It's has been a shitty week...or should I say pukey. Both of my children have projectile vomited on everything around them. As I was writing this post, Cora puked down her front and the dog "cleaned her up"...I almost puked. As a parent, you will deal with many different excrements from your children but puke maybe one of the worst. For me it's worse than poop; I can change a nasty diaper all day but puke is like my kryptonite. Even back in college, I was not the friend that would hold back your hair...you were on your own. But it's different with your own kids...you can't ignore them.
Every kid pukes, some more than others. Charlie never spit up as a baby, but Cora was a "happy spitter" as the doctor said because she spit up frequently at low speeds...yes there are speeds. The first time Charlie puked he was a couple of months old and we were watching a movie when he projectile vomited (high speed) all over Jim and our couch. It was truly a sight to behold. For being so tiny, kids can really produce a large volume and always hit the worst places...beds, car seats, carpeted floors, parents. It's like they purposefully pick the hardest places to clean. Have you ever tried to clean puke out of a car seat??? It's is impossible to get it all and then get it back in your car correctly. And while we are on the subject, make sure you are stocked up on carpet cleaner and old towels. An investment into a steam vacuum is also a wise choice.
Timing is also something kids are great at. Midnight the day before a big meeting is always when they share their sickness with you or at daycare but just as you arrive at work so you have to turn right around and go get them. The best is right after spaghetti night. One time it was in the middle of the night and Cora was crying so I picked her up. When I laid her back down, I felt a dripping coming from the ceiling. I turned on the lights to investigate and could not figure out what was dripping or why Cora was crying. I finally brought Jim into the fold and he explained that I had puke in my hair so when I leaned over it was dripping down from my head. Thanks Cora...guess it's a midnight shower for mommy.
Vomit, like many excrements from children, is not appealing for many reasons. Obviously it looks gross because its partially digested food but what gets me is the smell. When I smell it I just freeze up. The worst smell is milk barf, it just burns itself into my nostrils. (Note: At this very moment Cora was crying so I went to check on her and she threw up all over me. Poor girl!) Besides the smell, there are some distinct noises that accompany vomit, gagging and retching. Now that I am a parent, when I hear those sounds my first instinct is to stick my hands under my child's mouth in order to catch the impending vomit. Why that is my first instinct I do not know. I think once you have children there is a switch that goes on that makes you want to catch puke in order to contain it. This is a horrible instinct because you inevitably end up with warm, chunky puke in your hands. Gross.
I think the number one reason I hate puke is because it means one of my babies is sick. There is a helpless feeling that comes with vomit. Your child is sick and there isn't anything you can really do to help them, you just have to be there to hold their hand through it...or their hair. This week has definitely been exhausting and challenging, but the light at the end of the tunnel is that my babies are on the mend and I have seen the last of the puke for the time being.