It’s disgusting and awful and nothing anyone should ever have to do.

Unfortunately, if you are a parent, this is one of things that come with it along with the poop up to their neck phenomenon that happens with great frequency when they are breastfeeding, but is more horrific when they are 100% on solids and cow’s milk.

Kids are gross.

I’ve been hoping to toilet train 4-year-old Lily for vomit for a good two years now, but unfortunately it hasn’t happened. Actually, this is partially due to the luck of her only having stomach flu about once a year, so I shouldn’t complain. She hasn’t made it to the toilet because she hasn’t had enough practice with puke to know beforehand that it’s about to happen. I guess this is a good thing. Except it’s a totally gross and awful thing that makes you question your sanity in ever choosing to have children.

It is so gross. There is nothing more horrible that cleaning puke out of the carpet/couch/blankets/clothing. I wish there was a way to make this easier.


Before I realized I was battling stomach flu and not just nauseated and crampy, I told my husband “I think I’m going to throw up.” (A required statement before you go running to the toilet.)

And Lily immediately yelled “Mommy! You need to put it in the potty!”

If I hadn’t been on my way to throw up at that moment, I would have laughed.

At least she gets the concept of throwing up in the toilet. If only she could figure out how to get the vomit in the toilet without any more practice.

Someday, somehow, I’m sure she’ll get to the point where all or most of the vomit ends up in the right place. I mean, we all get here somehow. If only there was a magical way that this happened from the beginning so none of us ever had to stomach cleaning up a bawling, puke-covered child.

So far, we have dodged it this week, but I know it’s coming to get us again soon and when it does… I won’t be ready for it.



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8 Responses to On Stomach Flu

  1. Susan

    Max gets to the bathroom, but always pukes all over the toilet. He can be leaning over the bowl, face pointed at the water, and the puke will STILL hit the back of the toilet, the floor, the wall, and his feet.

    He has a very sensitive gag-reflex, so I have a lot of experience with cleaning up puke. It still makes me gag, but I can do it.

  2. Trigem

    My 12 and 4 year olds have figured it out. My 15 year old has made it only once – when he had appendicitis. At least he is old enough to clean it up himself because you are right, it is gross.

  3. Not THAT cruel

    Just do what my husband’s mother did to her kids when they were 4 or 5. She made them clean up their own puke, even if they had to throw up while cleaning it up. While cleaning their puke induced puke, if they puked a third time, that’s too bad, they knew where the cleaning supplies were.

    My husband was shocked when he got sick one day shortly after he left the military and we moved in with my parents to save for a house. He got sick, didn’t quite make it to the toilet, so he threw up from full height and hit the back of the toilet rim, where the hinge for the seat was, and partially into the bowl. New house, so he came and asked me where the cleaning supplies were. I told him to get in bed as I’m not going to make him clean up when he’s legitimately ill. He was so surprised by this way of thinking. “Isn’t everyone made to clean up their own vomit when they are very small? Like everyone is taught to wipe their own bums?” No, hon, only your horrific mother did that. If he pukes because he had too much to drink, he gets to clean that up. He’s only thrown up and missed the toilet twice in ten years, and the second time I did wish he had thrown up while drinking (which he hasn’t done since college).

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