NOTE: The contents of today’s blog post is kind of gross and disgusting. If you think you may be grossed out or offended by talk of vomit, don’t continue reading. If your curiosity is piqued, and you want to read an anecdote that many people, especially parents, can related to, please continue. And I won’t be offended if you laugh at my expense.
At 1 A.M. My body woke me up with an urge. “That’s what happens when 5 babies have used me as a trampoline!” taunted my bladder. As I roused myself out of bed, I noticed a light coming in under the door from the hallway. Someone else was up.
As I made my way into the hallway, I noticed the kitchen light was on, although I didn’t hear any noise. I planned to investigate, but my first stop was the bathroom because I really had to go. To my surprise, I found Mr. Dude, my seven-year old, asleep on the bathroom floor. After hurriedly doing my business, I woke him up to see what was wrong.
“I threw up,” he said. Poor kid! I asked him how he was feeling, did he think he was going to throw up again, did anything hurt, etc. No, and no sign of fever, either. That was good.
“Did you make it to the toilet in time?” I asked while I scanned the floor looking for vomit.
“No. I puked in the kitchen. I was going to get a drink.”
Oh. That explained the kitchen light.
I tucked Mr. Dude back in bed and found a small trash can to use as a Barf Bucket next to his bed…just in case. Then I made my way to the kitchen, bracing myself for what I would find.
First, let me explain something. I don’t do well with vomit. Not at all. I get near it and I start gagging and heaving. I know that isn’t an uncommon reaction. Who wants to be around barf? But I very, very seldom vomit. In the twenty plus years my husband has known me, I have only thrown up once, and that was when I had the flu. Before that, I threw up once in college from a suspected case of mild food poisoning. You would need to go back to the mid-1970’s to find the rest of my puke-history. Despite my personal non-regurgitation tendency, I do have a very strong gag reflex, and I swear, one of these days I’m gonna blow.
My husband usually takes pity on my and cleans up and takes care of the kids in these situations, but he was asleep and I didn’t want to wake him up. Besides, I’m a big girl. I’m a mom. I can do this. That became my mantra: I’m a mom, I can do this.
Like the Little Engine That Could, I shuffled toward the kitchen, chanting to myself, “I’m a mom…I can do this…” I was bound and determine to successfully complete this task alone, without waking my husband, and without gagging and heaving. “I am mature. I can handle this.” I continued to coach myself as I made my way to the kitchen, mentally preparing for what I would find.
And I found it. Mr. Dude must have only taken two steps into the kitchen before it all came out. It was all right there. After about five minutes of just staring at the mess, coaching myself to deal with it, I knew I couldn’t delay it any longer. It was time to take action.
Paper towels. I needed paper towels. My eyes searched the kitchen for the ever-wandering roll of paper towels. Found it…on the OTHER SIDE of the mess. After muttering a few choice words to myself, I found a piece of construction paper on the table and put it on the floor to act as and island in the middle of Lake Vomit. I carefully crossed to the other side, reaching the paper towel and letting out a little cheer for this small victory. This mess was going to require a LOT of paper towels, and soon the roll was empty. Crap. I needed to cross back over to get to the basement to get another roll. I utilized my construction paper-stepping stone once again, and soon had a new roll of paper towel in hand. I proceeded to put a layer of paper towels over the mess, hoping to minimize my gut reaction. However, it didn’t work.
As soon as I bent down to start wiping up the vomit, I started to heave. I ran to the bathroom, gasping and gagging, trying to keep it together. Again, I thought about waking my husband, but quickly dismissed that. I WAS GOING TO DO THIS! I was going to conquer my Puke Reaction and clean up after my son. This was a form of motherly love and I was going to follow through, even if it meant adding to the puke pile myself. After another self pep talk in the bathroom mirror. I stood upright, straightened my nighty and marched back to the task that awaited me, determined to follow through.
And I did it! I wiped up that vomit (with a nice thick layer of paper towels, lest some actually leak through and come in contact with me) without any more drama. I then got out the bleach cleaner and sprayed the area, killing any nasty germs that might have the audacity to think they could infect anyone else in this house. “HA HA!” I thought in my best inner-superhero voice. “Take that! And that! DIE YOU SCUM!!!!”
After thoroughly washing my hands and putting away the paper towel and cleaner, it was time to head back to bed. I checked on Mr. Dude, who was sleeping soundly, and gave him a kiss. I started toward my room, but I felt like I was forgetting something. Aha! I headed to the bathroom put my feet in the tub and gave them a wash. Ahhh…much better! After what seemed like two hours (although it was only 30 minutes) I returned to my bed, proud of my accomplishment and happy to have at least one clean spot in my kitchen.
Before I end, I thought I would share a few thoughts that went through my head during this whole episode:
- I’m glad this wasn’t very colorful.
- Thankfully the dog didn’t follow my or he would have “helped” with the clean-up. (Apparently vomit is a delicacy for dogs.)
- Whew! There’s not a lot of liquid. That would be bad for the laminate floor.
- Well, evidently he had carrots today! (A big plus for my picky eater.)
- At least it’s not on the carpet.
- It’s a good thing tomorrow isn’t gym day because sissy’s shoes were in the “drop zone”.
- I am very thankful Mr. Dude is feeling better. This appears to be a once-and-done thing.
- Boy, this would make a good, but gross blog post.