That ain’t a puddle you want to jump in.

The entire career of Motherhood is broken down into two parts. 75% of motherhood is yelling instructions to children through a closed bathroom door. The other 25% is exchanging bodily-fluid horror stories with anyone else who has ever parented for more than 45  minutes.

Dealing with disgusting bodily functions quickly becomes a topic of interest wherever more than one mother is gathered. In fact, it becomes a BADGE OF HONOR, when you win the gags and open mouthed stares of other moms after exchanging fluid-filled horror stories. Every mom knows this. It’s a competition.

You would not believe what came out in Everly’s diaper,” comments Jessica at her park date. “I found a small pinecone, a medium-sized stuffed buffalo, a jade earring and a zipper.”

“Oh, you don’t even want to KNOW what happened when Lilith and Crispin had the flu last week,” responds Amanda. “Let’s just say that we are replacing the carpet and the wallpaper in the entire second story of our house. And then we had to pour gasoline on an armchair and ignite it on the lawn.” 

“I can top that,” says Lauren. “Brighton had a bloody nose, diarrhea, vomit, snot, and pee, and then he took off his diaper and finger-painted with all of it on the dining room floor. During dinner. While my husband’s boss was visiting.”

In light of that disgusting revelation, with gawks and stares and solemn looks, the moms concede defeat and pass Lauren the blue ribbon. A moment of silence follows while the ‘losers’ silently thank God they haven’t had the privilege of the same experience. Yet.

That’s the way it works. Motherhood is the quiet proclamation of everything that has ever been disgusting. And here is where I will make my own quiet proclamation. I deserve the blue ribbon for awhile, folks.

One moment, I was sleeping peacefully in my warm bed, the next moment I was schlepping sheets, bedding and pajamas down to the wash after my toddler’s entire load of guts exploded in his crib. All day long he continued to vomit, much to my dismay and silent cries of protest.

The next day I was praying that maybe, just maybe, this illness wouldn’t spread. It was not meant to be. Not long afterward, while I was knee deep in the baby’s diarrhea, my oldest son sprinted into the room and excitedly informed me that the 7 year old was actively spewing her stomach contents all over her bed. “It’s all over her hair mom!” He said with excited amusement, “And she just keeps going!”  I’m sad to say he wasn’t lying. There she was, sprawled out on her top bunk, covered in sickness, less than a foot away from the garbage bag she was instructed to use.

This is probably the perfect place to mention that there were no sheets on her bed. No mattress pad. Just a craptastic puddle of vomit in the middle of a bare naked mattress, which soaked up every bit of fluid like a sponge. The lone pillow that had been on her bed, was gathered into the (dry) garbage bag and hauled out to the dumpster.

By the next night, I was flat out exhausted. The laundry had been piled high, the dirty dishes were having secret rendezvous and breeding on the counter-tops and the house was a general wreck. I drank  two cups of chamomile tea, moved the baby to her very own room for the night and remarked that I was so happy to go to bed and get a full night’s sleep.

As I was blissfully dreaming about dark chocolate cupcakes, bubble baths and library books, Oldest entered my room at 1:47 am, hovered over my relaxed body and said, “Mom. MOM, [Tough Guy] just threw up all over his bed.” 

Of course he did.

Inebriated from the effects of strong chamomile and sleep deprivation, I staggered in the darkness down the hall and managed to clean-up the pathetic, puking dude and move him onto a pile of towels on my floor next to my bed. It wasn’t long before he was at it again.

I held his small shaking body as he horked up two vacuum cleaners, a cotton gin, lavender sweat socks, three broken kazoos, a smoke alarm and a rubber boot. Then, coughing, he finally laid back down on his towel and fell asleep.

For exactly an hour.

And then we repeated the entire process all over again, all night long.

Despite the torment of the week, there are still several pieces of good news:
This particular tummy virus only lasted around 24 hours per person, which is still nine long days of perdition, but better than a virus that lasts several days.
My husband slept soundly in a warm bed through all the bouts of nighttime illness, and I didn’t hurt him for that.
And lastly, he and I succumbed to the virus, but on different days, so our kids still had one parent who was able to yell the word “NO” repeatedly.

The bad news is that one of us didn’t make it. My daughter’s mattress died. She’s been camping on her bedroom floor until we buy a new mattress next week. We hauled the mattress out back and put it down, like Old Yeller.

And the fact that I had to kill a ‘Beauty Rest’ mattress might just make me the temporary holder of the blue ribbon.


*This post has been featured on BonBon Break


30 thoughts on “That ain’t a puddle you want to jump in.

  1. You not only deserve the blue ribbon, but a gold trophy too. I always kept plastic covers on the kids beds, but didn’t have a washing machine of my own so I had to take the bedding to the Laundromat. This kind of story never bothered me when I was raising them, but now I think I’m feeling sick. I hope you are all better now. You deserve an extra trophy for letting hubby sleep.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Good grief. The blue ribbon is all yours! I can’t believe after all that you can still string together a sentence, let alone craft this hilarious write-up.
    RIP Beauty Rest.
    (And glad you’re getting better. Y’all have a Super Bowl to watch tomorrow. :))

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This had me laughing out loud. Very well-written account of when the “stomach flu” invades one’s home. Abrazos. I hope you’re all feeling much better 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That ordeal has to earn you more than a blue ribbon. That’s a Winter Olympics gold medal in ‘vomit cleaning’, my friend. Well done! We are proud! 🇺🇸👏

    I don’t have a story to top that, thankfully. But, there was this one time, my oldest came down with a stomach virus in the middle of the night, after wolfing down copious amounts of kielbasa and broccoli. The mattress made it…but the smell is something that will stay with me forever.

    Get well over there. Thanks for another great story.

    Liked by 3 people

      • My horror story involves a not-nearly digested enough Arby’s Roast Beef sandwich and beige carpet. The smell was corporeal! I will never again be able to eat one of those sandwiches!
        I also had a flu situation once which involved a midnight trip to my sister’s house for additional bedding, because everything (including tarps and sleeping bags) was either in the washer, dryer, or covered with vomit. You still win – NINE days?!?!!!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I solemnly salute you.

    Why is there no Medal of Honor for the sacrifice of moms everywhere? Nobody warns you about this stuff when you stand starry-eyed at the altar and say your “I do’s.” I’d say it’s definitely above and beyond the call of duty.

    The last time my eleven-year-old son threw up all over the bathroom, I was so grateful my husband got out of bed to (supposedly) clean up the mess. Turns out he only helped my son get cleaned up. I awoke the next morning to a closed bathroom door with a sign written on cardboard with marker in my son’s scrawling handwriting: “Do not Enter. Barf all over the floor.” He wasn’t kidding. Apparently it’s the mom’s job to make sure the clean up is completed. That stuff had really ripened overnight.

    Btw, I saved the sign. It was actually kind of cute. Is that weird? 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Funny, funny, funny!!! Here is your blue ribbon!! Every mom has her gross out champeen story but no way can I top yours!! Congrats and condolences both.
    One thing I could never understand was how anytime anyone ever got sick it always coincided with having eaten the most noxious combination of colorful foods topped with red Kool-Aid!

    Liked by 1 person

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