|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...!"
WORD, PAULA. WORD.
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?"
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.