For most of us, parenting is a constantly moving merry-go-round of never-ending and often intense moments. Some of those moments are great, like snuggles and good night kisses, and some of those moments are difficult, like listening to your baby cry or making a trip to the doctor. Some moments are incredible, too, like sharing a new experience with your child for the very first time. And then there are the seriously disgusting moments, like when you have to pull the grossest things out of your kid’s mouth.
Parenting is definitely not for the weak of heart or stomach, especially once your baby or toddler is mobile and can reach things you once thought were safe from their grubby paws and curious mouths. When my older kids were babies and toddlers, I actually had it pretty easy in this department. Sure, I rescued a few pieces of cat food, rock, sand, and wood chips from their tiny mouths, and I thought that was pretty gross, but I eventually learned that things could be way, way worse.
For example, my youngest took a bite out of my old, crusty pumice stone whilst taking a bath. And then there was the time he squeezed diaper ointment into his mouth during a diaper change. He’s eaten hundreds of ladybugs and beetles, as if they were a rare delicacy, and he even popped a poop into his mouth that he fished out of the bath before I could stop him. By far the worst thing he’s put in his mouth was my menstrual cup that he somehow was able to grab from the ledge in my shower. Yuck.
I'm not alone, though, for better or worse. So, you know, thank goodness for the nice folks at poison control, who always seem to put our collective minds at east. Kids are gross, dear reader, and as the following will prove they're hellbent on putting just about anything in their mouths:
"Something he popped in his mouth from the trash. I don't even know what it was, and I wasn't the one who noticed it either. My dogs did and got me, because they know you don't eat from the trash."
"Gum from the Walmart parking lot."
"A ladybug. Multiple times. I guess they look like snacks to my 2-year-old."
"We were at a restaurant and he picked something off the underside of the highchair and put it in his mouth fast as lightening. He clamped down and chewed, and we could not get it out of his mouth... whatever it was. But he was chewing for a while. We caught a glimpse of green. Maybe dried gum? A dried up pea? We will never know."
"A hardened dog turd while playing in the yard."
"Her hand that she had just pulled out of her poopy diaper, and a cat furball."
"Door stop at the veterinarians office."
"I came home and found my husband asleep on couch and my 2.5-year-old playing in the littler box. He was gnawing on a hardened pee clump."
"A spider. A live huntsman. It ran up my arm. He didn't chew it or anything, he was just walking around holding it on his mouth. How it didn't bite him I'll never know. He's afraid of spiders now. Go figure."
"Multiple snail shells, and, once, a live snail. It's his favorite thing right now at age 1. If I turn my head for two seconds while we're playing outside, guaranteed he's somehow found a snail and stuck it in his mouth."
"I had to preform the Heimlich on my (then) 2-year-old son. A cicada came out of his mouth. It was still semi-alive."
"A used q-tip out of the bathroom trash. Oh, and a used pregnancy test from the same said trash can. We now have one with a lid.
"Ashes from the fire pit out back."
"Just today I wondered, 'Why would you eat a blue-painted popsicle stick artwork project that you made in preschool last week?"
"A bee. My mother-in-law grabbed my 3.5-year-old just as he was putting a bee in his mouth. Ugh. This kid is just too brave."
"I was walking through the grocery store with my 3-year-old. We were walking through the produce and all the sudden he ducked down, grabbed something off the floor, and popped it in his mouth. It was a grape.
Also, once, when I was washing dishes, one of the 1-year-olds was in the kitchen behind me. I heard a crunch and looked behind me. My kid had half a beetle in his mouth and the other half in his hand. We couldn't fish it out before he swallowed it."
"My oldest was eating tempura and a gecko had fallen into the fryer. She ate it."
"We'd just gotten back from a week-long trip, and my 2-year-old son had found an old sippy of milk under the couch and was drinking it."
"Wet, fishy cat food. I saw what she was doing and she shoveled it in there as fast as she could."
"A cigarette butt he found on the ground."
"A used paper towel from a hospital trash can."
"The dog's tongue (still attached to the dog). They used to French kiss."
"Lapped up her own urine puddle."
"A dum dum sucker found on the ground, in front of the trash can, in a McDonald's public restroom."
"A dead frog."
"A pubic hair."
"When the twins were about 9- or 10-months-old, I put them in their play area for all of one or two minutes so that I could clean off their high chairs. In that short time frame they took off their onesies and diapers. One or both of the boys pooped on the floor, and they both ate it. I'm not sure if who ate who's poo, but I almost puked."