This past winter has made me a pro at handling sick kids. My son started preschool in November, and by March he'd literally been sick six times. Each bug he caught was slightly different, but they always lasted around five days. That’s a lot of time to spend being sick. I went from having a toddler who would only catch the occasional cold once or twice a year, to rearing a feverish, cranky, endlessly-pooping little kid. It sucked. It also made me take notice of just how many gross things every mom does when her kid is sick.
It’s funny, because before I had my son I was always seriously grossed out by the thought of being around sick people. I can barely stand myself being snotty, let alone anyone else. Seeing boogery kids has always kind of made my flesh crawl (OK, so it still does). However, as a mother I’ve learned to cope with the realities of being sick via my own kid. I know it’s not his fault he doesn’t know how to wipe his own butt yet, especially after real messy, sick poops. And I know that someday he’ll know exactly how to vomit into the toilet like every other person.
Until that blessed day (that honestly cannot come soon enough) it’s up to me to comfort and care for him through these difficult moments, even if that means taking on some seriously icky responsibilities.
Sniff A Diaper To Determine Just How Sick Her Kid Is
Parents sniff diapers all the time to figure out if their kid peed or poop (or maybe just farted). It’s a common unpleasantry. However, when they’re sick to their stomach, you’re scared of seeing what’s inside. So you might do a pre-sniff to see if it’s really necessary to change them right away. It usually is, and it usually smells like death.
WipeSnot, Saliva, And Whatever Else With Her Sleeve
As a parent, you quickly become pretty familiar with children’s bodily fluids. When they’re sick, though, they tend to drool more, and their boogers leak out of their noses, and you don’t always have a tissue handy. Kids tend not to care about fashion, so they'll use your sleeve to clean up the mess (or you use your shirt or your pants because you are a damn superhero).
Pick Out Boogers With Her Finger...
I hate seeing boogers in my son’s nose. Hate it. He also hates it, but he’s not quite got the blowing-your-nose skill down yet. Sometimes, I just can’t take it anymore, so I dig in. Yes, it's gross.
...Or Suck Them Out With An Aspirator
My son has never allowed me to use a nasal aspirator on him, even when he was a tiny baby (kid was always strong). Still, I have lots of mom friends who swear by it. I still remember the first time I witnessed my sister-in-law aspirating boogers out of my niece’s nose. It still makes me want to hurl just a tiny bit.
Sift Through Poop
Sometimes you need to be sure your kid didn’t accidentally swallow something bad, or maybe you need to be sure it all made it out of their system. Whatever the reason, you're sure to find yourself searching through your child’s poop when they're sick. It's not in the least bit fun, and pretty damn disgusting.
Collect A Poop Sample
If your kid’s got a bad tummy virus, their pediatrician might ask for a stool sample. I haven't had to do this yet (fingers crossed), but I actually have a vivid memory of my own mother collecting a poop sample hen I was a kid. I think I had to poop into some tupperware and then she took it from there. Either way, it was absolutely repulsive to think about. I don’t look forward to the day when it’s my turn to be the "poop collector."
Refuse To Pick Up Vomit Right Away
My son has been pretty lucky in that he hasn’t puked much in his life. However, many of my mom friends can't say the same about their own children. I have heard of a few such moms who simply throw down some newspaper or towels over a pile of vomit because it's 3 a.m. and they're exhausted. Gross? You bet.
Catch Vomit Mid-Air
I’ve done this when my kid was choking on a piece of food. I try to simply grab whatever is in there and take it out of his mouth, but sometimes he gags and vomits. Honesty, I'd rather puke land in my hand instead of the floor where I'll spend a longer time cleaning it up. After all, hands are easier to wash. I'm sure I'd do the same if he was sick and there wasn't a bucket nearby.
Forget To Throw Out A Diarrhea Diaper Right Away
Again, these sorts of things tend to happen in the middle of the night. Sometimes you’re just too damn tired to walk to the damn Diaper Genie. Or perhaps you don’t have one and you don’t feel like walking to the good trash can with the lid in the kitchen. You mutter to yourself about doing it later, then wake up and realize there is a god-awful stench in the hall or wherever. Yuck.
Directly Apply Lotion Over Unpleasant Areas
Some kids get icky rashes, maybe eczema related or maybe something else. Whatever it is, it usually looks pretty unpleasant. Still, you’re their mama and it’s up to you to slather on some cream or medication. You’d rather not touch it but, well, that's life.
Not Die When Her Kid Sneezed Or Coughed Into Her Mouth
I’m currently in the process of trying to teach my son how to cover his mouth when he coughs or sneezes. So far, it’s not sticking. Instead, he usually does it into the air, and if I’m not careful it can land on me. It's cool, though. I mean, I'm still alive.