The Many Ways Children Can Be Disgusting: A Timeline

This post is sponsored by Clorox.

Ages 0-6 months
Child is fairly immobile during the early months, so the ways he or she can be disgusting are primarily self-generated. Be prepared for bodily fluids that range from unsettling to vile, including but not limited to: poop, pee, and all manner of digestive output.

Age 6-12 months
Crawling has commenced, and with it has come curiosity. What’s that wet sludge in the bowl the cat eats from? What would it look like on your new sofa? Here’s what! What does grass/soap/the dog’s chew toy taste like? It tastes like horror mixed with breastmilk, and now it’s decorating the rug. Children at this age must be confined and watched with an unforgiving eye so that mommy’s Pepto Bismol and/or daddy’s top-shelf gin don’t result in a frantic call to poison control.

Age 1-2 years
Messes become more creative during the toddler years. Children often dump bowls of spaghetti over their head in the hope of creating an adorable photo opportunity. Be prepared at all times with a fresh camera battery, a roll of paper towels, and a warm bath.

Age 3-5 years
Now children are learning to become real junior-grade hooligans, with their “playful” sidewalk chalk drawings and their “healthful” games of Ring Around the Rosy. Yes, we all fall down, but why must it always be into a mud pit or a patch of chlorophyll-filled grass?

Age 6-10 years
Just forget it–there’s no way you’ll keep up. Children in this age range are always covered in sticky, milky, chocolatey, unspeakable, and/or greasy. You might think these are the pinnacle of the disgusting years, BUT YOU ARE WRONG.

Age 11-15
THESE ARE THE PINNACLE OF THE DISGUSTING YEARS. Armpits smell like chili, hair is sprouting out of all manner of body parts, face is bursting with acne, and hair is constantly under siege by all manner of improperly used “beauty” products. Much like the 0-6 month age range, these messes are mostly self-generated and therefor can only be beaten down with soap and shame.

Age 16-18
Child is now coming out of his or her grooming coma and (we hope) has learned to pluck, shave, moisturize, blow-dry, and use a washcloth, as well as do their own laundry and make and clean up after a simple meal. They will also have nothing to say to you. It’s simultaneously the most peaceful and nerve-wracking time of childhood.

Age 19-death
It’s not your problem anymore. We hope.

Now it’s time to enjoy this video we did with Bethenny Frankel! You didn’t think that other one was the only one, did you? In this one, Alice gets to talk. She discusses her filthy child. She may or may not be exaggerating.

Hey! You can go to “Bleach it Away” to share your messy moments! You might win prizes! Come on! Did your twins simultaneously vomit on your brand-new sweater set? Is the smell coming from your teenager’s room enough to have you calling the Catholic church about an exorcism? Tell them everything!

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