Monday, September 26, 2011

Feeling Sick

My friend looked shell shocked after my daughter threw up on his floor. The vomiting took place all over his nicely polished hard wood in a high traffic area during his wife’s birthday party. Sprout had been gorging herself at the buffet and before we knew it WonderWife™ was cupping her hands in front of the girl screaming for somebody to get her a bowl…quick! (Not realizing the severity of the impending situation, my friend politely passed her a small paper plate.)

It wasn’t digest or nausea that left my buddy looking green after the incident, though I’m sure he was feeling both. My childless friend had just witnessed parenting at its worst. Oh yeah, my friend and his wife were expecting. I knew all too well the look in his eyes. Panic was slowly burrowing into his brain bringing with it the horrifying realization of what he was getting himself in to.

When WonderWife™ was pregnant with the Bean, we visited one of her oldest friends and her toddler. They lived in a grown up house like the kind I grew up in, which was entirely unfamiliar to me who was still felt that living in an apartment in the city was what truly made me an adult. The house was filled with unfamiliar and intimidating items like baby gates, high chairs and lots and lots of toys that were strewn about every room. Her boy, like every boy his age, was a whirling tornado of energy that could not be stopped. I was something new in his world, something to be scaled. So while WW™ and her friend caught up, I looked after the kid, who without hesitation proceeded to climb all over me. I chased him when he ran too close to the stairs. I stopped him when he tried to grab some contraband. After mere minutes I was exhausted. This is what parenting was like? On the ride home, I wore the same expression as my friend.

It didn’t help that in the aftermath of Sprout’s spouting that WonderWife™ and I regaled my friend with more kid vomit stories. It was our own misguided attempt to make him feel better by telling him that it gets worse. It’s amazing how insensitive us experienced parents can be around the freaked out newbs. We wear our parenting horror stories like badges of honor, and even though we aren’t too far removed from our pre-childhood days, where even the smallest parent task seemed impossible, we unfairly take ghoulish satisfaction in relaying these events to the uninitiated.

On the way home, WonderWife™ and I felt bad and hoped that we didn’t break our friend. Nervous or not, in a few months he was going to be dealing with his own little vomit machine. And even if after we left if he was convinced that he might have made a terrible mistake, those of us who are firmly entrenched in this thing called parenting know that he didn’t. Being a parent is an amazing thing. But it’s hard to see from that vantage point when you’ve just watched some kid barf on your floor.

14 comments:

Andrea said...

Ah yes, the cup the hands under the chin stories. It's a bit like the I-caught-the-biggest-fish stories...but you know, with vomit. You really can't quite believe what you're hearing.

Poor guy. I figure kids really don't start the official barf thing till about 2-3. He's got some time to get up to speed courtesy of baby spit-up, ease into the whole fun process.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Andrea...When it comes to vomit stories, I tend to believe them. Since the ones I tell are 100% true. And horrifying.

Steph said...

There is nothing like vomit or being thrown up on to give you your badge as a parent.

Angela said...

Oh yes, I remember it well. When my now 23 year old son was 3, he said his tummy hurt, so what do I do? I pick him up which allowed him to throw up all over the side of my face, my hair and my shirt which was unfortunately, a turtle neck. His father who witnessed the whole thing thought it was hilarious, me not so much. But I don't think that compares to my 5 year old daughter having a major blowout in her diaper in a restaurant and the horror of discovering after I had stripped her down in the bathroom, that I had no diapers with me. Let's just say that I was very happy that they had brown paper towels in the restroom instead of a blow dryer.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Steph...We should literally wear badges. That would be awesome!

Angela...Ewwwwwwww!!!!!

Chicken Julie said...

The worst part of the incident, which DGB kindly left out, was that Sprout had just eaten lots of cheddar popcorn and a large cup of mango puree. It was spectacular.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Ewwwwww!!!!!

Kelly said...

OMG! I can totally relate to this! My two horrifying vomit stories:
1. Playing with my (then) 6 month old by holding him above my head. He proceeded to vomit IN MY OPEN MOUTH. Lovely.
2. While rocking my (then) 10 month hold, I hear the gorge about to come out of his mouth. I can't reach the trash can and I don't want vomit all over the carpet so I turn him towards me and he proceeds to vomit all over my face, hair, and, worst of all, down my bra!

I shudder just remembering these proud moments of parenthood!

SFD said...

I was never the freaked out one; dunno why, because I saw it all with my niece and nephew.

But yeah, toddler puke is brutal. Just, brutal.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Kelly...I'm glad I read this before lunch.

SFD...You're lucky.

James (SeattleDad) said...

That made me laugh. I can remember not too long ago being that wide eyed expectant father.

Molly said...

You gotta love a good puke story! Last week I was driving and across the road I spied a woman pulled over yanking her child (probably 8) out of the car. You could see this kid was about to chuck a load and promptly did all over his mom as she was running with him trying to get behind the car. My daughter looked at me and said, 'Didn't she know better? She should have picked him up facing away from her!' The quick scene was such a flash of what parenting 'really' is!

Vancetastic said...

Surely part of him realizes that if you can become blase about children vomiting, he will one day be in that place too. Seeing your reaction to it should be comforting in a strange way. Now, if you as a parent of older children had a panicked freak-out when your child vomited, I would think that would be much worse.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

James...Miss those days? I don't.

Molly...Sometimes the obvious escapes you in the pre-vomit moments.

Vance...Nope. I don't think so. Remember those pre-kid days when everything created panic?