Before having children I had genuinely believed that you were only ever sick for one of four reasons – you had a tummy bug, you were drunk, you’d eaten something dodgy or you were pregnant. Therefore, if I knew someone had blown chunks and they were not obviously pregnant or slurring, I’d convince myself that they were contagious and that I was now DEFINITELY going to be ill – and would immediately start feeling sick accordingly!
Then I had children.
It still amazes me the seemingly endless reasoning behind a child vomming.
Noah has been known to resort to the “uh-oh, I’ve eaten too much – here comes the blow-back” spew on occasion. (OK, have to fess, I’ve done that a couple of times too – I still have some trouble looking an enchilada in the eye after one particular over-eating incident I shan’t dwell upon any further…!)
Isly is a particular fan of the “you made me eat something I didn’t want to” puke. I’m actually quite envious of her cunning – no parent wants to induce a barf if they can possibly help it – wish I’d thought of it with my mum’s “risotto” aka dodgy ‘special’ (eyebrows raised) fried rice… 😉 Sorry Mum!! xx
(Just going to quickly digress – I mentioned this dish to my mum a while back and she has absolutely no recollection of it – whereas I am haunted by it forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ha ha Sorry Mum – again!! xx)
Gabriel, thankfully, (to-date) is not a major player in the technicolour yodelling championships. To-date. (VERY important not to tempt fate about these things!!)
And Tobs, well, he’ll choose any reason he pleases – he’s a bit hot, he’s got a cough, he just felt like it…! He’s a great believer in partaking in an in-car chunder – I have had to de-sick a car seat more times with him than all the rest of the children put together (and he’s not even 2 yet!).
Whatever the reason, I think it is fair to say that clearing-up after a projectile ralph is one of the more grizzly parenting jobs on offer! If the child has done a good job, there is inevitably a brief moment where you pause in the wake of the vomit tsunami and just think “Where the f*** do I start?!”. You look at your now-crying, possibly near-hysterical, child and see their saturated, chunk-covered clothes and the now-matted hair and think “that’s going to need a bath and hair-wash”, knowing that the last thing the ill-feeling child wants is to have a bath. You look down at the floor and think “oh b*ll*cks, it’s missed the (washing-machinable) rug, that’s going to be a ‘hands-and-knees scrubbing the carpet’ job”. You look at the bed or car seat and think “that’s going to need a complete strip-down”. And then you realise that your top and legs are damp and you think “and I really just want a shower and a glass of wine!”!!
It only takes a few seconds for you to think all this and jump into action, working methodically through the tasks in whatever order suits you best (I favour the run a highly-scented-bubble-bath bath & plonk them in while I strip everything, then get them into clean clothes / bedding before shoving all I can into the washing machine and then tending to the floor / car / car seat, etc. – then finally having a shower when the sick has all been banished – IF I get time before the next wave flows, that is…!)
But, I’m very relieved to say, sick no longer phases me and I can deal with the aftermath without feeling ill myself. Obviously, in a few of the more disgusting cases my body can’t resist a dry-heave or two, but I no longer feel sick myself and my brain has stopped trying to convince itself that I’m obviously now going to be ill too! My children have taught me that the a tummy bug is actually one of the rarer reasons to drive the porcelain bus or pray to the porcelain gods….!!
(And yes, I have been trying to use as many different ways of saying ‘sick’ as I could think of – but failed to get ‘pavement pizza’ in there – gutted! 😉 )
Here are some other ‘sick truths’ I have learnt along the way:
#1 A child will generally (always?) vomit at precisely the moment where you think you have it all in hand (e.g. when you’re reading the last story to the last of your sweetly-smelling, bathed & pyjama’d babies and have just found yourself thinking “nearly there”… or when you’ve just got everything loaded into/out of the car and everyone is finally ready to head off… then, at exactly those moments, that’s when the vomming will start!).
#2 The faint smell of ‘eau de puke’ will linger in an infant’s hair / on their neck for approximately four days or four thorough baths & hair-washes, whichever is longer.
#3 Pink sick stains like a bitch. In fact, any food that would stain if spilt, will stain like a bitch when packed in a chunder-blast.
#4 When undertaking the Krypton Factor puzzle that is stripping-down a sick-soaked car-seat, the most sick will be lodged in the most difficult parts to detach, therefore guaranteeing that the sick gets a chance to properly permeate into your skin. This results in the “lasting memory effect” – every time you doing anything at all over the coming two weeks, you will get the merest whiff of sick.
#5 Your child will be sick in your car exactly 24 hours after you have looked at your car and thought “crikey, stuff’s built up in here again, I’d better have a clear-out” (and, of course, before you’ve actually got round to acting on your observations of the previous day).
#6 A projectile vom / the sick spatter will ALWAYS have gone farther and wider than you initially thought.
#7 When cleaning-up, you will always miss some somewhere….!
#8 Towels take just as much washing as bedding (and actually take longer to dry) – yet we cover the bedding in towels “in case”.
#9 Even if you cover the bed, floors, toys, etc. in towels, the sick WILL find the one small area you’ve not covered.
#10 Every family has a designated “sick bowl” under the sink! Ours is a ‘Celebrations’ tub – what’s yours..?!
And on that note, I need to head to bed – though I have a slight feeling of dread as I just heard myself thinking about the feeling of satisfaction I have after finishing cleaning-up Toby’s earlier in-car chunder! Must stop feeling in control (quick, look at the mess in the living room!! 😉 ). So here’s hoping for a quiet night tonight…. Fingers crossed!