As our best-laid plans often seem to go, I had intended to post earlier this week, telling you all about the insanity of waiting on line in the cold for four hours to buy ticket’s to a 5 year old’s recital. And while that by itself warrants a post, my week was waylaid by a far more pressing issue:
(aka: barf, hurl, puke, throw-up, spew, ralph, upchuck, hork, etc.)
While one of the more unpleasant aspects of this parenting gig, vomit is also an inevitable aspect.
And this week, I had WAY more than my fair share of this unpleasant aspect of this parenting gig.
Before you think I’m going to whine to you about having to deal with child vomit, I can tell you that I’m not the squeamish sort. I accepted early on that dealing with child vomit is part & parcel of being a parent. Maybe I’m not squeamish enough? Here’s an anecdote: you judge.
Several years ago, The Captain & I were at home eating dinner (pizza) with our three oldest kids. #3, who was 3 years old at the time, began choking on the cheese. You know those adrenaline rush moments- I sprang out of my chair, patting his back.
He began to cough heavily, still partially choking, & then… threw up. It happened so quickly that without thinking, I caught the vomit in my hands, splashed it onto #3’s plate, & continued to pat him until he was no longer coughing.
Once things calmed down, I noticed that The Captain was no longer at the table, nor was his plate. He was in the bathroom, on the toilet (fully clothed), eating his pizza.
Me: “Are you eating in the BATHROOM??”
The Captain: “Yes.”
Me: “Ew! WHY?”
The Captain: “Ew?! YOU just caught vomit in your hand & put it on the table!”
Which crime is worse- rescuing your choking child by tossing vomit on his plate, or bailing on your wife & kids to eat your pizza on the toilet?
(Both are really pretty gross, actually.)
Anyhoo, back to this weekend…
You know the expression “sharing is caring”? Well, sharing is NOT caring when it comes to stomach virus germs. And unfortunately in big families, stomach virus germs tend to be shared, quickly.
Saturday morning started pretty well, despite my three hours of sleep. Totally my fault, mind you- I often stay up too late & regret it the next day.
It started fairly innocuously. #5 complained of a belly ache, & was lying down (winter hat- who knows why?)
The Captain works on Saturdays, so he soon left. Soon after that, #3 complained of stomach pain, too. Both he & #5 were lying low.
The Captain called to check on #5 & to warn he work might run late. I told him that #3 also felt sick, but that things were still status quo, so not to worry if he had to stay late.
Famous last words…
An hour later, #3 jumped up, announced he was going to throw up, & did just that in the bathroom. Three times.
#6 made his issue clearer, in the way of… sharting his pants.
Stomach virus protocol then kicks in- bowls distributed to the sick kids. Blankets draped over the couches. Cans of ginger ale distributed. & the Clorox wipes on the counter, ready to go.
These preparations are great, IF the sick child is near the preparations.
(I bet you see it coming.)
As I walked into the living room, I saw #6 lying face down on the recliner, moaning that his belly hurt. I tried to snatch him up in case he was about to throw up.
And he did, but not so much “UP”. More like DOWN. On the recliner.
And OUT. On me.
And the floor.
And the carpet.
And as I carried him to the bathroom… on the hallway floor.
What’s funny is, kids are fascinated by other kid’s vomiting. The sound of vomiting drew kids from various corners of the house:
Image Courtesy of www.giphy.com
So one child was vomiting explosively, two were moaning from the couch about imminent vomiting, & three kids were watching the explosive vomiter & squealing in incredulous shock.
As I cleaned up poor #6, I tried calling The Captain. No answer. And again. And again (Lucky bastard).
When you’re faced with the reality of so much vomit, you kick into survival mode. Literally.
The next few hours were a blur of escorting sick kids to the bathroom, washing the bowls of sick kids who DIDN’T make it to the bathroom, laundering vomit-splashed towels, & Cloroxing every surface possible in our home.
That’s the point. We think as parents that we’re exhausted, or overwhelmed, or stressed, etc. and we probably are- but sometimes the parenting challenge gets even harder, yet we dig deeper & still manage to handle it all.
I wish I could say the chaos was limited to that single night, but it wasn’t. Vomit lasted for several days in our house, but on a positive note:
a) It’s over, & neither I nor The Captain got it!
b) I didn’t catch any vomit in my hands… this time, anyway.Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom