Mike’s Dump

February 20, 2006

The Dad’s Survival Guide to Puke

Filed under: Kids — mikesdump @ 1:22 pm

My older daughter turned six over the weekend and my younger daughter
is two and a half tomorrow. In my six years of being a dad I have seen
my fair share of puke. I’ve seen chunky puke. I’ve seen liquid puke.
I’ve seen puke that has made me ask, “When did you eat that”? I have
been puked on more times than I care to think about but fewer times
than my wife, which according to the official rules on the subject means I’m winning.

I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on puke but with the experience I
have, I thought it would be good to share a few pointers with new or
expecting dads.

Pick your puke carefully
While being a dad you are going to have to clean up some puke so pick your puke wisely.
Not all puke is created equal. Some puke you are going to want to clean
up and other puke you are not. I see three main categories:

1) Puke while eating.
This is the tamest puke you’ll find. If the child is old enough you can
try to explain the hard part with this food is done (it is already
chewed). If they look like they are buying into the idea but they are
sitting on the fence offer a straw and turn it into a game. Cheer them
on if you like. “Show that food who’s the boss”!

If they don’t like the idea of slurping up their own vomit with a straw
you can also try suggesting they lean their plate to one side so the
vomit doesn’t mix into the rest of their food. I would recommend you
get them to eat quickly though because you wouldn’t want to put that
plate in the microwave to heat it up.

Before you start judging me, no I have never done this to my kids. Sandy keeps telling me “that’s gross” and she won’t let me.

This is a puke you want to volunteer to clean up. Usually it is on the
plate and it is simply a matter of scrapping it into the garbage and
putting the plate in the dishwasher. You probably won’t earn many
brownie points but cleaning up puke is cleaning up puke.

2) Puke within 20 minutes of eating
This type of puke is usually caused by kids twirling around until they
can no longer stand right after they eat. While laughing hysterically
and falling all over the place it happens, {insert vomiting sound
effect here}. It is a pretty strange sight because this type of puke
really doesn’t faze the child and before the puke is cleaned up they
are probably asking for a snack while they continue to twirl.

Again, volunteer to clean up this puke. This close to being finished
eating the food is still chunky and probably doesn’t smell all that bad
yet. If you are lucky perhaps you had corn with the meal, we all know that stuff
never digests anyways right?

3) Puke 20 minutes after eating
Twenty minutes is just a rule of thumb. This value will vary from child
to child. At this stage the food is starting to digest. The supper is
mixing with the unprocessed lunch and breakfast and the florescent
green coleslaw from KFC that just doesn’t want to leave the body.
Once the child blows it is going to be scary and it is going to be

This is the type of puke that I would try to avoid cleaning up. Perhaps
this is a good time to rush off to the can and start moaning. After you
are behind the locked door yell out, “it must have been something we

If it didn’t smell good before�
From a puke perspective don’t feed your child anything, I mean anything,
that doesn’t smell good before they eat it. I’m starting to be able to
eat a little bit of feta cheese in some things but I still think the
stuff stinks. Feta cheese or anything equally as pungent probably
shouldn’t be a first choice when planning a meal for a child. If it
smelt bad going down it isn’t going to smell better coming up.

Is the carpet really worth saving?
Now I don’t mind being the hero when it comes to fighting off floating
shampoo bottles
or beating the fluff out of, well, fluff
but I’m not the type of hero that will dive with open hands to catch
puke before it hits the carpet. Carpet deodorizer was invented for two
reasons: pets and kids. You wouldn’t want to be responsible for putting
the hardworking people that create these products for us out of work
would you? I don’t discourage Sandy from making these incredible saves
because in the end it means less puke for me to clean.

To summarize: know your puke, watch what your kids eat and don’t be a
hero. If you can follow these steps you can probably avoid some of the
pain I went though. But even if you do go through some pain, it is all
worth it in the end



  1. I would like it more if you have pictures for each category of puke.
    I was trying to imagine each category in my mind and compare it to mine, but I thought pictures would be helpful.

    Comment by Ghassan — February 25, 2006 @ 1:17 pm | Reply

  2. I do get quite a few opportunities to capture these pictures. I’ll see what I can do.

    Comment by mike — February 25, 2006 @ 3:36 pm | Reply

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