Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Image from HERE

Gee, if I were to make a guess right now, I'd bet that at least some of you out there are either mopping up barf right now, or emptying out THE BUCKET.  T'is the season!  So, since you need a small break from all those germs....

Yeah!  It's high time we talk about one of THE most disgusting things we have to deal with.  We've danced around the perimeter of this disgusting topic far too long.  And why shouldn't we?  Decorum?  Pfft.  This, after all, is the time when the dreaded STOMACH FLU rears its ugly head:  in these tedious, useless weeks somewhere between deep winter and spring.

Paula, one of my lovely faithful readers/sympathizers said:

"when we were 18 and naive, would we EVER have thought that our days could consist of catching barf in our hands? I have also had that joy,the things we do for our kids...!"


Anyone who's become a parent, has spent the first several months of that little person's life walking around smelling like sour puke.  Because babies spit up a lot.  Here are a few scenarios you may be familiar with:

*You jiggle the baby on your knee, and even though he's having a rosy good time, it's going to end with "BLEH".  All over your pants. 

*"Oh, he seems to be all fussy!  Maybe he didn't have enough to eat??  Maybe he has GAS!  Maybe he's tired???"  And then; "BLEH!" ALL OVER THE FRESH WASHED BLANKIE. 

*"Has the little cutie finished eating?  Here, let me burp him then.." *pat pat pat pat*  "BAHLOP"  ALL DOWN YOUR BACK. 

* If you're really lucky, your little stinker has blurped right down the front of your shirt, in between the hoots.  And if I ask you what it's like to get hurl out of the back seat of your car, and ESPECIALLY out of the seat belts,  and also out of those little nooks and crannies between the rungs of the crib, I'll bet you know what I'm talking about. 

**N.B. :  all of these scenarios become even more spicy when your kids start eating a little table food.  Tiny cubes of cheese?  Anyone?  Anyone? 

It's something we all have to deal with:  our own barf, kid barf and even pet barf.  Why, anyone who has had pets, has at one time or another in their lives stepped in it.  Have you ever put your poor, unsuspecting heal into a pile of dog/cat boak and have your leg slide out in front of you?  Oh--that word "boak"...I think that was a crazy family invention--probably came from a young cousin or one of the kids as they learned how to form words.  We used to say; " the cat boaked all over the floor," or, "EW!  That idiot dog just boaked on the couch!"  We didn't really think the dog was an idiot, we were just outraged to have to deal with a pile of sick. 

I've always had a bit of a thing for other people's barf stories.  Throwing up is so unbelievably, indescribably horrendous, that it just has to be funny.  Stomach flu stories?  Not as much.  Drinking/hurling debauchery stories?  Now you're talking!  But let's take a fond look back at yarking, from childhood to present, shall we? 

Oh, what's my earliest hurl memory--perhaps grade 1.  There I sat in my nice, 1970's carpeted classroom for story time.  One of the kids in class yakked.  I can remember staring at it in horrified fascination before it was cleaned up, and recognizing it for what it was:  that sh*tty Campbell's alphabet soup we all use to have forced on us.  I can picture the cubes of potatoes and carrots, and the little letters. 

Grade 2:  I had that awful can't-be-anything-but-stomach-bug kind of stomach ache.  I kept thinking it would get better.  I just needed to eat my lunch, and then I'd feel better.  Didn't feel better.  I just needed to go out for recess and then I'd feel better.  Didn't.  Surely gym class would make me feel better.  Good one.  Finally I gave in and asked to go home.  Waiting for my dad to come pick me up, I tried to run for the can but ended up hurling all over the hallway floor.  I can remember the principal casually undoing my coat for me while I was hurking.  Then the janitor came and threw some sawdust on it, and mopped it up, all the while chattering away about something to my dad.  Dad had to keep his head halfway out the passenger window as we drove home and I chortled on about how "I feel SO much better!"

The first time I really went to town on the alcohol was when I was 17.  No, this is not a PRO CHUG-A-LUG story.  A friend who lived "out in the boonies" was having a party.  His parents went to their cottage for nearly the entire summer.  Can you even imagine?!?  That's like teenager heaven right there.  So, I thought I was super cool when I chuggity chugged that revolting BERRY cooler.  I also thought I was awesome when I did some straight shots of whisky, and then had to cough over the sink for five minutes. 

After a while, when I began to feel very, very dizzy, and the room was spinning both vertically and horizontally, things were not quite so groovy anymore.  And so I tripped on in to the bathroom.  I can't remember how many time's I barfed at that party, but it was a bunch.  In between throwing up, some kindly teenage friend kept a cool wet washcloth on my head.  And destroyed my hair.  Finally, when it was late, and I looked like green cowlick death, I decided I'd better go home.  My friend said:

"Erm, you might want to fix your hair before you go home."

Me:  "why?!  What's the matter with it?"

Him:  "um, nothing...nothing, it just doesn't look the same as when you came." 

And then I got home...

Mom:  "how was the party?"Me:  "great.  I'm going to bed."
Mom:  "wait! Tell me about the party!"
Me: "it was really fun.  I just want to go to bed."
Mom:  "have you been drinking?"
Me: "no."
Mom: "yes you have, tell the truth."
Me: "Okay, I was, but if you want to talk about it, you'll just have to come to my room."
Mom:  "look at you!  You're green around the gills!"

The hangover the next day was legendary. 

That same year, I had a brutal case of gastrointestinal distress.  I'd hurled all day and all night, and just for fun, pooped my pants by accident a few times.  And then, the evening of DAY TWO, that same friend who'd thrown the party, came over to lament his teenage angst over a girl he really liked.  I was on the couch under a blanket, feeling flat, wilted, and deflated.  In the midst of what he was saying, I had to go to the can.  Again.  Only, I had a poop stain on the jammy pants I was wearing.  And I DID. NOT. CARE. 

See?  You know you feel about as lousy as a human being can feel when you walk around in front of your peer with a smudgey on your pants, and you don't care, even though you're a FREAKING TEENAGER. 

My mother, who saw me pass by from the kitchen, nearly fainted with mortification.  For YEARS she expressed her disbelief at how I could walk around like that in front of a friend and not even care. 

Enh, that's the way it be's sometimes. 

The commencement of that little bug coincided with the first time I tried a few FUZZY NAVELS with friends.  Familiar with that drink?  No?  Well, it's a putrid blend of peach frigging schnapps and orange juice.  And now, I no longer drink it.  Ever. 

I also caught a stomach bug while I was pregnant with Jack.  That was bad times:  being all pregnant and firing out the germs mouth-style into the can.  The force of it actually made the water spash up and hit me in the forehead.  That's the detail that made me cry. 

Oh, but let's rewind, to the night before we were married, when The Man had his 'stag', or "bachelor party."  He got so wrecked that the yarking began on the party bus they'd rented to take them to many different bars.  He barfed so much that night it was actually alarming.  He alternated between hurling, and snoring LOUDLY behind the closed door of the bathroom.  The purple sweet smell of sickness seeping out from under the door was beyond description.  I was FURIOUS.  I was furious at his brother and father for thinking it was a right of passage to get him so drunk.    I think that may have been the night he bounced his head off the water meter on the side of our house and didn't even feel it. 

Let that be a lesson to you, kids:  DRINK RESPONSIBLY

The last bout of stomach flu we suffered took the cake though.  It was last year.  February.  Jack got it first.  Then, just as he started to feel a bit better, the rest of us crumpled faster than a house of cards.  The Man and I had to take turns helping Ella throw up--whichever one of us wasn't ka-kacking at the time ourself.  The worst of it was that it was a stomach/diarrhea bug.  And we only have ONE BATHROOM

My favourite story out of that was when I was trapped on the can upstairs, throwing up into the bathtub beside me, The Man was vomiting into a green tupperware bowl downstairs, while standing up, and Jack was relentlessly whining; 
"DAAAD!  I WANT YOU TO PUT BABY EINSTEIN ON!"  He wanted his freaking DVD on!!

The Man:  "I'm a bit busy at the moment!"


Ah, I have so many fond memories of hurl stories.  Mostly I love the ones friends and family have suffered through.  My friend B. from Say Yes Or Else!! has some stories that make me weep.  She'd better share some.  Like the time the noodle came out her nose...

* or the time The Man hurled and spent the rest of the day blowing a multi-grain sandwich out of his nose
* or how if my brother gags three times when he has a cold, it'll all come up, and this once happened as he was driving the car home from the movies.  He couldn't figure out how to open the car, in his state of panic,  and got popcorn and cola all over his woman's car.

There is nothing worse than feeling that nauseous.  Has everyone tried to fake their body into throwing up when they felt truly lousy?  Leaning over the bowl/bucket/toilet, opening up your mouth, sticking out your tongue and making "HEHHHH!" noises, to try to trick the body into getting things rolling?  Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

So just remember everyone, you can try to hide from the dreaded stomach flu.  Don't bother with those alcohol-based germ killers.  The only thing that's going to wipe that sucker out is BLEACH, BLEACH, AND MORE BLEACH.  But really, once one of your kids gets rolling, and you get gently spritzed as he's chucking into your big salad bowl, you can pretty much figure you're doomed. 


  1. It's so feckin' gross. I *just* had an uber barf-o-rama last night with 1 son. Managed to catch most of it, but a small percentage ended up on all over the dog. THEN when I returned to the scene of the crime after I cleaned up said dog and boy, my OTHER dog felt the need to PISS all over the barf. I don't know how to process the grossness that was that moment.

  2. The barf I fight with is from my pets!!!
    The house of barf! While Sam was growing we had 3 cats and one dog(Jack!)
    and boy those cats barfed all the time.
    So much I don't remember Sam barfing that much.
    The one thing that drives me batty is when they go to barf they run to the nearest carpet!!!!!!!!
    Pilot barfed this morning...thank God she is starting to come right to me and then heads for the door.
    Oh thank god for poor carpet!
    When we moved to this home and I saw wall to wall carpet upstairs I was beside myself...oh no because where ever we live its hardwood and tile!

  3. jeez Karen you have a way with words...I did not know there was so much terminology for barf.

    the Salad bowl...I guess everyone uses it.

    Most of my barfing always ends me up in the hospital..especially when pregnant.
    I just don't quit...every few minutes. I could regale you with stories the end it was the hospital hooked up to IV.

    I hate barfing soooooo much I have learned to eat fresh ginger by the chunk to prevent it.

    If i feel there is any hint of germs lurking I go get me some ginger...even if I feel a hint of gas ..I eat ginger. I have remained barf free for quit a few years this way. I cannot even remember the last time I barfed.

    I do remember stepping around barf in the school hallway in grade 3 ..with the sawdust and all.

    so glad my kids are grown..

    I will never forget my 3rd child coming to me in the middle of the night at AGE 2 declaring in monotone voice...." I NEED A BUCKET"

    THAT SAME CHILD is so responsible. even at 2 he was quick enough to know he needed a bucket.

  4. my cat does gross stuff like this, pooed on the kitchen floor at dinner time tonight.

  5. piss on barf. You need say nothing about it to try to explain to people who horrid it is. It's all RIGHT THERE IN THOSE WORDS. Sheesh. Talk about adding insult to injury. Yeah, I figured lots of people are out there right now exhausted from being the barf nurse.

  6. Pam! That's funny! I completely forgot how pets RUN FOR CARPET when they want to throw up! Why is that?!? I hate cleaning up that rope of cat hair, and even worse that tube of cat food. I almost always leave it for Jon--the poor man.

  7. Melissa, did the ginger help while you were pregnant? Luckily I only had morning sickness for the first trimester with Ella, but didn't throw up--just felt INCREDIBLY NAUSEOUS AT ALL TIMES, and could not even THINK the word 'steak.' Yark.

    Ooo...what a responsible 2 year old who used the bucket! I am impressed. I thought it was thrilling when Jack learned to hold his own pale at age 3, whereas Ella STILL wants to shove that thing out from under her spewing mouth.

  8. your cat pooped on the kitchen floor David??? You realise of course you'll be inspiring the pet lovers to come up with an explanation for this.

    Every cat has a wacky habit.

  9. Ha! No barf stories 'bout me! Sweet. Although I think I remember that Berry Cooler story. There were many stories at that house...yours as well. That's a sad story about your Man's stag. I think that's my worst fear about barf these days: the whole family hit at once. The closest was my wife and son at the same time. Though I was going to lose it at one point.

  10. Karen. Remember when we talked about that special kind of laugh? You know the one. When something is so hillarious that you laugh and you laugh and then you start weeping tears and laughing and then eventually the laughing morphs into this weird kind of mania and becomes just weeping? Bawling? Downright SOBBING with a strange saddness! Well, that was me reading this blog. Wow. Wore me out. Now I'm going to bed.

  11. oh my good gracious, that's some funny shit, right there! isn't it fun to come up with every descriptive word & phrase for something really gross? you did a delightful job.
    here's a link to my favorite vomit story that doesn't involve nudity, so is therefor safe for writing on my blog.

  12. Yes Matt! The WHOLE FAMILY AT ONCE! It was terrible. Actually, Jack felt a bit better, so I listened as the poor kid padded around the house by himself all day while the rest of us moaned in our beds.

  13. think of it as good exercise then, Nerdo. A sort of mental cleansing. You're welcome.

  14. doesn't involve nudity! LOL Sherilin.

    Hey, what culture is it that has a thousand different words for snow...Well, all the different words for "throwing up" are way funnier than simply saying "throwing up."

  15. matt says there are no stories about him,but his mom says no one would hold him as a baby because he lurved to barf on all their friends and family!

  16. ha! Well then, thank YOU Paula! I can't recall any ridiculous Matt getting drunk stories anyway...although do I have a memory of him being one of three people hurling at the party I mentioned in my post...hmm...

  17. it just now occurred to me, after reading your reply, that maybe other people's barfing stories don't naturally involve nudity... and that strikes me as really funny since most of my best ones involve drunkenness in my early 20's & that generally included nakedness too. cuz doesn't every drunk strip down? no? huh...

  18. I have to ponder this...yeah, there was some swimming in the pool in my underwear but that's about as far as that got...

  19. i just read your comment on my gross story, and i guess it's just a tribute to how very intoxicated i was that i didn't sober up when i thought the phones lines had been cut. and also, the back door was closer than the bathroom. i have no clear memory of making a conscious decision on the matter of where to heave it, so i'm guessing at this stage that the closeness of the door was the deciding factor. hard to say, though. or maybe i went out to visit the chickens. or jump on the trampoline.

  20. ha ha ha ha Sherilin...jump on the trampoline! Such poor intoxicated judgement. I lurv it.

  21. i should totally write a blog of all my insane stories that i can never write on my current blog. oh the stories i tell behind closed doors! i've got a post coming out anonymously on someone's naughty blog soon. you want a link?

  22. yeah sure! Hey, you know what's funny--when you first started blogging, were you like me, thinking "this is going to be all my deepest thoughts and secrets, and I can write about ANYTHING I WANT TO, because it's MY space." And then you realised that some of that deep and dirty stuff you wanted to write actually wasn't that popular? Hm...

  23. i knew right from the beginning that my parents would most likely be regular readers with my mother-in-law dipping over from time to time, so i knew i'd never be able to write out all my dark, dirty business. but at the beginning when i wrote about the really bad days with brooke, i found that no one had any response. i don't know if they didn't read it, didn't like it, didn't know what to say, or were troubled that i'd write it in the first place. i've tried to take the edges off some of those posts when i write them now, if i write them at all, also because brooke sometimes reads my blog & i don't want her to see that i'm writing negatives about her.

  24. Ah, I'll have to check out your older posts then. Yeah sometimes I think you're right--nobody quite knows what to say in those particular situations.

  25. go check out the post that just went out tonight on "adventures in estrogen." ;)


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