Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mommy? My Tummy Hurts...

There is nothing quite like the sound of your kid throwing up from the backseat of your car. You know the warning signs:  A few moments of pitiful complaints about stomach discomfort followed by complete silence just before the eruption. You never think it's actually going to happen until it actually happens. It always happens when you are driving on a busy road or when you are miles from home. It happened to me yesterday. B and I were on our way to meet my friend, W, and her new baby, Lil Pineapple for lunch. (You first met W here... she still doesn't cook.) Twenty minutes into the forty minute drive, B starts wiggling in her car seat and crying about "the belly hurts." At first, I thought she might be hungry since she was in good spirits all morning. In hindsight, that should have been my first clue that something was wrong. B is not a morning person and she was bouncing off the walls a little earlier than usual. I handed her a chip from her lunch bag. She ate it and said, "Thank you mommy. I feel better.... BLAHHHHHH!" As it turns out, B is a violent barfer like her mother. There is nothing dainty about the way we spew. It also occurred to me that this was the first time B has ever blown chow. Not like baby spit up but real stomach retching up chucking. It was awful. I pulled into the nearest gas station and handed her an old grocery bag and tried to comfort her while holding back sympathy gags. We canceled our lunch date with W.

As gross as that was, B's first ralph was nothing compared to the Great Stomach Virus of 2006. S was just shy of a year old and I was a few months into my new job. I found out that there was a really bad stomach virus making its rounds through the company for a few weeks. I also found out that the kids were dropping like flies at S's daycare. It was a Thursday and I remember making a mental note to buy some vitamins and orange juice on the way home from work, just to be safe. That night, the Hub and I went to bed. At the time, we were living in a ground floor apartment and did not feel safe leaving S in her room clear across the hall, so she slept with us in our bed. Sometime around 1:00 AM, S rolled over on her back and projectile vomited into the air like Old Faithful. What goes up must come down and down it came. All over my face. I had S vomit in my eyes, up my nose, and in my mouth. As I shot out of bed, dazed and confused, the hub woke up. He grabbed S and held her upright, fearful that she would choke while lying on her back. He was yelling, "Get a towel! Quick! Get a towel! She's hurling all over the bed!" I was stumbling toward the bathroom with my eyes closed, gagging and trying to breathe. Once the Hub realized I was having some issues of my own, he started laughing and gagging too. About an hour later, we were all clean and tucked between clean sheets. Just as I started to drift off to sleep, S erupted again, but this time, I rolled out of the way.

Four complete baths, pajama and bed sheet changes later, S and I curled up on the couch in the living room and the Hub slept on beach towels on the bare mattress in our bedroom. S had soiled every piece of linen we owned. I still don't know how something that little could produce so much chum. Then it started coming out the other end. Needless to say, I stayed home from work and did a ton of laundry the next morning. Around 9:00 AM, while bribing S with a new car for her 16th birthday to get her to drink some water, a wave of nausea rushed over me. I was sick. Very sick. The kind of sick that forces even the most able-bodied adult into the fetal position on the bathroom floor. I called the Hub. At the time, he was still a newbie at his firm so he was very wary about leaving early.

Me: Hi honey, I'm very sick. 
The Hub: Okay babe. I'll be home after one o'clock.
Me: I think I need you to leave early today. I'm really not feeling well, the baby won't take a nap, and I could really use your help.
The Hub: It's only four more hours, babe... do you think you'll be okay? I really can't leave right now.
Me: I have "Two Bucket Disease!" 
The Hub: I'm on my way.

That weekend, all three of us became violently ill. It hit the Hub on Sunday. He immediately called his mother (aka Meme or MA!!!) and she rushed over with an arsenal of soda crackers and ginger ale, scolding us for not calling her sooner. She played with S, who was feeling better, so the Hub and I could embrace our stomach virus without guilt.


About three hours after B and I returned home yesterday, B was running around like nothing happened. She ate her lunch and kept it down. I'm not sure if it was a little bug or motion sickness that caused her to hork all over the backseat of my car, but whatever it was, it's gone now. I'm truly grateful that it wasn't something serious like The Great Stomach Virus of 2006... which also happened to be my mantra while I hosed off the car seat yesterday.

Parenting is so gross.


  1. The tears running down my face have my coworkers wondering what could be so funny. This is a great story and so vivid in my mind. Loved it..

  2. This has brought back so many forgotten (temporarily) upchucks of my own 3 sons. Each varied in some ways , but gross about covers any barf story. Love your story and how precious of you to share these delightful reminders , that life is not always joyous and wonderful. BUT LIFE IS FULL of LOTS of Surprises. Thank you.

    1. Dear Anon,
      Oh, good! I am so glad I could bring back some memories for you... I hope they didn't turn your stomach! :)

      Thank you for reading!!

  3. Boy this made me laugh, and tickled a few gross memories of my own. Well done Terese, as usual. Hopefully it's the same virus that nailed me on Christmas, quick,vicious, then gone.

    1. Dear A.A.,
      Thank you! I think it was just a 24 hour thing. B was up and running around at full speed by Sunday night. Yep - Parenting is totally gross. It's a good thing we can laugh about it... after we've cleaned up! (The Hub handles vomit. I get sympathy gags. But, I'm the spider catcher so it evens out.)
      Thanks for reading!!


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