If the title wasn’t enough of a spoiler alert for you, I caution those with weak stomaches to… not become a mother. This is a true story. None of the names have been changed to protect the guilty. Nothing has been exaggerated, though time has been slowed down so that we can fully appreciate the gory details in word form. I repeat: this is a true story.
This last weekend I played a role that I am not very good at playing… I was a nurse for my sick husband. I admit that I am generally very unsympathetic to his complaints because I hold the ultimate trump card- Child Birth. Once you’ve given birth to a baby, no complaint of pain can actually compare. And I’ve given birth 3 times. So I sort of feel like slapping anyone who whimpers or whines about a tummy ache. I’m not a good nurse.
But apparently he really was sick because he did not make it to the toilet the first time he projectile vomited from the bathroom door in the direction of the commode. I had already warned him that as soon as he was finished defiling the toilet that he would be required to scrub it out too. But that threat had yet to come to fruition. I was very self-serving in my motivation to actually clean the bathroom myself. I needed to go potty and I didn’t want to do my business in a vat of puke. So I relented and began washing down the walls of the bathroom.
As I contorted and twisted to reach behind the toilet… yes it was necessary… I tried to remember the last time I had cleaned back there. Then I remembered. Oh and I wish I could forget the night of the great “Barf-O-Rama”.
I heard the wretching all the way from my bedroom. I had been in a dead sleep, but suddenly I was electrified with adrenaline, on my feet and running into my children’s bedroom hollering “NOOOOOOO!” But I was too late. The little one had just coughed and barfed on her own pillow and mattress. Ugh. I hate stripping the beds in the middle of the night. Figuring that she was probably empty, I moved Lucy into her sister’s bed so I could clean her bed.
I had just returned from the laundry room downstairs when I heard it again, that juicy, choking cough that had produced the first bed shellacking. “OH NO! Not on your sister!” I mentally gasped as I sprinted up the last few steps. I entered the room in time to see Lucy sit up and turn toward the far side of the bed and once again yak… in her sister’s bed, down the wall and onto the floor. I couldn’t believe it! Two beds ruined in one night!
At this point, the odor in the house was putrid. As I considered how many candles I could safely light, I moved Emma onto the couch in my room. And because I didn’t know what else to do with Lucy, I stupidly put her into my own bed just while I stripped the second bed. We now officially had no extra blankets clean.
As I was scrubbing the mattresses in the girls’ room, I heard it again… that horrible hacking cough. This time, I thought, I’m going to get her into the bathroom or at least onto the tile floor before she throws up. I ran at full speed into my bedroom, catapulting over the pile of dirty bedding in the hallway. As I slid stocking foot up to my side of the bed, Lucy sat up and reached for me… still gagging. I actually shouted, “NOOOOOOOOO!” in the very same moment that I received a face full of projectile vomit… and it went right into my O shaped mouth!
I spun around on my heel and ran to the bathroom, but I didn’t make it. I threw up on myself as I crossed the threshold of the shower. Since I was now covered with two forms of puke, I decided to just turn the shower on and start cleaning myself while fully clothed. I just couldn’t bring myself to pull a dirty t-shirt over my head. I stood in the shower crying while Lucy sat in her puddle of vomit on my bed also crying. My husband woke up at this point… yeah, just now… and surveyed the shock-and-awe with horror in his eyes. “What do you want me to do?” he meekly asked. I didn’t even know where to begin.
So this was the last time that I had to actually stick my hand behind the toilet to clean back there. I am thankful that those moments don’t come around very often. If they did, I would definitely consider going on strike and demanding more money for this job. Motherhood is not for the weak stomached nor for the heavy sleepers… that job is called Fatherhood.