I sat my kids down this morning and had a little heart-to-heart lesson on a very important topic:

Throw-up etiquette.

Because it turns out it’s a very important thing for a child to know in order to keep their parents’ sanity in tact. (Stop reading here if you the phrase “throw-up” makes you queasy, because this post is plastered with it.)

Unbeknownst to us we walked in to a little bit of a stomach bug when we were up North in the mountains earlier this week. A quick 24-hour thing, but still, throw-up is throw-up.

So, here are the rules to master the etiquette that I hope I got across to my sweet children this morning:

1) First and foremost, throw-up goes in the toilet.

2) Do not throw-up in the sink.

3) If you do happen to throw-up in the sink because you really can’t tell the difference between a sink and a toilet in your sick delirium (sure, it happens, I understand), don’t try to rinse it out with water when it gets plugged. It’ll only make it more clogged. Which equals more mess for your mother.

4) Don’t eat chocolate ice cream if you’re sick to your stomach. It makes for really tough throw-up clean-up.

5) Do not get on your hands and knees and throw-up on the carpet. Especially when it is about seven feet away from the toilet. And even more importantly especially when it’s just inches away from tile, because that makes your mother extra frustrated. You see, tile is much easier to scrub than super duper light tan carpet piled with chocolate-tinted throw-up.

6) Your mother still loves you even if you wake her up in the night and she gets all huffy because she has to clean up gobs of throw up while dry-heaving. She’s just a little tired and a lot grossed out.

7) Just because your mom buys Saltine crackers to dissipate your stomach ache, it doesn’t give you creative license to leave trails of crumbs throughout the entire house over and over and over again.

There. Just had to get that out. Two kids down, here’s to wondering who’s next…

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  1. Can I add a couple…

    1. If you go to bed feeling sick and you take a bowl to bed with you, please, please, please, vomit in the bowl. (How is it the bowl ends up being the cleanest part of the bed)

    2. If you are feeling barfy before going to bed, please remove all books and toys from your bed, especially if said books and toys do not belong to you. Your brothers will be very sad when you barf all over their brand new books. Books will not be washed of barf, they will simply be thrown away.


    3. If someone in our house is barfy, do not, I repeat do not drink from their gatorade bottle or their sippy cup with gatorade in it. I know it's tempting but let's just not tempt fate…

    Sorry…just had to add a couple…we're in the same boat this week!

  2. Here's my addition:

    1. If you feel you're going to throw up, DON'T COME TELL ME!!!! Go straight to the bathroom and then call me.

    This rule of throw up etiquette has saved me in the past from throw up on the carpet.

    Hope everyone is better soon!

  3. A LARGE bowl taken to bed was the answer for our family too, and then THEY empty it in the toilet and THEN rinse it in the sink. They learn real quick if they have to help clean up the barf. We'd also take "the bowl" in the car if someone was feeling sick – it works GREAT!! My kids even bring ME a bowl when I'm feeling sick in bed!!

  4. I can totally relate. We had the stomach flu far too many times this past year. the worst is when they lay in bed and just throw up, rather then attempting to run to bathroom. We have a designated throw up bowl that people take to bed when they aren't feeling good, it's helped a little. Hope not everyone gets it. Sometimes I just wish if we all are gonna get it, let's all get it at once rather then let it works its way slowly through everyone which makes for a very long week. Good luck 🙂

  5. Grandma Betty's rule:
    If you start throwing up… STAY PUT! Do not try to make it to the bathroom. You leave a throw-up trail. It is easier to clean up one spot that multiple spots that are on floor, furnature & walls.

  6. My MIL used to tell me that she would make her kids clean up their own vomit… I never understood until my kids grew up a little more and their throw-up stopped being "cute" (as if it ever really was)

    Still, they seem to get the vomit in the most impossible places… ugh!

    Hope you are all better now!

  7. oh how do i love this post! 🙂

    i've totally had conversations like this with my students!!
    so funny

    hope everyone feels better!

  8. HEHEHE!! This post makes me chuckle. I have 6 kids and all of them knew they were really not allowed to throw up. Ashley did only once – while in the depths of kidney failure. We had moved to Biloxi, Mississippi which is a VERY POOR choice for a family with someone in kidney failure, a hurricane came the week we arrived and we wound up living in a hotel on the beach for the next 4 months. We went to McDonald's for a healthy breakfast – and low and behold Ashley who was nearly non-verbal announced she was going to "frow up". We all told her she would NOT throw-up but she did. Right on the tray. We picked up the tray, threw the entire thing into the trash can, left the restaurant, and forever referred to that booth as the "frow-up" booth and NEVER – EVER sat at it.

    I think I have just been lucky – no one throws up.

  9. Well said! I'm glad to have a model plan for when I sit my kids down…which, admittedly I hadn't ever planned to do, but will most definitely do now 🙂

  10. Kid on the bed – "Sorry I threw up all over the floor Mom."

    Me (cleaning the carpet) – "That's OK, taking care of you like this bonds me to you."

    My Husband (to child) – " It does NOT bond Father's to their kids, OK?"

  11. Oh I am so sorry!! This reminds me of a time I got food poisoning and we were up at a resort. Our baby was in a pak 'n' play in the bathroom part that had the toilet and I couldn't get in … so I had to puke in the sink … those poor resort workers who had to clean up the overflowing, plugged sink! Anyway, your post made me laugh out loud … we have all been there! Hope the flu bug is now out of your house!!

    Fun to see you this week and catch up. Have a great time in Utah!!

  12. Oh man I sure agree with all these extra rules added…

    Yes, we did have the designated throw-up bowl sitting right next to one of their beds, so I needed to add PLEASE use that next time, and I definitely need to add PLEASE do NOT tell me if you're going to throw up…go throw up in the toilet first, then come get some TLC from me. I'll be much less huffy that way.

    Luckily I think we're done with this bug and all's well once again around here!

  13. Hi there!

    My first visit to your blog.

    I am an empty nester to four wonderful children. Well the nest isn't totally empty… the Daddy bird is still around. Ü

    I have a younger friend Emily… Mom to three tiny ones… and your blog was on her favorite things list so I came to check it out. I like it. She also has your book.

    I have not found where you tell us how you got the name [71 toes]… maybe I will come across it.

    Thanks for sharing. I am going to have to go get your book now… especially after watching your interview on YouTube.


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