Saturday, July 5, 2008

Throwing Up in Public

When I was younger, nothing grossed me out more than vomit. I felt terrible for my parents when they had to clean up after me or my brothers and sisters. And the time that my brother puked all over my hair was as traumatic a moment as I could imagine at the age of five. But now that I'm on the parental side of things, I'm happy to say that being grossed out by vomit has gone the way of being grossed out by the idea of changing diapers.

There's nothing worse than when one of your children is sick. They're miserable and all you can do is sit there and wish it was you instead. What's even worse is when all the signs are there that your child is sick, you ignore them, and then things get nasty in public.

My wife woke up in the middle of the night complaining of a sore throat. I mean here no offense when I am used to her complaining in the night, as this pregnancy has her nauseated and she frequently can't sleep, but a sore throat was something new. And despite the fact that she has complained of feeling sick for the past few weeks, it was a surprise when my wife--with her stomach of steel--started throwing up.

I decided to get myself and the kids the hell out of there.

We went to a restaurant and were planning on hitting a park for a while. My girls were excited about the prospect of going to the park for a couple of hours to run off some steam. But my younger one was also crabby as all get-out. She just couldn't stop whining and griping and she couldn't keep her hands to herself. In all my concern about my wife, I neglected to see the obvious.

Until it was obviously all over the floor of the restaurant.

So that's what she meant by "My mouth hurts." So that's why my usually ravenous daughter didn't eat much for breakfast or lunch. So that's why we've been having such a genuinely crappy day.

She puked in colors I've never seen come out of someone and in quantities that would have been staggering even for me. To top it off was the bright blue tooth paste that she had made such a mess of that morning (why didn't I know that she was eating it when she took so long to "brush her teeth all by myself," I kept wondering).

People who don't have kids are often surprised by how easy it is to deal with your child throwing-up. There's even the strange and surprisingly logical conclusion that a parent jumps to to catch the vomit in one's hand.

In no time at all I was surrounded by sympathetic old ladies with handfuls of napkins--some of them even wet. I think the vivid colors made some people stare a little more than I was comfortable with, but I made quick work of concealing the offending matter with the napkins. A kid who worked there showed up with a bucket and mop and assured me that he had it from there.

Poor kid.

I guess my point is that throughout the whole graphic affair, all I was worried about was if my daughter was feeling well or not. It's reassuring to know that in the thick of such matters, being petty or grossed-out is a hard thing to do. Yet another little tidbit about how being a parent changes you.

1 comment:

amy said...

Kudos to you for writing "nauseated" rather than the ubiquitous and incorrect "nauseous." :-) i hope everyone is feeling better very soon!!