In my life it seems that no good time is ever left unpunished. Sit down for a beer or two and the grass grows 4 inches overnight. Treat yourself to a ball game and the next day the car breaks down. Buy a new car and then lose your job. I’m sure all of us have experienced this in one way or another.
Of course, now that I have kids, this principle works on a different level. You see, now that I am married with two wonderful children, ages 1 and 3, my idea of a good time is… a night without children. If you are a parent you understand. Everyone needs a break sometimes. But the break almost isn’t worth it, because you will pay for it.
After many months my wife was able to schedule some friends to watch the kids for us. (We are a single income family and I am a school librarian, so as you might guess I don’t really have the money to pay strangers to watch my kids on a regular basis.)
As you might expect, we were both extremely happy to have some time to ourselves. Now, you may think that we wanted to go out on a date or spend some “quality time” together, but no. While those things are nice we were mostly excited to stay home, rent a movie, and watch it the whole way through without interruptions. I cannot remember the last time we watched a movie without having to change a diaper, get someone a cup of milk, clean someone’s nose, or change the movie to “Lilo & Stitch” (my son’s movie of the month) because they were bored with whatever adult friendly programming we were watching.
So, needless to say, we spent five glorious hours by ourselves at home. It was bliss. And when the children were brought home they were tired. Yay! I think I may have smiled a couple of times that night, I’m not sure, you’ll have to ask my wife. However, the next day payment was due.
We woke up at seven a.m. to find that my son had puked all over his bed. The bed he just happened to still be laying in. So my wife proceeds to start a bath and retrieves me from our bedroom. She tells me that because of her sensitive gag reflexes that I have drawn the short straw.
I stripped down his bed, and after removing the chunks (gguhh…) put everything in the washing machine. (Yes dear I used the Tide and the hot water setting.)
So, we were careful with what we fed the kids that morning. Toast and watered down juice was all that was on the menu. “This should work, we will just be really careful” is what I told myself. As you have already guessed it goes downhill from here.
I gave my daughter, who is 18 months, a little bite of toast and she begins to gag. My wife claims she can handle a lot of things blood, diarrhea, snot, and etc. but for some reason she freezes up with vomit. She just sits there holding our daughter face out away from her in the direction of the living room carpet. Fortunately I notice the precarious cleaning situation arising, because I certainly don’t want to clean it out of the carpet, and I grab her and quickly bring her to the kitchen where she lets go. Tragedy averted. But the day is not over.
I gave my 3 year old son half of a piece of toast. He must have been feeling better because he began asking for more toast. So my wife makes him two more pieces of toast. Everything looked good he was laying on the couch watching a movie, but he was starting to perk up. And then we get the pièce de résistance. The first two episodes of day were just warning shots. It was like when a volcano spews some rock and ash just days or months before it erupts and explodes.
He went over to sit with his mom, and the next thing I know she stands up and begins to lead him to the kitchen. Well he wasn’t feeling well so walking wasn’t high on his things to do list, so he dropped to the floor, as kids have the tendency to do when they want to be carried, and by the time I was able to get to him and hoist him to his feet we made it two steps just around to the back of the sofa where he proceeded to spew much more than he had eaten that morning.
This wasn’t a bucket, brush, and bleach kind of deal. This was not a “by hand” kind of clean up. Aside from once more taking care of the chunks, I did not even attempt a pre-clean up. I just got in the car and went and got a steam cleaner. I then spent an hour cleaning the carpet. Needless to say the only meals the rest of the day consisted of saltine crackers.
So let me recap what we’ve learned today:
- Children can puke up just us much as a grown man.
- Every relationship which includes children should also include an adult who can handle said puke.
- And no good time goes unpunished.
So dads, please remember these things and plan accordingly. I know I will.