My Top 5 Parenting Dry Retch Moments

If you’re feeling queasy, currently eating or are considering having kids, then I implore you to stop reading now. You see, parenting is far from glamorous. You may think that it’s all about cuddles, kisses and coochy coos, but you’d be hugely mistaken, my friend.

Parenting is bloody gross. In fact, apart from maybe a surgeon, undertaker or sewage worker, I can’t think of many professions that are more disgusting than having a kid. I swear, I have dry retched more times in the last three years than in the previous 25 before that.

We’re talking the three P’s. Although this sounds like marketing spiel, I actually mean piss, poo and puke. Hell, throw in puss and we can make it four. These bodily fluids which seep from every orifice are bad enough when they come from your body, let alone when it’s someone else’s. If my calculations are correct, I’ve probably held Toddler L’s shit more than I’ve held her.

So, with the power of hindsight – and with my hand firmly placed over my mouth to stop the sick coming out – I thought I’d share my top 5 parenting dry retch moments. Enjoy…

5) The time she had diarrhoea when potty training…

Toddler L is potty training at the moment – something she ate must have disagreed with her because what came out of her arse wasn’t pleasant. I mean, diarrhoea is bad enough when you have it yourself – stomach pains, rancid smells, half a roll of bog roll and pebble dashed toilets. When it’s someone else’s runny turd though, that’s just wrong on all levels.

I was so focused on getting Toddler L not to go in knickers because I didn’t want to deal with that mess, that I totally didn’t consider the repercussions of splash back in her potty. Let’s just say that I was gipping for a good 15 minutes as I cleaned her bum, sloshed the diarrhoea from the potty to the toilet and attempted to bleach the potty to an inch of it’s life.

4) The time I ate something that’d been up her nose…

As I’ve written about before, one of the unexpected benefits of being a parent is that you get to eat your kid’s leftovers. This isn’t great for the waistline, but it’s fantastic to get a bonus portion of food. This activity isn’t without danger though. I learnt this the hard way one mealtime.

The time in question was particularly vom-inducing. We had just left the table having finished our food. On taking the plates through to the kitchen, I had a sneaky look at Toddler L’s plate and popped the leftovers in my mouth. Then it hit me – I’d decided to hoover up all of her macaroni, including the bit that she’d put up her nose and blown out, WHILST SHE HAD A COLD. It took me a long time to eat macaroni again and I still struggle to picture it without a long trail of snot hanging off it.

3) The time she puked in the carrier…

Being sick is a pretty horrendous experience. Puking up your half-eaten food covered in bile can never be described as nice, but as an adult, at least you have some control over where it goes – namely the toilet or a bowl. It’s different with kids though as they just kind of explode.

Toddler L had been a bit under the weather, so we decided a walk might do her good. The missus stook her in he carrier and we wanded out. About three-quarters around the route, the sprog was sick. It came out of nowhere and covered both her and the missus. As she’d not eaten much, the smell of Calpol, yoghurt and bile was particularly strong and wafted right up the missus’ nose. With the sick pooling in her jacket and dripping down their legs, I was very thankful that I wasn’t babywearing that day.

2) The time she shat in the bath…

In at number two – which is ironic considering the topic – is the time that Toddler L shat in the bath. Despite being 2.5 years ago, this event is still burned onto my brain. It’s something I had a fear of and was always thankful hadn’t happened when bathtime was over. However, one day, the then Baby L decided to shit in the bath. Was it a floater, was it a toy boat – who knew?! I’d love to recount the tale again, but I’m still mentally scarred from it so will just link to the post here instead…unfortunately it’s not the only time it’s happened.

1) The time we had to suck bogies with a bogie sucker

Surprisingly, my top dry retch moment doesn’t involve shit. I assumed it would, but when thinking through my last three years, this is the one that brought back the dry retching feeling – HUUUURGGEHH. As tends to happen with babies, the sprog had a cold and her nose was blocked up. In a little kit we’d bought, we had a nasal sucker thing so decided to give it a go.

I kid you not, I’ve never retched so much in my life. Seeing green snot sucked out of her nose and disappear into this thing was the stuff of nightmares. I wasn’t expecting to react in that way, but my god it was disgusting. So much so that I only did it the once, and instead of cleaning it, I just threw it away. I heard about people using their own mouth to suck out baby snot – how vile is that!


So those are my top 5 parenting dry retch moments. To be fair, this could have been a top 50 with other notable events being puke in the car seat, when she was sick on the dog and he ate it, when her nappy leaked and seeped onto my leg, when the dog tried to eat the crap she did outside etc etc etc. As I said at the start kids, parenting is far from glamorous.

Do any of these sound familiar? What are your most remembered parenting dry retch moments? Let me know below!

  • Tom Briggs

    I feel your pain mate! In my student days, my temp jobs included cleaning hospitals, being a bin man and scraping deceased woodland creatures from roads but nothing compares to the grimmage that comes with being a parent. I’ve lost count of the explosive shart attack nappies and having to rescue favourite toys that have fallen in the bog. Niiiiiice.

  • The snot sucker is the worst. Even more so when I forgot to put the little divider in that separates said snot from me! Bleugh.

    Great list! I’ve thankfully missed the vomit filled carrier!

  • Ooo, there’s nothing worse than trying to get poop out of a potty which is stuck to the bottom like glue, when you finally manage to flick it out, it then sticks to the toilet so you have to clean that next… joys!!

    Sick in a car seat is another one… using multiple tooth picks to get it out all the nooks and cranny’s isn’t a benefit of being a parent thats for sure.. 🙂

    • Yep to both of them. We have one potty which is just an awful shape for emptying the contents. So much splashback.

  • Jordan Jarmain

    My top spot goes to the night my little girl was really poorly with a virus and we had to strip her puked on bed 3 times in one night. Everything just got chucked into a black sack cos we didn’t want to deal with it. The next day I had to empty the sack into the bath tub to rinse off the thick of it and my hubby found me lying on the bathroom floor dry retching from the smell. Not a good night.

    • Bleugh. That sounds pretty awful. I’d have probably just thrown the bin bag away haha