Thursday, December 23, 2010


If there's one thing about parenthood I would eliminate, it would be barf. Poop I can deal with, but barf...oh god...barf. The spoiled, rancid aroma. The feeling that just being in the same room with it may lead to contracting a disease more horrible than any thus far studied by science. Just thinking about it makes me want to lose my lunch.

A coworker of mine just had his first baby last week. He and his wfe are still in that initial state of shock and sleeplessness, not quite understanding exactly how they went from being people who could go out for a night on the town with little notice, crack open a beer and hang on the couch for three Sunday football games in a row, or sleep for eight straight hours with little care in the world, to the exhausted zombies that they are now, having to wake every other hour to feed this insidious new monster screwing with their schedule.

Well, I've got news for them. That ain't NOTHING. Add barf to the equation.

For us, it began around 1am. I awoke to the distinctive sound of our younger one coughing up whatever was rotting in her belly, followed by the classic scream for mommy. It was then that I kicked my lovely wife in the shin to awaken her from peaceful slumber and shouted, "Jessica! Vomit! Let's go!"

In a fog, we dashed in to find the little tyke covered in her own spooge, sticky hands in the air, dripping onto her head. The spooge trail continued down onto the sheets, the side of the mattress, into the frame of the bed, and onto that really-bright-idea-to-put-in-neutral-colors beige carpeting.

My wife and I entered Special Teams mode. She took charge of the soiled child; I took charge of the soiled everything else. As she carried Jessica, at an arms length, into the bathroom, I switched on the lights to determine exactly what I was dealing with and then dashed to the basement for supplies. I took the dog with me to make sure she didn't decide it was time for a late night snack. I came back up, arms loaded, with:

-the Chuckit Bucket (yes, we've named it)
-spray cleaner
-a garbage bag
-a gas mask
-a blow torch
-a portable version of that disinfecting chamber from The Andromeda Strain.
-paper towels

As I worked my way through the cleaning process in the bedroom, I kept one ear open for happenings in the bathroom. Poor squirt yacked at least two more times, and at least one of those times missed the toilet completely. Natch.

My next step was to carfully ball up the little one's soiled sheets, pillows, stuffed animals, and clothing and bring it all down to the washing machine. As would be expected, the washer was already full of wet clothing, and of course the dryer was filled as well. Classic. Once I got the laundry going, I ventured back upstairs to find an additional growing pile of laundry in the hallway, and a scene in the bathroom that looked somewhat like a murder but with less red on the walls and more green. The little one was resting comfortably, for the moment, on the couch in our bedroom. She remained there for the rest of the night, except for getting up every half hour to puke again. We sat with her all night of course, partially to comfort her and partially to make sure she made it to the toilet in time. Her tummy calmed itself down around 7:30, just in time for me to go to work. Joy.

I assured my coworker that this was an isolated incident, and SURELY this sort of thing isn't a NORMAL occurrence for any family. Sure... I mean really, why ruin his work day? After all, he only came into the office to get some rest.


Paul said...

Yeah, us too. Both of 'em, now Lee. Did 2 loads of laundry for Phoebe's sheets, 3 loads for Max's. Had the brilliant idea to split up his blankets so he'd have at least one to sleep with while the others were de-barfed.

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