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A Contest of Parental Superiority

noah-sick-croppedThis morning I posted a photo of Noah holding my iPad on his lap, and he, the iPad, and my car were all covered in puke.

As I suspected, whether you’re a parent or not, most of you understood being a parent enough to know three things.

1) Taking a photo in situations such as this is more or less mandatory for so many reasons.

2) As bad as it sucked, looking back there is humor to be seen in it. I mean, come on, that’s an iPad covered in half-digested mac & cheese. Is there an app for that?

3) Posting this is not having a laugh at my kid’s expense. It is simply sharing the reality of day to day parenting.

But, just as I also suspected, there would be those who would get their knickers all twisted up about it. There were a few chew-me-out comments, yes, but on posts like this my email always gets slammed by those who don’t want to be counter-chewed-out by everyone else.

HOW DARE YOU LET YOUR CHILD SUFFER FOR EVEN ONE SECOND TOO LONG?!

I LIKE YOUR BLOG BUT THIS IS TAKING IT WAY TOO FAR!

YOU DIDN’T GIVE YOUR SON A SAY IN POSTING THIS. I HOPE ZEUS HIMSELF STRIKES YOU DEAD.

IF SATAN HOOKED IT UP WITH HITLER AND HAD A BABY, YOU WOULD BE THE RESULT.

You get the idea.

I just laugh because I know those three things above and I really don’t give a crap what people who have some need to feel superior as parents say about it.

I know that his mom needs to see the photo (if you’re a co-parent, you understand this). So do all the people/parents who are wondering why I didn’t show up to where we were caravanning. So do I, when for the rest of my life I want to remember being a dad to my little man through the thick and the thin of it all.

I know the difference between when my child is suffering and when he’s simply covered in puke and five more seconds compared to the hours of cleanup ahead really doesn’t matter.

Considering that the following was the first photo we took? I’m guessing you’d agree. And yes, I had to ask my kid not to smile so that we could remember just how “unfun” it really was. Again, I don’t want people to have to see something gross they don’t want to see, so click here to see the first shot we took of the mishap.

I also know a lot more about the situation that I simply didn’t share because, frankly, I don’t think I need to tiptoe around all the parenting tulips anytime I post something. The truth is no one has any idea how far away we were from a place we actually could stop and clean it up. No one has any idea how many stop lights we had to stop at on the way. No one knew where I took that picture, or how long it took. No one knows what went down before during and after. No one knows what conversations I had with my son before posting it to the world. I wrote it that way on purpose. I shouldn’t have to write out every detail so that you can “properly” judge me.

Anyway, like the class acts that most of you are, most of you didn’t care because you get it. And you assume the best. And you don’t need details so that you can hold yourself up against me as better or worse as a parent. You get that we’re all just parents, and we’re all going to do our best. You get that there is a degree of humor in a kid holding an iPad, sitting on leathered upholstery, covered in puke. You also get that Satan and Hitler can’t have a baby because they are missing at least a few lady parts to get ‘er done.

For those of you who aren’t part of most of you, chillax. This isn’t a contest of parental superiority.

It’s a contest of who can identify Noah’s last meal. Or something like that.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

373 comments
Raegan
Raegan

i would have taken a pic too...dude, he is even smiling in the pic....perfection!

guest
guest

Loved the post.  BUT...you forgot to say "Penquin" to those haters!!!

emmat
emmat

I loved that post and it really made me laugh because that very day I had been thinking about buying a tablet so I could get my 4 year old son off my laptop, but was worried about dribbles/food/general damage on it and then I realised they are the least of my worries!!  Also it just gave me heart after what seemed like long holidays where we had seemed to be driving each other mad and along with the joy, there are many of those kind of moments... Let's just say we are both kind of relieved to be back to normal.  Thank you for posting this stuff and your response above. 

reneehoward
reneehoward

So, is it possible to actually remove (all) vomit from an ipad?  ;)  Gotta laugh at those awesome parenting moments!  One of our kids barfed DOWN the seat belt well in my husband's truck.  Took two years for all of the lingering puke smell to go away.  Didn't matter how much we cleaned.  AWESOME!

kendram
kendram

I love that the before picture is him grinning from ear to ear. I can just hear "wait, Noah...we're not having fun, for posterity, no smile this time". I took pix of my kiddo while she was having an IV inserted into her hand 20 minutes after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I was holding her hand at the same time. Its parenting. Zeus hasn't gotten me yet...

syates83
syates83

Bahaha...been there done that.  It's like a parental right of passage.

AmandaK
AmandaK

Poor Noah. Hope it was carsickness and not the flu. And poor iPad, what would the Genius Bar do with that lol.

SueJackson
SueJackson

I think maybe more parents should stop to grab a camera and snap a picture before they react to WHATEVER is going on with their kids (unless they are bleeding, not breathing or some other life threatening situation) because that would give them the less than 30 seconds to take a breath and calm down and react better to the situation with a more clear head then they might would have. I can't tell you how many times I have seen parents completely flipped out over the dumbest things when they obviously need a breather before taking care of business. At least we know you are not yelling and upset over what happened and that you probably made him feel BETTER cause if Daddy is snappin pics then he is probably not mad at me right? I would imagine Noah was probably more worried that daddy would be mad about his iPad than how bad he felt...Kids are not selfish like that.

that_one_girl
that_one_girl

Satan and Hitler would need a surrogate ... perhaps a succubus would suffice?


Kellie
Kellie

It's not like he's bleeding to death, sheesh people lighten up. Dan, if you're being compared to Hitler and Satan, perhaps you should direct those people to a history book and a Bible!!  Any honest parent should be able to find the humor in this, if for no other reason than "thank God that wasn't my iPad", oops I mean,  "thank God that wasn't my child" ;-) Thanks for being you!!

EmmaJewel
EmmaJewel

oh for pete's sake.  some people take themselves way too seriously.

plus - Zeus didn't strike people dead, he made love to them... I could take a punishment like that!

runswithscissors
runswithscissors

HA!  Rest assured, I have done "worse things" to my children according to those parents. All of mine are still laughing today about similar situations! GEEZZZ People lighen up! From what I have seen, you're doing an outstanding job at parenting!

p.s. hang in there it gets much better. :)

going4fit
going4fit

People really posted that? Let me guess, these are the same people who don't hesitate to leave their child unclothed for 10 extra minutes to take naked-butt photos, right? That child could DIE of pneumonia, what kind of wacked out parents are they?

Signed, My Parents Only Wasted FIVE Minutes On Naked-Butt Pics, Hence I Am Still Alive!

hgubisch
hgubisch

SMH...People (i.e. the Extremists-I love that "name") just have too much time on their hands, Dan. You got this :)

StephanieFriant
StephanieFriant

So with you!  No one knows the who story about our lives, nor do we need to share them.  Parenting is an art, and only we know (or try to know) how to do it the best way we can with our particular circumstances.  Someday, that photo will be a great laugh for your son!    We have a routine of being prepared for my son to throw-up after a day of driving - last time he was so proud of how much ended up in the bucket!  I'm sure he would have appreciated a photo, we just didn't think of it.

rescuecountry
rescuecountry

People do need to lighten up. Main reason I subscribed to your blog. I also wondered if Noah hadn't read your NY resolution to laugh more this year and was testing your limits. Kids do that. I could see a little mind saying "hmmm, let's see if he can laugh at puke on his ipad!" I jest. And I'm sure Noah survived. But for anyone to take it for anything other than your being funny... well... is a little sad.  Keep us laughing please - I need it this year as I'm sure, do many others. Stay strong, ignore the haters. :) 

MicheleClarkPowell
MicheleClarkPowell

<3 I wish we were neighbors. Oh the stories we could share! LOL! 

PaulCarpenter
PaulCarpenter

Dan: You obviously don't need another brother, but for some reason, any criticism of you brings out the protective older brother in me. Those few who would condemn you as a bad parent are idiots. Any fair reading of your work makes two things palpably obvious. First, you love Noah more than life itself. Second, Noah  loves you the same way. Nothing else matters. Period, Every parent and child I know is going through this virus thing this winter, sometimes multiple times,  I would have thought that the experience of cleaning up  puke would remind us  that  no parent is superior to any other in that circumstance. Glad Noah is better. Rock on, Dad.

TeresaMMcQueen
TeresaMMcQueen

You know, I totally didn't realize that was half digested mac and cheese. Need to pay better attention. I bet it was pretty tasty, before coming back up. Glad he's feeling better though. Satan and Hitler? Really? People are strange. Thanks for posting this pic. It's endearing because, like you, I realize the humor to be found there.

Sheryl81
Sheryl81

barf, snot, and burf (baby spit up at its max out), diapers, fevers, nasty scraps cuts, etc...some of things are definitely pic worthy. i remember when both my older kids got sick after we moved into the house and my hubby deployed a few years back and lordy! my daughter barfed a crooked line across my carpet from her room to mine and back again, and my son practically plastered my bathroom with it. i took pictures at 4am just so my husband could see his kids were sick but know despite the damage, they were ok, and i was miserable...clean up was not hours, it was a whole day, on top of caring for them i was also caring for our premature 6 month old. me and the kids were laughing about it all day (took pics of that too!), and if someone says i am sick for that...well boo hoo....if they werent laughing they would have just been miserable and moaning. Laughter is the best medicine, and i used it.

iamkellyjo
iamkellyjo

Not only does his mother need to see this, as well as the caravan you were joining and, frankly, me (this is hilarious...), but HE will need to see this when he is older, has a kid of his own and is bitching about cleaning up his first round of puke. And you can be all like, "Preachin' to the choir. Been there, done that, buddy. Here, let me show you a picture to show you now NOT bad you have it!"

domesticgoddesq
domesticgoddesq

I have to say that I regularly grab a camera before reprimanding/cleaning up. It's a parent thing I guess :D

HeidiTechmom
HeidiTechmom

I work in IT; I vividly remember having to tell a user at the business where we both worked that no warranty anywhere covered his vomit-covered laptop! (His daughter had climbed up onto his lap just before becoming ill.) Kids recover quickly, electronics? Not so much...

Okay, I 'tsked!' yesterday... but I'm not the photo-taker in the family, I'm the Woman of Action! (Also, I mentioned my husband's weak stomach... so I clean up ASAP so that I don't have TWO messes to deal with!)

My panties remain untwisted, cheers!

HopeRyan
HopeRyan

The only reason that all of US don't have pictures of ourselves during these awkward moments is because our parents didn't have 3 different picture capable pieces of technology on them at  any given moment. My mom had this huge chunky camera thing and you got once chance to get the pic right because it was SO expensive to get the stuff developed. My aunt had a Polaroid. And that film was too expensive for funny business.
But i am at least 200% sure had the occasion arose when i was in Noah's position, and my mom had a cell phone or something with a camera on it, there would be a picture of it somewhere. I'm sure all of us would have a lot more embarrassing pictures if the technology had allowed it at that point in time.

Nikki Lowson
Nikki Lowson

Jeez,the haters really need to lighten up and stop putting their judgement of what "perfect parenting" is on to everyone else! Most of us reading this story know that it took all of 5 seconds to take a couple of shots and that Noah was probably perfectly happy to pose (if he is anything like my daughters who LOVE to pose for pictures at any time) and then the whole mess was cleaned up.  No harm done to anyone! 

I think its awesome that you took this picture.  Anyways, seriously how could you not take a picture....this kid is so damn cute even though he just puked!

Can't please everyone.  This is your blog, Dan... glad you have taking it back for yourself... as long as you and your family are ok with the pictures the its all good. Random people posting hateful comments or emails are just gonna have to deal with it!  

PeteNJ
PeteNJ

Hasn't every parent been through this?  Or are there parents who did everything so right??   Raising a kid, especially as as single parent, is either a string of anxieties or you make it moments to smile and laugh about.   I've had far too many moments just like this, when my kid was 5, when my kid was 20. 

At 5, you slug through the mess, put the kid to bed and with a little luck and ibuprofen, he's better by night time.  When they're 20, you hold their hand, bandage their wounds (both physical and emotional), and also with a little luck and ibuprofen, they're a little better by night time.

Actually, one of my favorite pics of my older kid (daughter) at age 4 or so, is in the back seat of a rental car, on the highway in Arizona on vacation, when somehow she got into a chocolate bar.   (at least I think it was just a chocolate bar ;-)   Hair, face, clothes, seat, windows -- everything she could reach.     Isn't it great!


Tiffany'Anthony Na'grom
Tiffany'Anthony Na'grom

Exactly, Tina Lywood, " life happens, and gotta laugh bout it". I am a mother of 7 children and all of them have had a lot of eew gross moments, you get through it by laughing it off. All of my children are under age 12 and this last Nov. I had the bottom 5 throwing up for three days all I could do was laugh, laugh at the fact that every time I turned around I was running to help and clean another mess, laugh at all the dirty laundry that was being created, and laugh that my hubby could not help because then I would have to clean his up too..my weigh in on the taking of pictures is that pictures are a way to scrapbook our lives... =)

MellieG
MellieG

Can't please everyone! Years from now you and Noah will laugh about it...because I know I do with my two older kids .... they're always like "Mom, you really took a picture of THAT????" and I'm always there with a BIG smile on my face saying "Yep!" .... it's all good.....

LindaCusickKasza
LindaCusickKasza

This made me laugh. He seems to think its funny too.  Laughed at my daughter's father, when he took her to longwood gardens in the middle of summer and when he came back with her 4 hours early looking like he'd just been through hell and back, waiting for him to tell me what happened, i couldve only imagined. All he said to me was "she got car sick on the way there, she needs a bath, so do i." Shame he didnt take a picture lol. I was laughing at his misery, not hers, of course I put her in the tub and got her some water and did what mom's do. Its life, its part of having kids. If you havent cleaned puke off furniture, out of you car, off siblings, the dog, yourself then you either got away lucky or you just havent really parented. Spaghetti o's btw are worse than mac and cheese,  for one everything is stained orange no matter how hard you scrub. Good luck to you. :)

Susan
Susan

Haters gonna hate! I think its awesome you took a picture. I'd do the same thing. Hope Noah is feeling much better. You're a great dad! Brush your shoulders off! ;)

Tina Lywood
Tina Lywood

to bad those judgemental parents are out there, personally when I saw the puke it made me smile from one of my experiences, my husband was holding one of our boys while the other one was beside him. he's all dressed up waiting to go out. When I hear the cry for help, I run into the room and both boys are puking on him and around him. I laughed so hard I had tears running down my face. It took my husband few minutes to see the funny side, which is that "ewww gross. " life happens, and gotta laugh bout it.

AllYouNeedIsLove
AllYouNeedIsLove

When my son was still in diapers, he realized that it would be fun to "paint" himself and the inside of my car with the contents of his diaper. I sure did take a picture and I don't regret for one second, having stopped long enough to capture a memory I never want to forget. (And I was laughing so hard I had to take more than one picture) In my opinion, THAT is great parenting!

AnnaHoward
AnnaHoward

When we were younger, my sister would get car-sick no matter how short the trip was. She would throw up in the car multiple times a week. I wish we had some pictures to remember the crazy things that happened! We even had a "puke spot" on our paper route where she would get out and throw up every day, haha. 

KimberDawn1
KimberDawn1

I don't get the haters.  At all.

My first thought was "aw, poor baby!"  Meaning Noah, immediately followed by you.  Been there, done that as a parent, but without the technology.

Sympathy followed by empathy.  

Keep doin' what ya do, it's awesome!!

Dave
Dave

This is absolutely awesome. Well done sir, in:

1) taking the photos

2) being able to laugh it off in and after the moment

3) taking them to task.

Alexa Ristow
Alexa Ristow

Yup I think everyone should get a grip on reality we all take snaps of everything these days and if people don't like it then they mustn't read your blog ! Whenever I need a laugh its one of the first things I do !!!!!

Mary S
Mary S

Camera phones are quick...its not like He posed for HOURS covered in it, I would have done the exact same thing... Question...On a public blog can you just DELETE the haters?? And How do I get your email? Sometimes on the go posting here is hard from my tablet but emails go quick and easy... Support is all I have for you. 

I was also a single parent.  I didn't get the option to be a co parent due to life circumstances, but divorce, death, jail or whatever doesn't lesson the difficulty ANY parent faces... You go Dan!!

Cmeisner
Cmeisner

My 13 year old son was suppose to be doing homework. Instead he was spacing out watching TV with his hand holding both his chin and his pencil. I snapped at him to get back to his homework and scared him so bad he accidentally stabbed himself in the nose with his pencil. Once I stopped laughing long enough to catch my breath the first thing I did was snap a pic and send it to his Gramma. It's part of being a parent. It doesn't mean we don't love them to pieces, we just want to save all of those silly memories. 

Kathleen Harris-Johnson
Kathleen Harris-Johnson

To all those 'superior' parents and responders I say "ALLIGATOR!!!!!" To Dan, right there with ya dude ;-)

KristaIrwin
KristaIrwin

I just felt bad for the poor kiddo since it looked like he was in the car instead of at home. I only started reading recently. I'm sure you're probably a great dad. So, those superior posters can get over themselves. You did make me glad I'm not a single parent.

KathleenHJ
KathleenHJ

To all those 'superior' parents and responders I say "ALLIGATOR!!!!!" To Dan, right there with ya dude :-)


Jitka Kratochvílová
Jitka Kratochvílová

Seems everyone is going through some stomach problems these days, fortunately my three kids are already bigger, so it is going the other way... Reminded me of a trip on Lanzarote to Timanfaya volcano park, going by bus, sharp turns and our five year old puked all over herself and my husband. A German tourist came up to him, handed him over a plastic bag with the words "für dle nächste Erruption!" My husband spent half an hour to clean both of them in the public toilet and then dried his shorts over the volcanic heat ;-)

LisaCampbellBlocker
LisaCampbellBlocker

I once took a photo of my son hanging upside down with his ski caught in a retaining fence with him hanging down a snowy incline.... he was stuck tight(it took ski patrol to get him loose!), he was ok, he was laughing, he was FOUR and thought it was THE coolest part of his ski trip!   

Lisa Campbell Blocker
Lisa Campbell Blocker

Just so you feel better my 17 yr old who has autism walked calmly in the kitchen tonight and stated "I can't believe I spilled chocolate milk on the iPad" You can imagine the NOT cool scramble that took place for hubby and I to get there to see how much damage had been done!! Thank goodness for sturdy covers!! We have the Trident Kracken (My kids picked it because they like to say "release the Kracken" when they want a turn!!) I highly recommend OtterBox as well for great covers!!

heatherewo
heatherewo

When I saw the previous post I sympathized with you. We do not own an iPad but last night my daughter, a year younger than your son, puked in our van. Thankfully she grabbed a bag and ralphed in that but still all the sudden splashing sounds from the back of the car was traumatizing! Thankfully my husband kept her calm and I pulled over dumped the bag, cleaned it out with a half bottle of water that was rolling around on the floor, and made it the 40 more minutes home. You are a champ for dealing with that huge mess on your own and I hope that was the only vomit session of the night!!  

AmandaK
AmandaK

@Kellie maybe that person had watched too much South Park and now believes that satan has lovers.

LisaCampbellBlocker
LisaCampbellBlocker

@Sheryl81   OMG that happened to us once... we were literally cleaning the carpet as we left our old place and one kid began puking and SPUN in a circle... recleaned that carpet... got to the new house and then they barfed from the bedroom all the way down the hall to the bathroom!   We know how to break in a new house!!