I have too much experience with the disgusting effects of vomit. Emma was such a puky kid. Spit up is one thing and she did that in great quantity and frequency until after she was 1 year old. She also threw up with every tooth that popped through her gums. It caught me by surprise when she got her first tooth at 10 months old. I thought she had the flu, but for the next year, teething was accompanied by fever and vomiting. Every time. It was gross.
In my vast unwanted experience I would say that cleaning up vomit from a car trumps all other times and locations of gross clean-up. Now some may argue that the middle of the night washing of ALL the bedding, and washing down walls and the spindly crib slats is worse, but I don't agree. Car clean-ups with the nasty stuff seeping into tiny crevices, washing car-seat covers, seat belts, and scrubbing endlessly to get the smell out -- it is a choice of clean-up I hope you don't have to make. All other vomiting episodes can be over-looked as common place minor inconveniences.
Emma has thrown up in many locations and I got to know that sound and the symptoms that preceded the explosion very well. It happens quickly though and sometimes I didn't have time to get a container or rush her to the toilet. Even with the warning sound, they are unpredictable creatures, suffering in the discomfort of a sour belly. There were so many times she missed the mark and there was a little nastiness in the bowl and the rest on the floor or that dreaded streak of vomit as we ran for cover.
You may wonder at my point and I do have one. I heard the warning sound from Mandy today and it was even preceded with symptoms that I was too busy to notice. Mandy woke up really grumpy from her nap, crying and just really irritated. She was not happy with anything. She didn't want a bottle. She didn't want a snack. She did NOT want me to put her down and was acting really lethargic. I hung a load of clothes out on the line and she cried in the grass the whole time. When I picked her up to finally go inside, she was burning up. Thinking she must have been too hot, I tried changing her clothes and offering her a bottle again -- more crying. I managed to make dinner while holding her lethargic hot body that I finally realized had a fever and I gave her Motrin. The poor baby was almost asleep in my arms, but I had to pack up dinner and leave.
I was still in the kitchen holding Mandy and finishing up the food when I heard the little hick-up cough that sent alarm bells ringing in my heard. "Warning, warning. She is about to blow." And blow she did. In one stealthy motion I tipped her little body toward the sink. Her projection was perfect and she made a perfect shot into the garbage disposal. I would say beautiful, but it was anything but beautiful. Never in my life have I even come close to avoiding vomit clean-up like this. I wiped my baby's face -- and cooed softly to her, of course since the sweet thing was suffering -- and ran water in the disposal and flipped the switch. I ran some bleach down the hole for good measure and was out the door. Okay, okay, I did not run beach down the disposal, but as I was typing, it really seemed like bleach would have been the sanitary thing to do. If anything, I want my blog to be an accurate portrayal.
Mandy was feeling better and so was I. Could it be that I finally have all the answers to mothering figured out? Oh, that would be nice if it were true. Or could it be that I was just at the right place at the right time? More likely. One tragedy was averted and it is on to the next one. Because I am sure there will be a next time. I am sure there is no way on earth I can make it through the rest of my years in paradise without dawning rubber gloves to clean out my car and car seat that are barfed all over or wake in the middle of the night to hear the warning hick-up and subsequent eruption that says, "Too late, Mom. Time to get up and clean up the mess." There will be another day. Another day to think back on the time Mandy puked in the garbage disposal. It was a good day.