Next Stop: Batty

Hangin' by a thread, here. I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Postcard from the Barfbucket

Sorry to be so long between posts; was busy barfing my way through our florida vacation. YES!

Now, believe it or not, I have quite a few thoughts on the subject of barfy vacations. Where to begin...

First of all, there's my new earthshattering theory of human behavior: we have an irrational need to know. When your five year old -- all dressed in her new Target bathing suit and smothered in sunscreen -- blows all over the white diningroom carpet of your parents' rental condo, what's the first thing you do? Comfort the child? Grab the carpet spray? Curse the vacation Karma gods who just keep stickin' it to ya'? NO! You take a rather longish gander at the vomit, of all things. In the blink of an eye, you are running a mental list of what you have fed the child, and are actually attempting to identify the contents of the substance by size, shape and color. Others have gathered around and are also rubber necking the hazmat spill. As if it were the most natural thing in the world, they begin to offer theories on the concoction:

"I think that's the ham. Was the ham old?"

"No, that's not's too thick. That's just bread. And bananas."

"Bananas are not that color."

"Yeah, but things change color in your stomach; you can't go by color."

"She didn't eat any bananas. Did you eat bananas, Dear? She didn't eat any bananas."

And later, on the occasion of the child's second Jackson Pollack treatment of the carpet, the scientific commentary continues:

"Now THAT'S not ham, either."

"That's just fluid."

"What did she drink that's pink?"

"Well, that's probably watered-down red. What did she drink that was red? Did you drink something red, Dear?"

Maybe this is all born of some nurturing instinct -- we are trying to assess the situation so as to better treat and cure the child. Except, really, is there such a broad range of approaches to the treatment of a barfing child? It's pretty much Get a bucket and then Don't feed the child anything or Don't feed the child anything and then Get a bucket. No matter what the color of the vomit, the overall goal is going to be NOT to produce any more of it. Oh, yeah, and clean the carpet.

In the end, I don't think it has anything to do with the care or feeding of the beast. We look because we can't help it. Picture this: you're in a crowd, and someone farts. You know someone has farted because others are now protesting said fartage, frantically fanning the air with their hands, pointing and laughing, etc... But miraculously, you don't smell the offending emission right away. AND NOW, time stands still. You cannot move, converse, or otherwise participate in the gathering until you have smelled the fart. You must. Smell. The Fart. You actually send your nose into overdrive -- sniffing and snuffing in hopes of catching a passing whiff. And when it comes -- as it invariably does -- Holy Gasmasks, Batman! It's disgusting! Your eyes water, and you want to die. How could any self-respecting adult have befouled the air thus? But you just had to smell it, didn't you?

We have an innate need to view the vomit and smell the farts. Don't say you don't, because you do. I'm just puttin' it out there, no extra charge.

Also, a question for the philosophers among you: When a child begins erupting like Vesuvius all over your family vacation, and you're the mommy, is it better just to catch the damn bug or dodge the bullet? Not that one can control such things, but I think I'm gonna have to vote for going the sick-as-a-dog route.

Yes, it's Florida and the condo is ON THE BEACH and the temperature is 83 degrees and you bought a new tankini, but let's think about this rationally. A HEALTHY mommy really needs to get on her hands and knees and at least make a show of helping to clean the white carpets. But Barfy Mommy gets to go lie down. Healthy Mommy skips the beach to stay with the sick child because of the FOUR adults on the scene, Mommy is the only one deemed acceptable by Clingy, Whiny, Barfy Child. Barfy Mommy skips the beach, too, but is too feverish to care for CWBC, so an ADDITIONAL ADULT is assigned the task. I mean, how beautiful is THAT?!? Healthy Mommy's vacation mornings are...just like all the other mornings. She has to get her vacationing ASS up with the kids, pour the juice, dole out the vitamins, oversee the toothbrushing, beg people to eat things, apply two gallons of sunscreen, find the goggles and the flip-flops, etc... Barfy Mommy stays in bed on her vacation mornings because she' know...BARFY.

And then there's the obvious: Barfy Mommy is still white as a sheet at the end of her vacation, but she IS inarguably skinnier. What more can I ask?

All in all, it was a very nice trip. Next year, I'm hoping for something nasty that comes with laryngitis so that in addition to lying in bed all week, I can avoid actually speaking to anyone.


At 8:16 PM, Blogger Chelle said...

I'll have to tell you about our trip to the Grand Tetons sometime... Although no children were involved it was another Postcard from the Barfbucket.

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Shelley said...

OMG, the HazMat picture is TOO perfect. And I'm sure it'll all be even funnier right after I figure out how to get my car to stop smelling like the Friday night post-wrestling match hurlage that D. donated. And yes, I've tried Febreze. Which I cannot even believe I know exists, let alone own.

At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Stacy said...

Puts me in mind of a trip to Hawaii I once took with my sister and the 'rents. I was 17 and a freshly minted high school grad (thus the occasion of the trip). Kristin ate too many Pringles and was feeling poorly. I knocked on the door of Mom and Dad's room and said, "Kristin is feeling like she's gonna hurl." Mom responded, "What do you want me to do?"

Thanks Mom.

At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Margaret said...

I am waiting. Waiting... Waiting...

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