An evening to forget

comedy attempts, family, parenting

Ok, two things: First, I meant to be blogging about how good of a weekend we had (which we did), but other things came up (pun intended, as you’ll see in a minute). And second, I’m sad. I didn’t blog yesterday, ending my string of blogging SOMETHING for 14 straight days. Sigh.

But I must blog, instead, about an evening of infamy, the kind that every parent has several of, but wishes they could blot out of memory forever. If you have a weak stomach, I warn you now, do not finish this post.

We drove home all day today from Boise, getting home around 6:30 pm. Elaine had book group at seven, so I got the van unloaded, fed myself and the kids, helped with homework, and began the bedtime process. Other than a few sharp words out of my mouth, things were going well. Jammies are on, books are read, I’m laying on the bed with Aubrey; Hayley is lying with us because she’s bored. Aubrey’s almost asleep, when she says, “My throat hurts.” Typical stall tactic. I tell her to take a drink of water and go to sleep. She takes one drink, puts her cup down, takes a deep breath…and then literally erupts like Old Faithful. She spews like Mt. St. Helens.

For those unfamiliar with my life, I’ve been a parent for 11 years. I have three daughters. I have seen children throw up. I have cleaned up my share of barf. I’m experienced, no wimpy husband who makes his wife deal with children blowing chunks.

But I have never, ever, in my life, seen anything like this. She’s lying on her back, head on the pillow, and it just keeps coming. Can you get the visual? Then, of course, what goes up, must come down.

My first thought, believe it or not, goes to Hayley. See, Hayley can get sick listening to someone talk about someone else who is sick, and here she is lying right next to her sister emptying her stomach. I hear her yell, “OH NO! OH NO!!” and then she’s just gone, out of the room without even touching the floor, I believe.

I grab Aubrey, turn her over so she won’t suffocate herself, and it still keeps coming. When it finally stops, she’s crying, and crying. I ask her if she’s done, and she says, “I don’t know, I don’t know!” She’s tangled in the sheets, so I get her untangled, take her down the stairs to the bathtub, and then she’s spewing again, all over the stairs. Jump down. Still spewing. On the floor. Lovely dog Jack thinks it’s dinner, and starts scarfing. Put down screaming, spewing three year old, throw dog outside before I start hurling from watching him eating the stuff. Pick up poor girl, sprint for the bathroom, here we go again. On the dining room floor. Who knew a three year old could have the capacity of a 100 gallon septic tank inside her little stomach? Finally get to the bathroom, and still MORE goes into the toilet. The poor, poor girl is shaking and crying, and it finally stops. I look at her.

Her jammie pants are soaked. Her jammie shirt is soaked and covered with the remains of lunch, dinner, and snacks in the car. It’s in her hair. It’s in her eyes. It’s in her ears. It’s in her nose. It’s covered her face. It’s covering my shirt. I have never, ever seen anything so gross and pathetic in my life.

Finally get her stripped and in the bath. She’s still crying. I’m trying to wash it off her face first, and I’m not kidding, it’s stuck like glue. I had to almost chip the stuff off. And every time I pour water on her face, she’s screaming “A towel! A towel! There’s water in my eyes!” And I’m thinking, “GIRL, THERE’S BARF IN YOUR EYES AND YOUR NOSE AND YOUR EARS! WHO CARES ABOUT THE FRICKIN’ WATER!!!” But I must say, what comes out of my mouth is nothing but empathetic, calming words. I must pat myself on the back and say I went above and beyond the call of parenting duty.

By the time we get stuff clean, she’s calmed down. The first thing she says, in a completely calm and chatty voice is, “Daddy, when mommy gets home, tell her I threw up, ok?”

Oh, believe me child, mommy will hear about THIS one. 🙂

9 thoughts on “An evening to forget

  1. I haven’t been in blogland for a few days and I come back to this! I feel your pain (or rather, warm sticky ooze) but I must say, this is hilarious. From a girl who wasn’t allowed to hurl anywhere but the toilet (don’t ask, it isn’t easy), on Aubrey’s behalf – Thank you for being a dad who can deal with it!


  2. Man, that’s so much worse than my exploding cottage cheese container and later exploding nectarine incident yesterday. I bow to your “having one of *those* days” prowess. Hugs to the affected.


  3. It’s amazing how the power to use only empathetic, calming words comes in the real crises, when the usual mild contretemps of getting pajamas on and teeth brushed, etc. leads us to sharp words so often. Oh yes. I know. I will also make sure my husband reads this. He will probably laugh until he cries too. Glad to hear that the storm has passed.


  4. Yoicks, what a post to read on one’s lunch break! The three-year-old-storage-capacity issue is an understudied scientific area awaiting exploration, definitely. Gregg gets three pats on the back for his assuring words during the crisis. And ah yes, the calm and chatty words when things have calmed down…. When son #2 spewed in the car last month (due to a coughing fit, not to intestinal illness per se), he was sure to remind me of it for some weeks afterward: “I frew up in my carseat one time!” — Chris M.


  5. I just returned from vacation and read this in my office. I laughed out loud – got a couple funny looks 🙂 That’s one heck of a mental picture!!!! Glad everything’s OK now


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