Friday, April 25, 2014

Puke-O-Rama: A Delayed Milestone

He was feeling mostly fine earlier today.

Tonight the boy wasn't feeling well so I advised him to skip dinner and go to bed. At first he was against that idea, but as he started to feel worse, he thought maybe that sounded okay. His stomach was upset and he had a sore throat so I promised him some medicine and herded him to the bathroom before anything gross happened.

Anything gross that happens in the bathroom is fairly easy to deal with, as far as gross things go. Turkish bathrooms have drains in the floor in case it's so gross you just need to hose the whole thing down.

So the poor boy was sitting miserably on the toilet saying his tummy hurt and shivering and not really wanting to make the effort to leave where he was. Sensing something gross was about to happen (he'd gone pretty white at this point and was swallowing a lot), I coaxed him to clean up and pull up his pants by promising to let him use my awesome sore throat gargle that's yummy like the sore throat spray he likes so much.

It worked, but when it came time for the gargle he cried and ran away. So I tried to get him to hunch over the toilet. Lucky for us, the cleaner had been through today so the toilet wasn't gross at all but he was scared of what was going to happen.

And then it occurred to me. Puking is not something he's really used to. He's never been much of a puker. Of course, there have been some carsick incidents and I always carry some bags on me for when minibus drivers go down the curvy hill too fast. There was that time when he was about two that he puked on his dad in the car and I was all, "Hee!" because his dad was so appalled, having never really dealt with any sort of bodily ejections from the child.

Tie dye and super cute.
The grossest one was when LE was a baby and suddenly decided halfway though eating his egg that he didn't like egg anymore. I never could get the smell of that one out of his pajamas so I threw them away. I was bummed too, because those pajamas were super cute.

I got him over the toilet an he totally hurled. I tried to act like it was cool so he wouldn't be scared because hurling is a fairly powerful thing if you're not used to it. I've never seen him hurling like that either so I was a little scared too. When he was done I got him to bed and brought him our biggest cooking pot, telling him that if he needed to hurl again to just do it in the pot. He was worried what would happen if he filled the pot. I assured him he would have to puke about 8 one-liter bottles of milk for that. He told me to quit making jokes and leave him alone. So I did.

And I went and made myself some dinner. His dad called wanting to talk to LE, and I was forced to tell him the boy was sick and sleeping. Babaanne was noisily advising nane-limon in the background. I assured them it's cool if I take the day off work tomorrow because nothing is going on and it seems awfully mean to make a tummy sick kid to ride in the car all the way to his dad's house.

Then Babaanne phoned right after to check in and remind me again about the nane-limon and to offer to take the boy off my hands tomorrow but I was adamant on keeping him. The thing is, he tends to get sick on weekends when he goes to his dad. It's as though his germs know I'm uninterested in minor complaints and they hold out till he gets to his Babaanne, who's extraordinarily interested in minor complaints. "It's my turn to look after him," I told her as sort of a joke, keeping in mind that the last time he got sick at their house involved a few diarrhea disasters that I was rather pleased weren't my problem. "Oh, no," Babaanne said. "It's not like that. We all miss him."

These will fucking kill you. Also air will kill you.
Which means either my sort-of joke fell horribly flat and seemed rude and territorial somehow, or that she hasn't had a martyr fix in awhile, or it means something else I totally missed. It was a particularly confusing call because she didn't blame me somehow for making him get sick, like by letting him eat Popsicles or by not forcing him to wear an undershirt. So I just told her she's awesome but I'm happy to look after him. The thing is, puke and diarrhea are super gross, but sick kids are a little bit adorable as long as they're not dying or anything. They're cuddly and nice and let you fuss over them, plus it means I can make chicken soup and skip work.

Naturally after that, I went on the Internet to review the symptoms of meningitis, E-Coli, and Ebola. Then I started reading some crap on Facebook, all feeling rather pleased that when my kid pukes, he does it either rarely or neatly. I was also marveling at myself for being unfazed about puke, and chalked it up to drunken adventures. I remembered a time in college when my brother puked on my arm and I didn't care, not really, though it helped that I was wearing short sleeves. I came across this article about real baby milestones and was all, "Hee! I remember when LE rolled off the bed the first time, and then he managed to roll off the sofa a couple of days later." Then I got to the part about getting puked on in the face for the first time and thought smugly, "That's why I never held the baby up in the air over my face."
Bad idea.

And seriously, just as I was reading that part, I heard a weak, "Mama" from the bedroom. I got in there to find the baby, now a boy, lying there puking all over his face. I got him up and over the cooking pot to finish up, and then he flopped back down into the pile of puke on his pillow.

Just put the lotion in the fucking basket already.
"Oh, honey, no, don't lie down!" I said, too late, and he said weakly into his own puke, "I'm sorry, Mama," like I'm Joan Crawford fixing to beat him with a pillowcase full of soap bars for slapping his face into his puke. I just wanted to save him from the indignity of that, but you know. Mother guilt.

So I got him into the bathroom and stripped him and washed him off and seriously, my past drunken adventures were no help at that point. How do you get a kid's shirt off that's covered with puke without getting more puke all over the kid? I almost puked like four times. Puke was falling off in bits onto the floor. I wondered if my mom used to almost puke when she washed me off because for sure I was a kid with a tendency to puke quite a lot. I was glad the boy had opted for salad for lunch instead of a hamburger. I thought of that scene in Stand By Me with all the puking that almost made me puke when I saw it in the theater, and then the movie just left me sad and unsettled because the narrator said River Phoenix's character died in a barfight when he grew up. At 12, there was no way I was getting over that shit.
Did anyone get over him?

Plus there was puke on the bed. Puke on the bed! What the hell do you do about that? I'll bet my mom knows. But so does the Internet. So I relocated the kid up to the sofa while I dealt with the bed and checked the Internet about puke on the bed and tried to ignore my half-eaten dinner because the puke was starting to do my stomach in. How the hell did my mom deal with puke on the bed before the Internet? I hauled the kid, all fevered and whimpering no no no no back to the bed I'd mostly cleaned up but also covered with a blanket and an extra towel until I can clean it properly tomorrow because there's no way I'm cleaning puke out of the sofa and there's really no way I'm moving the kid to my bed. There needs to be at least one puke-free bed in this house.

The poor mite has puked a few times since then. I've researched the early symptoms of the zombie virus just in case, but the Internet isn't clear on that. The last time he puked, he didn't get mad at me for making jokes and even asked me to describe in detail all the times I puked when I was a kid. I made some jokes and told him about some of my childhood puking incidents because he's pretty sure he's going to die. I don't blame him. It sucks to feel that way. I tried to explain some reasons he might be puking but that's really hard to do without mentioning food eaten earlier and as a seasoned puker, I know food eaten earlier is the last thing you want to hear about.

And that's it. We survived the delayed super gross kid puke milestone. It was super gross no matter how sorry I feel for the little man. I hope next time he does this, he's old enough for me to make him clean it up himself.

That last sentence was bullshit. No matter what, I'll always rub his back and and go "ssshhhhh" and assure him he's not going to die and love him no matter how stinky he is, even if he pukes on my face.


Anonymous said...

Scarlet fever, huh? I hope LE is ok now.

This past winter my two kids (a baby and a 3 y.o.) and I all had the pukes together. Both we puking in their beds and down the sides of the beds and on the carpets for a couple days. But the worse was the baby. At least the 3 y.o would make it to the toilet sometimes; the baby never did. And the absolute worse was when I was nursing my sick baby and he projectile vomited all over me. Needless to say, I was cleaning lots and lots of puke, and I was sick and puking too. Reading your story just made me realize that my house no longer smells like puke when I walk in. That took months for the smell to go away.


Stranger said...

Ooooooh, no. Yuck. That's so gross. Whenever a gross thing is happening in my house I think about how it could be so much grosser. This is a good example of this.

Sorry you guys were so sick. Nothing worse than tummy sick.

What did you use to get the puke smell out?