background img

How to Prevent “Puke” and “Play Date” from Ever Going Together

posted by:

I love play dates for my daughter. Not because I particularly enjoy entertaining another rugrat but because Haddie and her friends are finally at the age they can entertain themselves. And if they do interrupt me, I just announce, “Go play. Don’t bother me.”

OK maybe that is not exactly correct. Some days I say, “Don’t bother me. Go play.”

You know, just to mix things up.

I always take them to do something prior to setting them loose on their own. Some days we have a picnic in the park. Other times we go hiking. Last week, it was Central Park playground. If you’re a Denverite and have never been, repent now. This ultra-cool modern playground in Stapleton is a children’s Mecca and features all kinds of nifty rock-like climbing areas, swings, spray fountains, hills, playing fields and a padded ground cover.

The children’s favorite structures were the Dizzy Dummies (bonus points if you know to which show I am referring). They could not get enough of the big blue wheel that spun them around and around. It was a delightful day of spinning and dizziness.

Or so I thought until the drive home.

Hadley and Bode were chattering away while Hadley’s friend Alex remained uncharacteristically quiet. When we were about a mile from our house, she finally croaked, “WATER, I NEED WATER.”

I turned around and I kid you not–the child was green.


“WATER,” she desperately convulsed.

I threw her my CamelBak and she drank like she had been wandering lost in the desert for weeks.

“Do you feel better?”

She still looked queasy but had downgraded from green to a light sage. But still, sage is technically green and I couldn’t get her out of the car fast enough. Vomit is bad enough when it is your own kid but it is utterly reprehensible when it is someone else’s.

We fortunately made it back to my house before she regurgitated her lunch on our front lawn.

It was then that I regretted ever giving her those Doritos.

This little experience has caused me to modify my play-date strategy. No more picnics. No trips to the park.

Better off just to ignore them from the get-go.

Have you had any memorable play date experiences? Do you love or dread play dates?

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

You may also like
  • comment avatar Tia Juana April 26, 2009

    You can thank your lucky stars you made it to your front lawn. One time we gave our neighbor bishop’s kid a ride home from church and she barfed ALL OVER our van. Our brand new van that we had less than 24 hours…..

  • comment avatar MommyTime April 26, 2009

    I’m sorry you had to deal with the Dorito re-runs, but seriously this is a funny story. In particular, I am giggling over your solution to such mess: just to ignore them more on the next playdate. Excellent strategy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • comment avatar Lori in Denver April 26, 2009

    I’ll have to make it out to Central Park.

    Generally speaking I like play dates. Except for the time when my son’s friend shredded one of our wicker chairs. Or the later time he shredded one of my Ti plants.

    Maybe i should introduce him to Casual Perfectionist, Shredder Extraordinaire. Oh wait! I already have!

    I agree with you about other kids’ bodily fluids being utterly reprehensible.

  • comment avatar scatteredmom April 26, 2009


    “I agree with you about other kidsโ€™ bodily fluids being utterly reprehensible.”

    Um…which is exactly why school wants parents to keep kids home when they’re sick because then people like ME get to clean it up when they puke all the way down the hall! LOLOL!

  • comment avatar Tonya April 26, 2009

    The show is Wipeout. Now what do I win?

    What is it about another kids bodily fluids that are so gross when we can clean up our own kids without batting an eye?

  • comment avatar Stephanie April 26, 2009

    An excellent strategy–ignoring them.

    Once a little boy playing at our house needed to use the bathroom. “Hold me,” he said. I held his arms and he proceeded to spray pee all over. He meant to hold his wee-wee so it wouldn’t spray everywhere but in the toilet. Ewwwww….. I’m glad you missed the throw-up in the car.
    P.S. I didn’t know you ran competitively. Did you run in college? What did you run?

  • comment avatar Amber April 26, 2009

    Yah someone guessed the TV reference “Wipeout,” our favorite show in the summer.

    And don’t get me wrong–I still love playdates. Just not puke-inducing ones. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • comment avatar Mama Bird April 26, 2009

    Poor kid! How traumatic it must’ve been for her to get sick in front of her friends and her friend’s Mom! I’m proud of her that she held it until she got out of the car – don’t know that even I could’ve done that! I get dizzy and have to lie down after just dancing around our living room with my toddler, the DANCING QUEEN!

  • comment avatar Noelle April 26, 2009

    I had a 2 year old (not one of mine) puke in my 2 month old truck several years back. I think they must have fed her like 4 hot dogs before sending her on over.

  • comment avatar Stephanie D April 26, 2009

    LOL! At least you got a good story out of this experience. ๐Ÿ™‚ No play dates yet for my little one, not sure if I should be excited for them or dreading them! I agree though, cleaning up my babies messes are bad enough, but at least that’s tolerable, other people’s kids messes, no thank you!

  • comment avatar Terra April 26, 2009

    I AM SO SORRY. I can just picture it, I would have been puking along side her though. Next time – Barney and popcorn on the couch.

  • comment avatar Sketchy April 27, 2009

    I find it appropriate that the add above this post is for Nextcare Urgent care!

  • comment avatar Kassie Bunting April 27, 2009

    I would have pulled out the hose to clean that up. I’m glad you made it home and it happened outside, much more bareable than and in the car our house puke you had to clean up. No more spinning playdates.

  • comment avatar Bonnie April 27, 2009

    Oh.. at least you made it out of the car. That is the worst! I imagine you won’t be serving doritos for a while..haha

    I have never heard of that park.. I repent. My boys are 8 & 11. Do you think they would be too old for it. We are looking for ways to fill up our days because they are “off track”. Of course today won’t work.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have you ever been to Westlands Park in Greenwood Village? It is our favorite park, especially in the summer when they have the fountains going. Your little ones would love it.

  • comment avatar Summer April 27, 2009

    No especially memorable play date experiences but memorable birthday ones. My poor oldest child had someone throw up at his birthday party, on our carpet, TWO years in a row! What are the odds of that?

  • comment avatar Melissa April 27, 2009

    Glad she made it out of the car at least. Let’s see… a meorable play date? How about the little boy with a new pair of cowboy boots who spent the afternoon smashing, stomping and breaking any toy he could get his hands on… that was a good one…

  • comment avatar Holly April 27, 2009

    Haha, I was the puker when I was little! A big sorry to all my friend’s moms!!!

  • comment avatar Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts April 27, 2009

    Yuck! Puke! Eiiiieeeewwww… lol

  • comment avatar Olivia Omega Logan April 27, 2009

    Ah, the memories of puke! There was an year where we couldn’t eat hot dogs because of a full night of puke after eating hot dogs for dinner. It took a whole year to get the sight and smell our of our minds!

  • comment avatar mamadiamond April 27, 2009

    Good thing you made it out of the car. My son once threw up in the car just ten feet from the front door of our house. As gross as I thought it was you should have seen the look on the face of the guys at the car wash when I took it in to be detailed.

  • comment avatar Lauren in GA April 27, 2009

    I am to the point that I dread play dates. Not because of the kids…because of the amount that other people want me to watch their kids. But…that is a different story…

    Mmmmmmm Doritos.

    Doritos, good.

    On the front lawn…not as good ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • comment avatar calibosmom April 27, 2009

    I like good weather playdates when everyone except me is outside for hours. Dorito vomit is nasty!

  • comment avatar Lisa L April 27, 2009

    It must have been your fault she thew up. I mean you let the kid play on the spinning thing and then put her in your car!!!!!

    P.S. I once had a little girl play at my house. She walked in covered head to toe in dripping mud Got it everywhere. LOL!!!

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson April 27, 2009

    Lisa–only you are her MOTHER would know it was not my fault. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • comment avatar One Mom's Opinion April 27, 2009

    Terrible, but at least she made it out of the car. Cleaning that up in the car would have been awful.

  • comment avatar JoAnn, The Casual Perfectionist April 27, 2009

    What a great post! Always be sure to read the fine print on those PlayDate Agreement Forms!!

    Oh, Lori…you’re so funny! He’s not *that* bad. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    So far, the most interesting playdate we’ve had involved the time we accidentally volunteered to babysit my friend’s 4yr old twins and 2yr old little girl. They were really good, for the most part, but we were exhausted and not used to being outnumbered. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • comment avatar diana/sunshine May 4, 2009

    i think it’s inevitable – if you let your kids have friends, you’ll eventually have to clean up after them in some way.

    i’ve had to clean other kid’s vomit and other mothers have had to clean up my kid’s vomit. it just happens.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *