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


On Murphy, fruit-flies, duct-tape and thankfulness

Murphy’s Law says “Anything that can go wrong, will.”
My question is, who the heck allowed this fool to start making laws?

 Things are going to pot around here and I’m not kidding. Lately I’ve been handed one problem after another and I can’t keep up with them all. Stuff is falling apart and I’m getting annoyed. I don’t have the time or patience to deal with any of it. At all.

How come, when things are finally sailing along smoothly, the other shoe drops? Suddenly Murphy is standing on our doorstep with 6  bags’O’luggage and has decided to take up permanent residence. That inconsiderate bum.

He reminds me of fruit flies.

Those unwelcome pests show up just as things start to get sweet. They bring all their mamas, their brothers, their sisters and all their broke cousins, along with every single other fruit fly on the planet named Henry. The same holds true for Murphy and all his problems.

Ugly old Murph’ has declared an outright war on us and I’m trying not to get ticked. Things are breaking down left and right. It seems to be something else every day; appliances, furniture, toys, electronics….it goes on and on. Somewhere along the line I stopped making a list of all the broken items. Now I make a list of everything that’s still working. This list is a lot easier because it’s shorter.

Duct-tape graces our home in abundant silver stripes. It’s so plentiful that I’ve created a whole new trendy look. I’m calling it Dumpster Chic. It may catch on, just give it time.

As if all my stuff breaking down isn’t awesome enough, I’m also balding in front.

You read that right. The hormone adjustments from being newly postpartum has me literally, (the word “literally” applied here refers to something that is actually, factually happening), losing fistfuls of hair daily. It falls out everywhere. I’m like a Bernese Mountain Dog molting in the spring. My hair is everywhere, except on my head where it belongs. Words can’t explain how thoroughly craptastic it is to brush my hair and then find large quantities of it on the floor instead of on my head. Will it grow back? I’m sure it will. It will grow back grey, no doubt.

Yet even with my duct-taped belongings, my balding head, unusable dishwasher, dead microwave and crummy computers, I realize that I still have an abundance of reasons to be thankful. My issues are minor. They are inconveniences, really. Murphy may be an intruder for a season, but in the grand scheme of my life, there are countless reasons to offer my thanks to God.

My children are alive and healthy. Clean, drinkable water comes into my house through my faucets, which is more than most of the world can boast. The roof doesn’t leak. I have hot water, which is perfect for hand-washing all the dishes. Our drains work and waste is going out to the sewer and not backing up into our house. (Don’t ask.) We live in a safe neighborhood. Mr. Diaz has a good, secure job and he comes home each night after work because he still likes us. And I’m blessed that he still likes me too. His bald wife.

We have plenty of clothing and shoes to wear and plenty of books to read. Yes, they are duct-taped, but that’s just part of my new motif. We have healthy food to eat each day. Our vehicles need repairs, but at least we own them outright. And although we may not have a stitch of extra spending money at the moment, we are still debt-free.

What I am saying is that I have made a choice. I’ve chosen contentment and gratitude. Admittedly, sometimes it’s a choice I make repeatedly throughout the day, (usually right about the time I flip on a switch and hear a loud POP!).

So many people are broken and hurting right now. Watching terrible situations unfold all around me has reminded me of what my real blessings are, and it’s not stuff. It can never be stuff. It’s people. Fantastic, beautiful, irreplaceable people who make us laugh and make us cry; people who are “in it” with us for the long-haul of life’s load.

People are the real blessings in life.

Even the small ones who are quick to say, “Mom, what’s up with your head? Is that a bald spot?”

Yeah it is. Thanks for pointing that out.

Now hurry up. Go get the duct-taped vacuum and suck up all the hair.

Mama needs to go buy a hat.