I think whenever your kid is sick, the instinct is to run. away. No I’m kidding, of course I’m kidding. If you’ve ever had a sick kid, you know your instinct is to get a trash can, and fast. So that’s what I did. Four days he held that trash can. It went everywhere he went. And in four days, he threw up six times. Not once in that trash can. Once on my feet. Once in my hands. Once in the middle of the kitchen. Once on the dog (so much fun to also give the dog a bath). Once in bed (sorry twinkle turtle). And then once on the car ride home after his first day back to preschool, after we had achieved those critical 24 hours of no puke. In the car he had been holding his second favorite blanket, his Chuggington lunch box, and the Boston Red Sox hat his daddy bought him at his first Boston Red Sox game, and he was sitting in the car seat that I had bought him only two weeks before and had been vacuuming out every. single. night.
This particular throw up event was serious stuff. I think all parents know there are varying levels of puke: mostly liquid, some unidentifiable chunks, chunks, and food that still looks like food, only it has that slimy “this has been in your small intestine” coating on it.
We were in the slimy intestine coating range. He had just had lunch. Fantastic.
As a point of interest, we live in Maine. We had just experienced the longest winter. My kids were wearing long sleeves, coats, mittens, the whole deal all the way through May. Then like magic it was warm-ish. We had those beautiful days where wind seemed to compliment the trees and the sun took turns with the clouds — simply gorgeous.
Well today was not one of those days. Today the sun was being a jerk. The sun was shining and shining and shining. It was actually the hottest day of the whole year. The best day, really, to get sick and puke over all of your most prized possessions (if you don’t think a Chuggington lunch box is priceless you obviously don’t have a 3 year old).
The silver lining, because there always is one, is that we had an outside shower. I plucked two wipes out of my handydandy mom wipe bin that I always keep in my car (because I am super prepared and have never, not once, left the house without everyone wearing shoes) and carefully unbuckled my child from this mess of a seat. I carried him at arms length from our driveway, up a hill around the back of our house, and in front of the shower.
It might be useful to mention that no one in my family had ever used this shower. We were renting this house and just never felt the need to shower, outside. It suddenly occurred to me, my child has never showered either, like ever. BIG SIGH.
So here I am, in the brightest sun Maine has ever seen, trying to peel pukey clothes off my child while explaining to him what a shower is and why this is ok. He let me know this wasn’t ok. yadda yadda yadda. he got clean.
So now I have a clean naked kid, outside, who needs to be inside. The closest door, the deck door, is locked. My keys are in the ignition of the car, where I left it turned on with the a/c blasting, because of the baby. (I know what you’re thinking, but I didn’t forget the baby!) So I koala carry my naked boy, back around the house, down the hill, peek into the car at the baby, baby hisses at me, I tip toe around all the puke paraphernalia that is now baking in the hottest sun ever and up two flights of stairs for new clothes.
I went back, got the baby. (wait, did I wash my hands?!!) washed my hands. got the baby in a nap. attended to 18 action items as requested by the toddler. washed my hands again. found gloves.
I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I went back down to deal with the puke mess. I’ll spare you the details, but I will say this. It was bad. It was really bad. I am extremely thankful for the yard hose, even though it was in the shed, under a mess of cardboard boxes that we had piled on top of it just a day before, and apparently new home to mr. hornet and his hornet family.
I had a lot of laundry to do that day. Included, of course, was the Sox hat that got puked on. I almost threw it away, but it was such a special hat, so I thought better of it. I decided to give it a spin in the washer just to see. I was lucky, it washed great and I hung it to dry.
Fast forward- weekend of sickness, crackers, whining, and a never ending Thomas the Tank song, and finally I make it to Monday and a new chance at preschool for the toddler.
It’s when I walk into his classroom and put his bag into his cubby that I realize something horrible. The Boston Red Sox hat. OUR Boston Red Sox hat had been in his cubby at school this whole time. I gasp internally.
The Boston Red Sox hat in my hand, the one that had been puked on, it’s some other kid’s hat.
Well, I’m sure you know what I did next. And if you’re thinking– nothing at all — you’d be absolutely right.