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Posts Tagged ‘vomit’

The other night, as my husband was setting his alarm for the next morning, I casually quipped: “Be sure to set it for 11pm, 1am, 3am and 5am in case the children forget to wake us.” My, how we laughed.

Of course, Mr Justice then proceeded to vomit at 10:30pm, 12:30pm, 2pm, 4am and 4:45am, with a couple of crying interruptions in between by Tiddles McGee thrown in for good measure. And each time, after the sick bowl had been rinsed out and disinfected, the sheets and towels had been changed and fresh water had been administered to the little patient, I would crawl back into bed and pray that this time it would be the last time and that sleep would be my reward.

Ha!

Really, I should have known better than to make such an amusing quip about the alarm clock. After all, I had already jinxed us badly enough by confidently declaring our Gastro-Free status that very afternoon to a friend we were visiting, only to have Mr Justice coat the toilet with the contents of his stomach an hour later. So I had known that the night ahead was going to be a bad one. But I didn’t think for a moment it would be that bad. Perhaps if I had, I might have never gone to bed in the first place. I might have stayed up all night watching back-to-back Barbie’s Fairytopia movies whilst simultaneously sticking Bionicle armoury in my fleshy bits instead because, quite frankly, that might have proved more restful and relaxing.

I mean, let’s be honest here: sometimes broken sleep (or in this case, sleep which has been dropped from a great height and shattered into a thousand million pieces and then ground firmly underfoot by a thousand angry feet) is worse than no sleep at all. For one thing, there’s all that damn pressure to get back to sleep as quickly as possible and grab as many Zs as you can before being woken again and then there’s the bitter disappointment of being woken up far sooner than you’d hoped.  In the confusion of it all, I began to think of Mr Justice as a newborn baby and, at the first sound of a new vomiting episode, I’d look at the clock blearily and think “But he’s not due to vomit yet!”

Of course all the time I also had that extra pressure of knowing that the morning would bring two extra charges to feed and water, in the form of Master J and Cyclone Bella. And much worse still, that I couldn’t just declare the day a Doonah Day where we spent the whole day slothing about in front of the television in our pyjamas, eating food out of a tin. You see, the next day was The Pixie’s birthday and there were Big Expectations. She was already utterly devastated that I’d canceled her Fairy Morning Tea at the first sign of vomit and I was going to have to pull something pretty special out of the hat to make up for it – all whilst entertaining five children in quarantine conditions on next-to-no-sleep.

Now, I don’t know how I did it, but I managed to get through the whole day with a smile on my face. Don’t ask me how: it’s all a pink-streamered blur. I don’t even think The Pixie noticed for a moment that her mother was a mere caffeinated-shadow of her former self. As I tucked her into bed that night, she said “Thank you for the bestest birthday ever”.

Of course, it wasn’t until the next day that I found myself shouting a lot and then sitting on my bed, in self-imposed Time Out, holding a wad of home-made green playdough in my hands and sobbing my little heart out. But that? That’s a story for another day.

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Like many of my best ideas, the concept for the NDM Children’s Vomit Scale came from some quality piss-farting-about time on Twitter.

You see, I recently found myself boasting to twitter friend and blogging peer Mister Trivia that, thanks to my Famous Vomiting Children, there wasn’t much about vomit that I didn’t know. 

“Why, I could write The Bristol Stool Scale equivalent for children’s vomit,” I boldly declared.

“Do it,” was @mrtrivia’s quick reply. “Name it after yourself. Distribute it to parents planet-wide. Appear on Sunrise. Tell Dr Karl he sucks. Become a media darling.”

And just when I thought my mandate couldn’t be much clearer, he threw in a “Brand yourself ‘Chuck Mom’ for the US and ‘Chunder Mummy’ for the UK and Oz” for good measure. You’ve got to hand it to him: that @mrtrivia has one hell of a strategic mind.

Anyway, I promptly churned out a first draft of the NDM Children’s Vomit Scale. And this is how it’s currently shaping up:

THE NDM CHILDREN’S VOMIT SCALE

minestrone TYPE ONE: Also known as “The Minestrone”, a Type One vomit is a little like a Britney Spears-style comeback of the last meal your child ate: it almost looks the same but is far less palatable.  A Type One vomit is always surprising because a) it will almost certainly contain diced carrot even if it has been many moons since your child last even looked askance at a carrot; and b) the quantity of vomit will be much greater than the serving of food your child originally ate.

spreadable TYPE TWO: A Type Two vomit has a more concentrated, less chunky and eminently spreadable consistency. With the correct dietary input, it can resemble peanut butter. But with added carrot. 
cupasoup TYPE THREE: The Type Three is mostly liquid with the occasional chunklet, some of which will, of course, resemble barely-rehydrated carrot. You can heat this up and serve it in a tin mug as “cup-a-soup”. No-one will know the difference. 
amoeba2 TYPE FOUR: Also known as “The Amoeba”, the typical Type Four vomit usually occurs in conjunction with a head cold. Everything (including the carrot) tends to hangs together in a phlegm-coated globular mass and seeing a Type Four in action is a little like watching someone give birth to an alien life form through their mouth.
acid TYPE FIVE: This is the closest thing to battery acid that the human body can produce, due mostly to the caustic qualities of carrot once finally broken down by the digestive system. Parents are advised to wear rubber gloves when handling this highly noxious substance. If left for too long, a Type Five vomit can burn holes through the floor boards and/or metal bed frames. 
bile2 TYPE SIX: All bile, no chunk (or even chunklets) with an alarming flourescent quality.   There has been some speculation that the Type Six vomit is the substance used to to fill those glow-in-the-dark bracelets sold at festivals and school discos.  All I know is this here is some bad, bad shit. 

Impressive, huh?

Now, I’m going to delegate the next phase of implementation to you good people. I’m relying on you to pass the link to this blog post to every parent that you know. Even the ones who claim their children never vomit and secretly think I must be doing something terribly wrong like serving dinner on underside of the toilet seat to have my kids vomit as often as they do.

While you’re all busy doing that, I’m going to concentrate on choosing my outfits for the talk-show circuit (perhaps my signature look could be wearing a Sick Bucket for a hat?). I’ll also be mentally preparing myself for being stopped on the street constantly by grateful parents wanting to shake my hand and kiss my feet. “Oh, NDM!” they’ll say to me. “We’re just so happy that we finally – FINALLY! – have a mutual frame of reference with which we can talk to friends and strangers alike about our kids’ vomit.”

And that, ladies and gentleman, is my gift to the world.

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Traditionally, when it comes to packing for our annual winter holiday, we include some “special treats” to share with our good friends KC and MM. For example, we might pack some fine wine, gourmet chocolates, top shelf whisky OR we might bring along a sample of the latest rotarvirus. Yes, this year we gave the Gift of Gastro. 

For the record: this was supposed to be my first real winter holiday. After all, I was no longer pregnant or breastfeeding or even walking around with a child permanently grafted to my hip. The kids were all old enough to occupy each other for minutes at a time. Minutes, I tells ya! I had a good book, a 750-piece jigsaw puzzle and a ready supply of cheap fizz.  I had plans to relax, goddammit. 

However, when The Pixie vomited ingloriously on her younger brother’s head later that first night, that little fantasy was brought to an untimely end.  And, certainly, when she shat her pants an hour after that, it was a little like pissing on the still and lifeless body of said fantasy from a great great height. Or even splatter-crapping on it, just to make the metaphor more relevant and all.

Still, we forged ahead with our holiday. A couple of days later, when The Pixie’s relationship with the toilet was a little less dependent, we made our annual pilgrimage up the Big Mountain to go tobogganing. 

This, of course, sounds much more glamourous than it actually is. The People With Money go up to the actual resort where they ski and drink schnapps in their designer ski gear while the nanny looks after the children. In stark contrast, we slide up and down on off-cut bits of lino on the toboggan run next to the main carpark, wearing our make-shift snow gear comprised of rain coats, gumboots and trout-fishing waders.

Anyway, this year the snow trip started well: we didn’t need to pay for snow chains, the Love Bus passed itself off as a “car” and not as a “people mover” at the toll gates, and we got The Best Parking Spot Ever. Moreover, I didn’t have to carry anyone up the toboggan run or have to free my breasts Houdini-style from my snowwear to feed a screaming baby while sitting in a large pile of cold wet snow. Result.

As we paused for lunch in the tiny kiosk, I felt jovial enough to fondly recall a previous year’s visit, when I’d been breastfeeding a Baby McGee as a four-year-old Justice gleefully pissed a huge arc of urine out the front door while the sun glinted off his stark-naked buttocks and bus-loads of tourists drove by. Boy, was I glad to have left those days way behind us…

CUE: Tiddles McGee projectile vomitting onto the table. Which was all at once completely unexpected and yet entirely predictable. As I mopped it all up with KC’s help, I couldn’t help looking at the lady facing us, stoically eating her hotdog as if nobody had just emptied the entire contents of their stomach just metres from her. I guess, to her credit, she might not have noticed. I mean, someone else’s child might have been vomiting in that kiosk at that moment and *I* certainly wouldn’t have noticed, if only because I was too friggin’  busy catching my two-year-old’s vomit in my hands.

Still, how us grown-ups all laughed around the dinner table that night at my kids’ whacky vomittin’ ways and that Crazy Hot Dog Lady, all ha-ha-ha-ha-ha in that way that people who have NO IDEA what is ahead of them only can.

By morning, of course, we were a sorry shadow of our former selves, with another three of our number having fallen to the dreaded bug and McGee rounding up his vomiting spree with a burning fever. Those of us still standing began eyeing each other suspiciously, like characters in a slasher film, trying to work out who would be struck down next. But unlike those hapless slasher film characters, we managed to get the hell out of there and back to civilisation – albeit with a few emergency vom-stops along the way.

Of course, the grand irony in all this is that we’ve been in the market for some Summer Holiday Friends for some years now. Could it be that the Winter Holiday position, having been ably filled by KC and MM for the past five years, is now open too? Of course, KC and MM have yet to hand in their official notice, but probably only because they – and their legal team – and, quite possibly, their legal team’s legal team – are still vomiting.

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A lot of people say to me “Oh, NDM. I’m far too busy too busy having a life to read your blog! Whatever is it all about?”

And other people say to me “Oh, I read it for a while. And then I stopped. Now there is so much to catch up on, it feels far too overwhelming. Can you stop writing for a while so I can catch up?”

And even more people say “Listen, I’m not going to read your blog, okay? No matter how much you harass me about it – it just ain’t going to happen, lady. Now kindly get out of my way before I have to call the police again.”

So for all these people and their questions (including the police) I thought I would summarise my blog just so:

I am very often late but it is never EVER my fault. 

My house is a mess but my blogging has nothing to do with it. 

My husband is a long-suffering individual who is either always having shit hung on him by his wife OR is just hung over.

Pretty much every day in my household, someone hides their shoes and/or vomits. Or even vomits in their shoes and then hides them. 

I think all kinds of weird shit and then lose followers on twitter for thinking that weird shit out loud and then I turn it into a blog post and lose even more readers.

I suffer from frequent menstrual accidents and occasional loss of bladder control – which is a relatively polite way of saying that I often bleed and piss on stuff accidentally.

I once started a short-lived and yet international fashion trend of wearing a pilot’s hat on a jaunty angle. 

I’ve just been diagnosed with oste0-something and am currently searching for evidence of a Champagne Cure. 

Blah blah blah.

Yep, that pretty much sums the NDM experience up, don’t you think?

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My husband recently discovered an undated bottle of homebrew stashed at the back of the laundry cupboard. 

“She’ll be right!” he exclaimed with great joie de vivre before swiftly chugging the lot.

The next morning, after a busy overnight schedule of vomiting and diahrrea, he was a little less certain of his convictions. His brazen “She’ll be right!” was more a pathetic “She’ll strip the lining of my stomach” and I almost got a callus on my tongue from tutting so much.

CUT TO: several days later when Tiddles McGee lay quiet and pale on the beanbag all afternoon, running the kind of fever that made me feel I could literally fry an egg on him. Which might be an activity smiled upon by many an energy-saving lobbyist, but not by the Department of Social Services. Trust me on this.

In any case, I duly administered him with a dose of Children’s Panadol, only to find the other two children queuing behind him, their mouths open in readiness.

“I feel sick!” Mr Justice exclaimed.

“I feel sick too!!” said The Pixie.

Which made me wonder – not for the first time – what exactly is in Children’s Panadol that makes my children crave it so. The bottle cheerfully claims it is “Sugar Free!” but evidently it’s not opiate-free. 

Still, while I may have many failings as a parent, wantonly overmedicating them is not one of them. So I turned them both away. 

CUT TO: Bed time and Mr Justice was still claiming he had a stomach ache. My husband fobbed him off by pointing at the digital clock and saying he would bring in a sick bucket by 10:04pm.

At 12:02pm, Mr Justice woke and shouted out for his well-overdue sick bucket. My husband, bleary-eyed with sleep, went and grabbed him the smallest saucepan in the world – one that was perhaps only suitable for itsy-bitsy faery folk to warm up a single drop of milk in – and put it on the floor next to Mr Justice’s bed. 

At 12:25pm, we were woken by the sickening splash of vomit completely missing the smallest saucepan in the world and hitting the floorboards with that sickening “splurt” that strikes deep in the heart of slumbering parents. 

I leapt up out of bed and went straight into automated cleaning mode: stripping and changing bedding and pyjamas, etc etc ETC. I’ve done it so often that I could do it in my sleep. In fact, I probably still was asleep.

All the while, Mr Justice cheerfully recited the entire litany of injustices inflicted against his person: when he’d first alerted us to his stomach pains, how I’d refused him life-giving medicines, how he’d been denied a sick bucket at the time agreed and how he’d told us so

The poor lad. I decided to cut him a bit of slack and not reply with a list of times he’d begged for a bandaid to cover a scratch evidently inflicted upon him by one of those itsy-bitsy faery folk, or had told me his leg was definitely BROKEN, MUM and that he would NEVER WALK AGAIN, or those many many (MANY) nights he had demanded a sick bucket to be placed by his bed AND NOTHING HAD HAPPENED.

As for my husband, he stood by holding the world’s smallest saucepan “just in case” and looking almost chipper. He even dared to say “Oh! Looks like it wasn’t the homebrew after all!”.

At which point, I must have given him The Look because he visibly flinched and stepped right back. The point being that if it had been the homebrew, I wouldn’t be on all fours, mopping up the Ghost of Dinner Past with a hand towel, now would I? 

Stupid home brew.

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According to The Pixie, the Mermaid – of whom she speaks frequently and most fondly – is also the Birthday Fairy. She is (apparently) responsible for magicking birthday parties for little girls, no doubt full of pretty pink presents, pink lemonade and delicate little fairy cakes decorated with pink cream and sparkles.

Great, I said. The Mermaid can help me out with your [4th birthday] party.

But alas, I was on my own. The Mermaid, as The Pixie went on to explain to me with great consternation, “died in the hot lava” because Mr Justice “wanted to kill her”. So it was entirely left up to me to plan and execute The Pixie’s annual Pink Fairy Princess Ballerina Birthday Party. And, as I do with all of my children’s parties, an essential part of this process included me being up until midnight the night beforehand, slavishly trying to recreate a cake from The Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book, up to my neck in mini-marshmallows, M&Ms and those little silver balls which apparently are banned in the state of California and now I know why. And all the while, all I could think was “Stupid Dead Mermaid”. 

But, let’s face it, no amount of Mermaid Magic could have helped us the following night after the party – though I hasten to add, the party itself was all very pleasant and probably worthy of its own post, untainted by what is about to follow…

After the kids had wound down enough from their record sugar high, we duly took them off to bed. Mr Justice- also known as the Boy Who Cried Sick – began his usual mantra of “I feel sick” and “I feel scared” and “I want to go to the toilet”, all the while leaping about his bed like a mermaid in hot lava. So, when at about 8:30pm, he was actually sick – and everywhere at that – it came as a huge surprise to us all (him included). And me being me, as someone who always blames herself the moment anything goes wrong, immediately thought “Oh God, it was the sausage rolls”.

As my husband cleaned up the bathroom, Mr J stood behind him and cheerfully listed off all the food he’d scoffed at the party and that my husband was now scraping out of the plug hole (albeit in a slightly altered form). So when I expressed my fears about the sausage rolls, my husband reassured me that I hadn’t given our guests food poisoning, that Mr Justice was entirely responsible for poisoning himself with an excess of sugar and food colouring (obviously lack of parental supervision or guidance was not a factor in this at all) and the worst of it was surely over. Phew!

CUT TO: Tiddles McGee waking up at 11pm with a bad case of “Ants Pants” – that well-known childhood condition where the afflicted child, for reasons mostly unknown even to themselves, wriggle and squirm and do 360 degree turns around the bed for hours at a time.  Well, this time Tiddles had a very good reason: shortly after midnight he rapidly emptied the contents of his stomach all over my pyjamas. And this time, I knew in my heart that it *just had to be* the sausage rolls. As I cleaned him, myself and the bed up, I started to compile a list of people who had eaten them at the party who could potentially be worshiping at the Great Porcelain Shrine right at that very moment. 

So when 4am came and it was The Pixie’s turn to throw up, I actually did a little air-punch because there was no way in hell that The Pixie would ever even look at a sausage roll let alone eat one: I could no longer be held personally accountable for making all our friends chuck. But before I went as far as doing a little Victory Dance on the spot, I realised that here was my precious little girl throwing up on her actual birthday. And the Lord knows that I know how *that* feels – but of course my own birthday voms were entirely caused by an excess of vodka shooters and not quite so deserving of the same kind of sympathy. 

Poor Pixie. She always gets tummy bugs worse than anyone else (having been cursed with her father’s weak stomach). She managed to get up in the morning, open all her (mostly pink) presents with great enthusiasm, and then promptly be sick big time, but in a way that neatly avoided the new fairy dresses. That’s my girl. And then the poor thing went on to be sick her entire birthday, while the boys literally ran circles around her, both miraculously recovered after their one and only chuck in the night. Where’s the justice in that?

I’ve since heard of two other guests (both grown-ups) who were sick in the night – and who knows with these things, there may be more to come, but then again there may not. When I told my friend KT that I felt a bit bad this had happened on my watch, she reminded me of her own Gastro Party. At the big 1st birthday bash she held for her daughter, Little Miss E, she’d had a much bigger vom count during the night after the afternoon before – including one friend who made his wife call him an ambulance because he couldn’t get out of bed. And all those people were still her friends and still came to her parties, albeit some with a sick bag for the journey home.

So with a little luck, my friends will still want to know me, too. And with a bit more luck, The Pixie soon won’t remember her birthday illness at all, just the lovely little party we threw for her the day before. Happy 4th Birthday, Pixie.

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