Warning: this post is not for the sensitive or weak-stomached. Hell, I can hardly TYPE it! If you're eating right now, stop and come back later.
Ya know... "they" always tell you that, when you become a mother, things that used to really bother you won't bother you anymore. Yeah, right.
Anyone old enough to remember the total barf-a-rama scene in the movie Stand By Me? You know, the one with River Phoenix, Will Wheaton, Corey Feldman, and a very chubby Jerry O'Connell? (who knew all the girls would be hot for roly-poly Vern someday!?!) *
Wheaton's character, Gordie, tells a story of Davy Hogan, known only for his enormous girth, and who is entered in the pie eating contest. As Davy walks to the stage to participate in the contest, all the people in the crowd are chanting "Lardass, lardass!" Even the mayor says, "Don't pay any attention to those fools, Lardass. Er, I mean Davy." But Davy had his revenge. He'd had a raw egg and a whole bottle of castor oil before the contest. So, as he finishes his 5th pie, and is winning the contest, his stomach starts making these churning sounds. Everyone gets a little nervous. Then Davy opens up his mouth and pukes all over Bill Travis, the previous champion. Well, of course, this sets off a chain reaction of barfing. Kids are barfing. Parents are barfing. And... "the women's auxiliary barfed all over the Benevolent Order of Antelopes. " It was, according to Gordie, "A complete and total Barf-A-Rama. "
That whole chain reaction thing? Yeah, that's me. If I see someone puke, I puke. If I hear someone puke, I puke.** I'm not even going to bring up the smell issue. So.... everyone always told me that, once I was a mom, I'd be able to deal with it just fine. "When your babies are sick, you'll be totally over that." WRONG. When my girls were little, my ex-husband had to deal with it. I felt like such a failure. I tried. I really did, but I just couldn't do it. He told me that he'd rather do it, because he knew... in the end... that he'd be cleaning up after me, too.
Thank goodness... as the girls grew older, they learned to find a bucket or the porcelain god quickly. They were good with this... and then I would be waiting with a compassionate look on my face and a glass of Pedialyte or water. I can make a great bowl of broth, plate of saltines, or bland pasta for the recently ill. I'm fabulous at that part. And luckily, they're pretty healthy girls. They haven't been sick all that much.
So, now my girls are 12 and 16. This morning, there was a knock on my door at 4:07am.
12 yr old Daughter: Mom, I've been throwing up. A lot. The last time, I didn't make it to the toilet. It's all over the bathroom.
Me: *panic-stricken* Ummm... okay, sweetie. Go back to bed. I'll get you a bucket.
After I tucked her back into bed, I paced around for about 10 minutes. I could wake up my husband. As a step-dad, he goes over and above the call of duty all the time. But he has an early meeting, and I just can't wake him up. That would be really selfish. I can't wake up my older daughter either. That would be ridiculous. So... I did it. I can't believe it. I've been a mom for 16 years, and this is the first time I've ever had to do this. And, as gross and disgusting as it's been typing this all out (sorry!), I had to share. My poor baby is downstairs on the couch right now, with the bucket at her side. And she knows that her mom isn't going to wuss out. This time.
So, the moral of the story is... if you ever plan to be a mom, and dealing with puke just ain't your thaaang, marry someone who can clean it all up until you can finally handle it. Eventually, you'll get there.
*Synopsis and quotes are from my recollection of the 1986 movie, Stand By Me, written by Stephen King (and someone else I can't remember), and directed by Rob Reiner. Any inaccuracies are due to my poor memory. Gimme a break.
**The cherry scene in The Witches of Eastwick? I plugged my ears and closed my eyes. Any movie that doesn't give me warning about what's going to happen? I'm either hiding my eyes or running to the restroom. Damn you, Brokeback! You could have put a flashing light or something to let me know that Ennis was going to hurl!