Monday, November 26, 2012

Welcome to the Vomitorium

We were greeted on Wednesday morning to my eldest daughter stating that her baby sister had peed on the floor. This normally would have not been a big deal, as we do occasionally let the baby crawl around the house bare assed, which will lead to peeing or “laying an egg” on our floor.

'Cept it ain't round or smooth.

The thing that was concerning was that I had just dressed the baby not more than 10 minutes prior. Having two children, an irritable cat and an old house means wetness on the floor could really be anything. Turned out to be vomit. The baby threw up.

Hot Potato!

Babies have the most amazing ability to throw up and then not be affected by it. I walked in and saw the puddle with a very happy little baby splashing about in it as though she were in a turtle pool.

That isn't sand in the pool.

This of course sets the alarm bells ringing. Appointments are cancelled, playdates postponed, hands sanitized.  The troubling thing is that she cant tell us what is wrong. Did she gag? Is her stomach upset? Did she eat some bad gefilte fish? Or did she inadvertently watch an episode of Two and A Half Men?

"Vomit Inducing" - Fred Munro, Newsweek

Every parent will tell you about the upside of a sick baby- snuggling. Babies will curl into you and practically purr in a way they don’t normally do. It’s a need for protection, comfort and barfing on your new shirt.

A baby will seem perfectly normal for hours until you lay them on their sides for a nap. Then it’s like tipping over a cola after carrying it home from the store on your bike. It spews everywhere. Its times like these that you wish beds were like tissue boxes, with the ability to just pull out more sheeting from within it when needed.

For many years in a row we would visit my parents who live about four hours away and one of the kids would get sick while there. My mother works in a service industry, and thus has a pretty good immune system. My father on the other hand is retired and spends most of his free time not hanging out with the general public or children. He would be struck down by the time we left. That will teach you for enjoying retirement.

One memorable visit we called Telehealth Ontario, a service that is essentially for ordering ambulances like taxis. My wife and then tiny first daughter got to ride in an ambulance while I drove to the hospital. I was both annoyed and proud that I had beat the ambulance there. I saved my family a seat in the ER. If ever you feel the need to visit an emergency room while in Toronto be aware that you could spend upwards of 17.2 hours there. Drive to a small town in the Ottawa Valley (4 hours) go in and get treated (2 hours) and drive home (4 hours). That leaves you enough time to watch Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 five times.

Jon Voight's greatest work- click for trailer

For the record the treatment was “drink liquids”. We even got a prescription.

Once the initial illness is over you take a breath of relief, until the next stage. What I call the cappuccino shits. A foamy brown runny substance is ejected hourly from your sweet little child. It comes with a smell so strong that stink lines are visibly coming off it. On one of our visits to my parents we drove home through this stage. We use cloth diapers (because, as always, we are better than you) which means you can’t just throw them out. Instead we sit in a car with the heater blaring as it’s always cold weather when this happens, with this smelly dirty bomb within feet of my head for hours on end.

Smells almost as bad as a three day dead hooker

Anyway, as these things normally do, she was okay by the end of the day. And because having a family is like living in a petri dish I caught the sickness the next night. I’m not going to tell you anything about that though, because there is absolutely no humour in when I am ill. It’s a tragedy.


  1. I love reading about people with kids younger than mine. Instead of having awful things to look forward to, I can chuckle gently while remembering the joys you describe. Because, you know, life is so much better with two boys who fight and swear and need to be surgically removed from the computer. At least they make it to the bathroom on their own when they need to barf.

  2. so glad you posted I was in serious withdrawal.