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The Grossness of Being Mom

Nothing – not even the messiness of giving birth – can prepare you for the grossness of being a mom. Take for instance the photo above. This is a promotional pic for an actual product called the NoseFrida super-baby-snot-sucker. And, yes, it's a tube that enables mom to inhale mucus straight out of an infant's clogged nose.

Real moms don't think "blek" when they look at this; they think, "Ah, now why didn't I think of that?!"

Babies leak from both ends, and the volume of drool, vomit, pee, poop and boogers only increases as they get older. This thought occurred to me over the weekend, when I was awakened at 4 a.m. by my youngest daughter retching the previous night's barbecue burger all over my bed sheets – proving, for yet another summer, that a relaxing family vacation is not complete without projectile vomiting.

It's amazing how quickly I have learned to stomach what was once unthinkable. I used to shiver in disgust at the What to Expect passages that suggested biting off your infant's long toenails and fingernails instead of risking sharp scissors. But, before I knew it, I was sticking my nose up to my baby's butt to see if her diaper was full, wiping snot with my bare hands onto my pants (hey, there was no Kleenex around) and nibbling half-chewed food off my kids' plates.

Being a mom means you are impervious to odors that send grown men running for gas masks. If your scent is Eau de Momhood it means you can press your nose to dirty sheets and sniff in deep to see if that stain is indeed a pee stain in your toddler's bed. It means you don't think twice about scooping up handfuls of chunky upchuck from the backseat of your brand new Volvo XC90. (Oh, why did it have to be the first day I got it?)

My most memorable gross-out experience was when my 5-month-old daughter's diaper exploded like a grenade while I was shopping at the Galleria Mall, a 45-minute drive from my house. It was as if someone had shaken a giant two-liter bottle of carbonated crap and opened it inside my stroller. When I finally found a bathroom and yanked her slippery body out of the contaminated seat, the mustard-yellow, runny liquid that had engulfed her flew up and splattered my face and dress. It was then that I realized I had no spare, clean diaper to put on her. Just between you and me: Avoid the small sink in the ladies' lounge on the second floor of Neiman Marcus.

Come on, spit it out. What's your most unforgettably foul mommy moment?