(NOTE: for the sake of our own sanity, we’ve completely misrepresented vomit as rainbows in all of this post’s images)

Being a father is about more than working hard to support your family and loving the crap out of your kids. It’s about cleaning up vomit. Pounds of it. If you don’t like to touch, smell like and potentially, accidentally swallow vomit – you’re not ready to be a father.

You think I’m kidding.

Dog and cat owners will gleefully tell you that nothing’s worse than when their dog coughs up a hairy pile in their living room. But dogs usually eat grass right before throwing up – and grass is a friggin’ treat compared to child-vomit. Even when cats eat birds whole and you find some thrown-up sparrow skeleton covered in cat hair – that’s still a cakewalk compared to the things children throw up.

You know you’re a real father when you realize one day that your carpet looks like cheetah fur and you don’t have a dog.

I’ve compiled for you a list – not of the worst things a kid can throw up – but of the worst “plain” foods. Anyone could tell you that it’s gnarly to clean up three-bean-chili-kid-barf. But as any parent knows, when you go to the doctor with a sick kid, they immediately tell you to stick to “plain” foods – things like white rice, plain toast, plain pasta. But even though it’s “plain” on the way down, it doesn’t mean it comes up that way.

Warning, this list is graphic. If you’ve got a hair trigger on your barf barrel, you might want to skip this list.

In no particular order, here are the worst “plain” foods to clean up.


You’d think rice would be easy to clean up. The problem is that it gets everywhere, and sticks because of the starch. How in Christ’s castle do you even clean vomited rice?! If you wipe it up like a puddle, grains come flying out of every side, and you end up mashing them into the carpet. If you try to pick it all up like solid food, you’re there for an hour with a spoon and a plastic grocery bag.

And it’s not the mess so much as the deception; you think you’ve got everything cleaned up, but somehow, your kid wakes up the next morning and there’s rice in his ear, his hair and in his stuffed animals’ clothes. So a month down the line, you’re wondering why Winnie the Pooh’s got rice matted to his stomach – ding ding ding.

Plus, rice is so small that it hides for awhile and then travels. You think you got it all, then it dries up, gets stuck to your kid’s foot, gets tracked into another room, and weeks later, you find it in your own bedroom. Or, worse – your kid throws up rice, you pick it all up and wash him off, then the next morning, he’s feel