At 2:30 am this morning, my son woke me with the words every mother loves to hear in the middle of the night: "Mommy, I barfed." Those words work like a cattle prod for a mother who is deep in sleep, and it's amazing how quickly one can literally leap into action.
As I'm escorting barf boy to my doorway so we can get him cleaned up in the other bathroom, I asked him where exactly he barfed. "Well, it was all over my bed and in my bedroom. I don't think I got it anywhere el....hhbblloooork!" Mmmmmmmm, tasty. Yet another mess to clean up. This time it was smack dab in the middle of the hallway at the intersection where all the bedroom doors open up. And it wasn't in a nice little puddle either. All I could think of, as I looked down in horror, was that poorly written sentence from high school English: "McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup." (Actually, it was tomato soup with melted cheese sandwiches.)
It's overwhelming to be awakened from a sound sleep and have to face that kind of cleaning job. I just stood there in my bare feet and wondered how the heck I was going to clean it all up by myself. Then I remembered that I had a sleeping spouse who might be willing to help. Thankfully, he was, and he was absolutely wonderful about it. We put Barf Boy in the tub, much to his surprise ("Am I allowed to take a bath in the middle of the night, Mom?"), and divided ranks. I worked on the bedroom mess and Phil took the hallway. Between the two of us, we were able to make relatively quick work of the whole thing.
I'm left wondering today why is it that no one teaches you how to clean up after your kid tosses his cookies? What's the best way to get stuff like that off the carpet? (and walls and furniture) With my first child, I counted myself so lucky that he had never thrown up--I had no desire to clean that kind of mess. But, as we all know, pride cometh before the fall: he turned 5 and got his first case of stomach flu. The scenario was slightly different than last night's: he tried to clean it up himself, I heard him hurling in the bathroom, and I got up to help. I was amazed that such a little kid could throw up that much! It was EVERYWHERE! It was on the wall BEHIND the head of his bed. (Did you know you can vomit backwards?)
Phil had a great idea: barf drills. Teaching your kids how to make it to the bathroom in time or at least how to contain it in the bedsheet is as crucial as teaching them how to exit the house in case of fire. I mean really--you don't always have advanced warning of an upset tummy at bedtime. If the kid knows his stomach feels sour when he heads to bed, you can at least give him a barf bucket. It's when it comes on without warning that you have a problem.
So here are some of my favorite terms for vomit. Feel free to add your own to the list.
1. The technicolor yawn
2. Worshipping the porcelain goddess
4. Tossing the proverbial cookies
5. Blowing a rainbow
7. Hork your guts out
10. Spew chunks
And, on that note, I bid you all a Happy Thanksgiving. May your turkey day meal stay where you put it and not end up on the carpet at 2 in the morning.