Just the other day I was explaining to an expectant friend how pregnancy "cures" you of modesty, for better or worse. Motherhood is similar in that, once you're a mom it takes a lot to gross you out. You sort of lose your filter of what's acceptable to do and talk about in public. This phenomenon fascinates me, as someone who used to gag at all things icky but now tackles poop and puke with aplomb, so I asked moms to share the grossest thing they've ever done in polite company. I was not disappointed.
I am a gross person. Always have been, always will be, so I can't exactly blame it on motherhood. I mean, I'm the girl whose best friend had to physically stop her from peeling her post-sunburn skin off in the line for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I'll tell anyone who will sit still about my golf ball-sized hemorrhoids. That was my own personal gross, though. Having a baby meant I had to deal with the nastiness of another human being, one that was entirely my responsibility. Honestly, it didn't take me long to adjust. I'll sniff her butt or wipe her nose with my sleeve with the best of them.
It all came to a head a few weeks ago, though. My family and I were having dinner with some friends, and I decided a restaurant was an appropriate setting for a poop story. I regaled my dining companions with the story of the epic diaper I'd recently changed. I watched their poor faces as I described the tiny nugget that fell out. I witnessed their horror as I admitted to picking it up with a wipe, squishing it, and feeling it pop. It was a whole pea, people. Try enjoying your green chile queso fries after that.
I'm "that gross mom friend," but it's OK. I accept this fact wholeheartedly, knowing that I'm in good freaking company.
"The worst I have done is when my little one had constipation and was just pooping in nuggets on a day trip. Eventually we ran out of diapers, so I just reached into his diaper, pulled out the nuggets, put them in my empty coffee cup, and threw the coffee cup in the trash. I know it was nasty, but I wasn't about to let my kid sit around in poop, and the diaper was completely clean."
"Oh, the boogers I've wiped with bare hands in polite company! If I had a dime for every time."
"I ran out of diapers once when my son was 1. I was home alone without the car and my husband wouldn't be home with diapers for another two hours, so I used a kitchen towel and duct tape as a makeshift diaper."
"We were at a doctor's office when I noticed my child playing under a table. When I looked closer, her diaper had overflowed with poop and some had fallen on the floor. I first ran my kid to the bathroom and changed her diaper and came back with a handful of paper towels to pick up the poop under the table. Everyone looked at me because they saw the poop and it was stinking up the office. The doctor still wasn't ready to see us, so I had to go throw away the poop, wash my hands, and sit back in the smelly office waiting for my turn."
"When my son was a newborn in Germany, the tiny restaurant bathrooms had no changing tables. In the winter, we sure as heck were not taking him out to the car to change a poop diaper, so we would change him (poop diaper and all, as covertly and discreetly as possible) at the table or booth we were dining at. Probably not very appetizing to the friends and guests around us, but what can you do?"
"I've wiped off a kid's nose with an article of clothing that either I am wearing or that the child is wearing, changed a diaper in the baby aisle of Walmart (yes, I am that person), and given them food off the ground that they dropped (nothing wet or sticky though!). When my kid throws up in the pool from swallowing too much pool water, I just push that water away from me and move places."
"I wiped my kid's snot with my bare hands and then wiped it on my pants while talking to a neighbor. We were out for a wagon ride. I didn't have any wipes and acted on pure instinct."