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Reel Mama: The vomit comet

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The vomit comet

Tonight it happened.  The vomit from hell.  If you're a parent, then you know what I'm talking about.  The big one.  The apocalyptic one.  The one you can see from space.  It was electric blue, due to my daughter swallowing the fictitious fruit (essentially vitamin C-injected Jujubes) I mentioned in a previous blog.  I checked the box: the “fruits” are colored with a dye called Blue #1, and it's probably radioactive.  I’m probably a bad mommy for letting her eat that junk in the first place, but the nurse on the advice line said to feed a fever.  Get her to choke down something, anything, it doesn’t matter what.  The gummy fruit is my go-to emergency “food” when all else fails.    
The timing couldn’t have been worse.  I was at my parents’ house, and my dad had just prepared an incredible dinner of pecan-encrusted salmon and shrimp skewers.  The table had been set.  The wine had been poured for the grownups.  As the first plate was being placed on the table to a chorus of “oohs” and “aahhs,” my daughter walked toward me, and Mount Kilauea, as we affectionately called her as a baby, erupted.  

My husband had playfully nicknamed my daughter after the Hawaiian volcano as a bit of sleep-deprived humor when she was an infant, because she was so prone to spitting up.  The projectile vomits somehow reminded us of the imposing force of a volcano spewing lava.  The routine in the wee hours went as follows: I would nurse my daughter, then change her.  The movement of the diaper change would unsettle her stomach just enough to cause her to vomit all over her blanket sleeper, not to mention me.  There were times I had to strip down to my underwear.  I would change her clothes and mine, at which time she’d be hungry again, so we’d have to repeat the process.  This was raw, painful, blind staggering through the wilderness of new parenthood.
Now, I’m a little more experienced as a parent, and I’m holding my breath that the stains will miraculously come out of my parents’ Arts and Crafts-period light beige rug.  The electric blue clashes, just a little.  
My heart is aching for my daughter.  All parents go through this when their little ones are sick.  She picked up this nasty virus somewhere, like a shoe bottom inevitably picks up chewing gum if it’s anywhere in the vicinity.  Right now Mount Kilauea is sleeping. I changed her clothes and mine (that felt like old times).  I’ve had my salmon, and the carpet stains seem to be coming out.
I know when my daughter's a ‘tween she's going to kill me for writing this.  I hope she can forgive me.  Someday she’ll understand, when she has little Mount Kilaueas of her own.


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