Sunday, January 6, 2008

Vomiting, Teaching, and Writing

Vomiting. Teaching. Writing.

Those are the three subjects that have consumed my past 48 hours.

The writing thing isn't much of a surprise -- I mean, I'm a freelance writer. If I'm not writing, I probably should be. (Or I should at least be doing legitimate research or querying... which I confess sometimes goes by the wayside when I start blog surfing on my virtual boogie board.)

And teaching -- that's not a shocker, either. I'm an acting/modeling instructor on the weekends, so every Saturday, I'm offering advice, encouragement, and pointers to a class of teens and adults. It's cool, it's demanding, and it's refreshing.

The vomiting... well, that was a bit unexpected.

We all went to bed Friday night a tad later than usual, but it was no biggie. At 1:00 a.m., I was interrupted from a deep sleep by a sweet voice coming from my son's bedroom. "Mommy... can you come in here?" he called. This isn't unusual. He's not a good sleeper and I often find myself heading into his room in the middle of the night to help him get back to la-la-land.

But I digress...

I walked in and the blue nightlight illuminated his figure sitting up in bed. All seemed fine. Until I got closer to the bed.

At that point, my darling guy piped up, "I had a little pukey."

He needn't have mentioned it. The smell was overwhelming. It was a lovely mixture of bile and half-digested pepperoni pizza washed down with water and a pink candy cane for dessert.

This was truly a Mommy Moment.

After hugging my frightened sweet pea (all the while trying not to barf from the stench), I turned on the light.

"A little" pukey? I think not.

Apparently, my son had turned into a vomit volcano.

He swears he only threw up once, but I have no idea how a 40-pound body could violently dispose of that much matter in one upchuck.

The bed was a mess. He was a mess. And all I could do was smile and cheerily say, "Well, this isn't so bad! Let's get you out of those pajamas and we'll wash you off in the bathroom!"

Yep, my 26+ years of theatrical training came in handy.

So what does this mean, a day-and-a-half later? Probably nothing.

But I'm way behind on tons of stuff around the house, my work is just starting to come together again, and I'm hoping neither I nor my husband awakens in a pool of puke.

Did I learn anything from this life lesson? Yes. There's a reason they manufacture plastic sheets for kids' beds. Other than that, I'm stumped. So if you have insights, lay 'em on me.

(And while you're at it, feel free to share any fun throwing up stories!)


TIV: the individual voice said...

Motherhood innoculates you against revulsion towards many of the unpleasant emissions that may greet you throughout life. It makes use tough.

Beth said...

Oh boy, that takes me back to when my son was a wee one. Right back. And you're so tired, but you keep that face on that won't frighten or upset them, the comforting one.

Thanks for the Memory Lane walk.

SzélsőFa said...

Being a mother makes us different: we do NOT throw up at seeing some disgusting puke done by our kid, we DO like uninteresting drawings and DO appreciate clumsy presents...isn't it great?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've had daddy moments like that. Luckily, not for a couple years.

Ello said...

It's always nice waking up to the sound of puking in your kids bed. The worse is when my oldest was sick and puked in her bunk bed, and she was on top.

Sorry for you and your little one. MOtherhood is hard.

SzélsőFa said...

I recall an event when it was not puke, but pee.

We are sleeping in one room and my daughter sleeps next to me.
I actually heard her peeing into her mattress. It was like waterfall, or a tap left open. A very interesting experience it was!

The Quoibler said...


You've got that right. Toughness is a good thing -- but there are times when you just want to say, "Oh my. Can you please never do that again?" :)



You are so right about "The Face". My son is severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts... and I found out the same way most parents do... he ate some nuts and -- wowza.

In the ER, I had to pretend I wasn't phased by anything, but I was TERRIFIED. All I kept thinking was, "My baby is so sick and he's not responding to the usual treatments!"

He never knew, though.



Your two comments are great and insightful. I laughed so hard at the waterfall of pee. Yuck, but what can you do? It happens!



I think as kids get older, they tend to "make it" to the bathroom, so cleaning up puke isn't as tough on the parents.



So did the vomit from the top bunk drip, drip, drip to the lower bunk? I'll bet it was SOOOO much fun to haul your tushy up there to play Ms. Maid!

Aine said...

LOL for the "Yep, my 26+ years of theatrical training came in handy."

As a healthcare professional I've been there, done that-- adult sized. So, I was quite prepared for mommyhood. But it does amaze me that we instinctually handle this stuff without batting an eyelid when it's our own child. I remember feeling like my daughters were part of my flesh so taking care of them was the same as taking care of myself (this lasted through infancy only-- I now consider them very separate, individual little beings!)

Mary Witzl said...

I certainly sympathize: I am the mother of two serial vomiters. As in Ello's kids' case, our two used to share a bunk bed, and it was draped with a mosquito bed. When our eldest vomited, she managed to cover both mattresses, all the blankets and pillows, and the entire mosquito net. Removing it to wash was pure hell. The day she finally did her business in the toilet instead of on the floor, I almost wept with happiness and relief.

You took me for a walk down Memory Lane too... Those were the days.

Hoodie said...


Oh how I detest the kid pukes. I remember when my daughter called in whimpering tones as a two year old. "I need a new bed!" I had no idea what she was talking about until I came in a saw. That began a two week battle with the pukeys/leaky bums. A horrible two weeks. That involved air travel.

It's the badge of motherhood. If you can get through sick kids, your tolerance level rises automatically.

Hope the little guy is feeling better.
*crosses fingers and knocks on wood. no pukes so far this year with a two year old.*

Church Lady said...

Damn! I should've predicted this instead.

Oh yeah. That happened *once.* Now, at the sign of any fever or stomach discomfort, there is a huge yellow bucket placed next to their bed (for aim, you know). Along with a towel.

Hope lil one is feeling better.

The Quoibler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Quoibler said...


I totally agree... but the scent of bile still makes my stomach churn... even when it's my own! :)



Help me visualize this mosquito net thing... was it surrounding the whole bunk bed? That must have been HORRIBLE!



"I need a new bed"! That's an awesome line! What a funny thing... though I'm sure it wasn't so amusing at the time!



Maybe the hospital maternity ward should give all new mommies a bucket and towel. When the new mommies ask why, the staff can just say, "Oh... you'll find out!"

Mary Witzl said...

Yes, it was around the whole damn bed, and it took us ages to set it up. The net was a double: it was supposed to go around two futons placed side by side, but we made certain alterations and managed to get it over their bunk bed. Then they threw up on it and rendered all our efforts null and void...

Mary Witzl said...

My youngest has just come down with gastroenteritis. The poor child doesn't know whether to sit down or stand up in the bathroom now. Fun, fun, fun.

Shameless said...

Oh the joys of it all! :-)

The Quoibler said...

Mary & Shameless:

Joys, indeed.

Hey, we wouldn't have good stories to tell if there were no stomach bugs, right?