Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Vominator

There's no way to ease in to this topic, so I'm going to leap in with both feet -- VOMIT!

Actually, leaping in with both feet is more than just the cliched use of a literary device, it's a literal fact. In order to deal with the Italian's vomit situation early Sunday morning, I truly had to walk through approximately twenty square feet of vomit-covered hardwoods and carpeting. And why? Because the Italian was in the living room and needed a clean shirt and a blanket from his bedroom. When your kid is sick and shivering, you walk through vomit to help him.

I was in bed when it started, having finally fallen asleep around midnight. The Italian woke me up at one-thirty by poking me in the back.

"Dad?" Poke, poke. "Dad?" Poke, poke, poke. "Dad, I threw up."

It doesn't matter how soundly asleep you are, those words wake you up in a hurry. For starters, your son is sick and needs to be cared for. Secondly, somewhere in the house is a mess that needs to be cleaned, and the sooner the better.

We've enjoyed our share of award-winning vomits during our parenting years. There was the time the German puked up Cheetos all over the back of the driver's seat in the van. There was the time Our Daughter projectile-vomited goldfish crackers four feet across the room, smack into the middle of her Mother's chest and deep into the piles of a shag carpet. There was the time Our Daughter, having finally had the chance to try RavioliOs after years of resistance from My Lovely Wife and I, permanently stained the carpet around her bed. The Italian's Sunday morning vomit easily qualifies for nomination in several categories.

Let's begin with coverage. I walked over to the kids' bathroom to survey the damage only to find myself caught in that fragile mental state between uncontrollable weeping and giddy laughter. There are days when the horizon doesn't stretch out as far ahead of me as that field of vomit did on Sunday morning.

God bless him, the boy tried to make it to the bathroom once he realized what was coming. He jumped out of bed and ran to the door, but never got it open before Vesuvius erupted. It hit the carpet with such force that the door and nearby wall were splattered more than a foot high. Knowing there was more to come, he pulled open the door, stepped into the small hallway, and let loose with another ricochet trick shot on the hardwood floor. It took me fifteen minutes just to make a safe path -- not clean, mind you -- to his bedroom closet.

For more than three hours, I wiped up the hardwoods, wiped down the walls and baseboards, depukified the doors, and scrubbed the carpet. Amazingly, the only other person awake in the house was the Italian, and only because he threw up five or six more times, albeit under controlled conditions. Even the German remained unconscious, despite the fact I was scrubbing for over an hour just feet from his bed. After the sun came up and all eyes were open, we broke out the carpet cleaner and attempted a proper deep clean.

The end result is yet another permanent stain, although perhaps not as noticeable as some others. Years from now, if we try selling the house, I might have to come up with a new name for the carpet color. How about "Nutty Brown," or "Dark Chocolate?"

Would you believe they have a carpet color called "Outback Rib Sauce and Chunky Mashed Potatoe?"

© 2014 Mark Feggeler