ABC’s of Parenting: V is for Vomit

I have to thank Gluestick Mum and her post this week about kids and vomit for this edition of the ABC’s of parenting. Vomit is an immutable fact of the life of a parent. I think we all have our battle stories. Here are three of my best:

Vomit Story, Oldest Sister Version:

It was fourth of July. A picnic with two other families, HEAT, running around like maniacs, and – as it turned out – too much soda. After Oldest finished her meal and downed an entire can of orange pop, she ran off with her little friends to visit the children’s booth set up by our local fire department. The friendly firefighters were giving away stickers, coloring books, and – thank goodness – toy fire helmets. The kids tore back to our picnic blanket with their loot, and immediately upon arrival, Oldest started to turn green. With lightning-fast reflexes only a parent possesses, one of our friends stuck a toy helmet in front of our daughter’s face just in time to catch a hat full of orange puke. Of course, she instantly felt fine. We tossed the helmet in the nearest trash can, and went on enjoying the evening.

Vomit Story, Middle Sister Version:

There were  couple of years when all the kids were quite small that I swear we cleaned up a middle of the night vomit disaster at least once a week. The washing machine was permanently set to “hot water.” We had to invest in new sheet sets just to make sure everyone had clean bedding every night, In the middle of this barf era, Middle Sister “wombinted” (her version of “vomited”) in her bed toward morning, all over her special blanket. There were so many chunks that Husband took the blanket to the back porch and shook them out on the frosty winter grass. We were in the middle of a cold snap – no one would be going out any time soon. Middle Sister, wide awake, followed him to the door and watched. Of course, three days later we had a warm spell and the siblings wanted to go out back to play. Middle Sister went into full hysterics, pulling her brother and sister away from the door. “NO!” she shrieked. “THERE’S WOMBINT OUT THERE!!!” She didn’t go out to the back yard for months.

Vomit Story, The Boy Version:

Also in the midst of the nighttime barf era, The Boy took to vomiting in the middle of the night every single Thursday night. Coincidentally, this child absolutely despised going to our church’s Mother’s Day Out program…and Friday was our kids’ day to go. Didn’t take long to put two and two together. He’d figured out that hurling allowed him to stay home the next day. Don’t ask me how he made it happen – maybe it was some freaky psychosomatic thing. But he got so good at it that the pattern continued through the summer, during the program’s break time. Stubborn much?

The sad thing, in my opinion, is that though giving birth to children automatically requires barf clean-up skills, what we don’t get as parents is the ability to do all those clean-ups without wanting to hurl, ourselves. Cosmically unfair.

But kid barf is an inevitable fact of parental life. Best to have a barf kit permanently placed in the car (brilliant tip from Gluestick Mum), as well as a bucket, Clorox wipes, and extra bed sheets at the ready at all times in each bedroom.




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