As a new mom, I was completely unprepared for one thing. Crying? I had heard rumors. Explosive poop? I had watched tv. Throwing food? Yeah, I’d been hit once in a Burger King. None of that was surprising to my baby virgin eyes.
But let’s talk about puke. Vomit. The inside of one’s stomach gloriously displayed for all to see. Now, to be fair, I am not referring to the traditional vomit one might witness following a rowdy ride on the Zipper post-corndog. This form of upheaval is more affectionately referred to as spit-up — as if this unique and separate name somehow makes it more dainty and cute.
Well let me tell you — it is anything but cute. Do you remember that scene in The Sixth Sense when pre-OC Mischa Barton is sitting under the homemade tent and Haley Joel Osment (remember him? Neither do I) finds her horrifically spewing out of her mouth a whole lot of chunky terror? Well, this so-called spit-up is more along those lines. And for those soon-to-be mothers out there, get ready. Because you’re going to wish you saw dead people.
As terrible as this event is, it is not just a single event, but rather an hourly occurrence. Sometimes every 60 seconds depending on how evil the child is. Given the frequency and sheer volume of the liquid, and the fact that one only has so many burp rags and paper towels, it becomes necessary to come up with, should I say, alternative cleanup methods. A sane person can only wipe up puke so many times before she’s ripped out every hair on her prematurely graying head. And so, with the Spirit of Giving in the air this holiday season, I would like to selflessly share with you all how you can get your kid’s puke cleaned up without having to lift a finger.
Get a dog.
Maybe you’ve said you will never own a four-legged furry friend. Maybe you’ve wanted one but your apartment rules forbid it. Or maybe you’re just waiting for the right time. Well I am here to tell you: NOW IS THE TIME! Forget your negative preconceived ideas. Stick it to the man and put a dog in that apartment. Carpe diem! Because there is never a better time to get one than the first moment your child ejects white, filmy milk all over your recently mopped floor. A dog’s first instinct is to love anything revolting and disgusting. Our dog used to gleefully roll in chicken poop while occasionally taking bites of it. It’s in their DNA. Thankfully, we were successfully able to wean our fur baby off of chicken feces and onto recycled milkshakes. We knew he was smart when we ordered him online, but we had no idea his potential. He can literally hear a burp from across the house and be to Ground Zero in less than three seconds. With great efficiency, he licks up that puddle until the floor has been restored to its previously pristine state. Sometimes I don’t even realize the baby has puked until i hear the lap, lap, lap of the dog’s tongue. Now, do take note. Should you choose this cleanup method, be advised that sometimes your child will think he’s a dog, and try to clean up his mess with his own tongue. But don’t be alarmed. I’m sure it’s perfectly safe. Just make sure he breaks the habit before middle school.
Visit the grocery store — often.
Never again will the words, “Clean up on aisle nine!” sound so beautiful to you. See, the employees of your local supermarket actually getpaid to clean up messes at their store. So when your kid decides to spray the entire grocery cart and the liquid drips through the wire and onto the floor of the cheese aisle, remember — you don’t get paid to clean this crap up. For once, give yourself a break and simply…walk away. The store will soon be alerted to the mess when someone slips in it. But by then, you’ll be in the produce section, and it won’t be your problem anymore. Those apples and bananas will never look so good!
Make your husband do it.
If your husband is around, remind him how you pushed this child out of your vajayjay and the least he can do it is clean up after it. And then go pour yourself a tall glass of ginger ale and put your feet up for a bit. You’ve earned it.
Tie the pacifier around the child’s head so it stays in his mouth.
I’ve seen parents do this, and I can only infer that they are trying to plug the little spew hole. It seems like a good idea to me! Just don’t make him hold the spit-up in his mouth for too long. Eventually, the child will need to learn to talk.
Hire a maid.
If you are lucky enough to be independently wealthy while also the mother to young children, please adopt me. And then hire a maid. There is nothing more noble and motherly than paying someone else’s mother to follow your kid around with a napkin.
I’m still working on this one, but I really think there’s something there! If I could only manage to figure out how to get it to stay tied around his neck in a good position to catch the chunks, I think it’ll be golden. Check back for updates!
Stop feeding him.
Now, I realize depriving your child of food is probably not ideal. But remember — you have to take care of yourself first! If you were on a plane, you would put your oxygen mask on first and then on your child, right? Well, if you are going out of your mind and considering taking off to Cuba on a raft, then maybe it’s time stop the feedings. Just don’t tell anyone. That might not end well for you.
If you consider yourself a religious person, you might try prayer as a form of cleanup. Miracles do happen, right? Just make sure you have enough faith.
Keep your child outside.
My husband used to have a beagle and they made him a really nice and well-insulated dog house. That place was warm! And I don’t know about your baby, but mine loves to crawl around in the great outdoors. So just give him what he wants and let him live out there! Make sure the baby monitor reaches to your backyard, keep a water dish handy, and consider a stocking cap. Think of the money saved on diapers when he learns to poop and pee in your grass! Not to mention the obvious — no more spit-up on your floor!
If you’re allergic to dogs, agoraphobic, single, poor or atheist, have no fear. You will find love in your heart again.
There is one universal and fail-proof solution that is guaranteed to give you the peace of mind of never having to wipe up that awfulness again. Ready for it?
Simply leave it on the floor.
Yes, that’s right. Let the kid puke, and then don’t do a darn thing about it. Of course, you’ll have to avoid stepping in it for a time, and your child will probably use it as finger paint more than once, but eventually, it will evaporate! Science is a beautiful thing. If you do plan on using this method as your main cleanup style, you might consider living in a more arid climate. We live in the desert, making this my go-to. I shudder to think of what my house would look like in Hawaii. But to each her own.
Jennifer Steinberger is a freelance writer located in the god-forsaken desert of New Mexico. When not writing, you can find her teaching her child feminist theory or jogging through the gorgeous gated communities in Albuquerque.