Puke Week

March 25, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Posted in Family, Giggles, Lollipop | 25 Comments

Puke Week: It’s like Shark Week, only better. So. Much. Better.

After a little more Cherry holy water, some amazing waffle fries, and a semi-decent night’s sleep, I woke up this morning and decided not to let this whole puke thing get the best of me. Probably because I had a doctor’s appointment. And if Lollipop tossed her breakfast cookies? Daddy would be the one cleaning it up. Not me.

But, anyway, I decided I’m going to celebrate puke. Yes, celebrate it. It’s a motherhood battle scar, you know? It’s like the camping merit badge you forced yourself to earn so you could fill up your Girl Scout sash. And, Sweet Thin Mints, have I earned mine.

I bet you’ve earned yours, too. I know my own mom has.

So, without further achoo ado, I present A Puke Story. Two episodes. (TLC‘s got nothin’ on me.)


A Puke Story: Puke on the Go
I was four. Or thereabouts. We were visiting my aunt and uncle, having brunch at a fancy-schmancy restaurant. I spent most of the meal feeling puny, resting on the flowered couches by the hostess stand. My Pound Puppy kept me company.

After the meal, we all loaded into my family’s blue Cutlass. My parents up front. Me in the back, in the middle, between my aunt and uncle. We started home. And I felt it. The urge. My pancakes were coming up.

I leaned over my aunt in a desperate, albeit noble attempt to roll down the window in time. Didn’t make it. Puked all over her. And the blue velvet interior.

We pulled over. In a neighborhood, luckily. Some good Samaritan grandparent-types came out to make sure I was OK and donated a jug of water and a few (hundred) towels to the cause. My aunt changed into a pair of my dad’s old jeans. I’m thinking she opted to toss hers into the nearest trash can.

Me? Surprisingly not covered in puke. But sick. My Pound Puppy and I spent the weekend on my uncle’s couch. Eating lime sherbet and watching The Smurfs.

My mom? Spent the weekend de-puking her car. I need to ask her how. (And take good notes.)

My aunt? Split from my uncle not long after. Coincidence? Hard to say. That’s the way the cookie erupts crumbles, I guess.


A Puke Story: Tuna with a Side of Puke
I have a thing about tuna. I love it. I also have a thing about routine. I love it.

Put those two quirks together? And you get me, eating a tuna sandwich, at my favorite local sub shop, once a week. Sometimes twice.

So, at this particular shop, they knew me. They knew my daughter. I always tipped. And I still haven’t forgiven them for what happened That Day.

Giggles was at that age. Too big for the infant carrier, too young to walk. So I secured him in a high chair before going up to the counter and ordering. I kept the Magic Eye in the back of my head on him as Lollipop and I waited in line. Instead of picking out the exact, right bag of Cheetos, she asked to be carried. (My first clue. Or, it should have been.)

Just as we approached the counter and I got the words “small tuna on wheat” out of my mouth, Lollipop puked. On me. On her. The guy at the counter looked at me like I had lizards for hair.

I said to put our order aside, we’d be back. I ran to the bathroom and tried to do some vomit triage. Meanwhile, Giggles sat out in the restaurant, alone, smiling and drooling at all the potential kidnappers lunch customers.

We ran back to our table (Giggles: safe), where I’m pretty sure I went through a whole package of wipes. I helped Lollipop change her clothes. Sat her in a chair. Got her some water. And told her we’d go home in just a minute.

She cried. Sad, snotty, sickly, pitiful tears. This made Giggles cry. I wanted to but managed to keep it together.

I tried to signal the guy that we’d be leaving now, thanks. He caught my eye. Pointed to my half-made order. And indicated I’d need to come pay for it. Too frazzled to argue, I did just that. Covered in puke. While my children wailed.

No one — not one of the guys who for months had been making me lunch and chatting with me about why the Mexican place next door had closed down again — asked if we were all right. If we needed help. If we needed a measly tissue.

But I got my tuna. They got their money. And the boot. Literally.


Celebrate Puke Week with me! What’s your best (worst?) puke story? How have you earned your Puke Merit Badge? What’s your disinfectant of choice?



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  1. It’s a badge I’d rather return, thank you. But I’ve earned it. Many times. I’ve caught puke in my hands, all the while talking calmly to the puker, as we rush to someplace that isn’t upholstered or expensive to finish the episode. I’ve woken up to all of my kids hovering over my open mouth to the words, “I think I’m going to throw up…” Nothing wakes you up faster than a green face breathing directly into your open mouth…

  2. I agree – it’s a badge I’d rather return too. I am completely puke-phobic. If I see it, smell it, hear it, anticipate it… it’s going to happen. So that was probably the part of motherhood that I dreaded the most. Weird, but true. However I’ve found that when Munchie IS sick, I feel so terrible for HER that I can handle it.

    A couple of years ago my friend who was a new, first-time mom wrote as her Facebook status “L is officially a mom, I just caught puke in my hands.”

    How Lollipop is feeling better!

    • That should be HOPE Lollipop is feeling better…

  3. Wow. What fun. Puke week. I have a story about puke and a car, but there is a twist. Maybe I will write that one tomorrow.

  4. I have sometimes been amazed at my ability to clean up puke, then eat my own meal. Same for changing a diaper. Who have I become? I can clean up kid anything, but adults, sorry.

  5. Favorite puke story. (I’m sorry you’ve had a pukey week, but you are funny. . . )

    Hmm. I’m not much of a puker myself, except following surgery and anesthesia. UGH. Sucks.

    My kids aren’t big pukers either. However, I seem to recall MAJOR pukage in the back of my car once, younger son who was tiny at the time (3 maybe? 4?) – puke product projectiles everywhere. Astonishing, really. I seem to recall considerable time to air out my vehicle, not to mention to tenderly clean the beloved teddy bear that was almost as large as he was.

    Nasty but necessary cuddling cleanup.

    • Oh, the puked-on stuffed animal! I’ve tossed many a furry friend into the washing machine while saying a silent prayer that he makes it out with his ears, eyes, and tail intact.

  6. You had me at the reference to pound puppies. I immediately pictured the face of my dear Cinnamon, how I loved her.

    As for puke stories, my best was the time I took my daughter (then 8 months or so) to Starbucks on one of those mornings…you know the ones. Where you HAVE to get out of the house so bad you leave wearing sweats and forget the stroller and diaper bag? Right, well I wound up waiting 15 minutes for my drink and just as I reached for it my child puked what looked like feta cheese all over me. And no lie, the mothers – who had children with them – all turned and rushed away. SHAME ON YOU, LADIES.

    • Feta puke is the best. I mean, the worst. Any mom who’s had that happen to her should not be able to, in good conscience, run away from another mom in Feta Puke Need. Yes, shame on them. (But yay for Pound Puppies!)

  7. Puke Story — you should totally pitch that to TLC. I’d prefer to more shows about families with multiples.

    I’ve been puked on by my children, but so far it has only happened in our home. Disgusting, but not nearly so tough as what happened to you at the sub shop (those a-holes).

    My oldest had a tendency to puke in the car for no apparent reason. I will just say that there seems to be no truly effective way to de-puke a car seat. I will also say that we still use that carseat. Maybe it doesn’t smell anymore? Maybe we don’t smell it?

    • Car-seat straps are so bad. Why can’t you just take them off and chuck them in the wash?? Probably for safety reasons, for which I am grateful, but there is nothing quite like buckling your kid into something that smells like slightly sour milk. Or not so slightly sour milk.

  8. Ah, puke. I too have been the recipient of puke in the hands, all over their beds, all over my bed, and in the car seat. (I agree that car seats are the worst things to get puke smell out of. Blech.)

    Luckily, and knocking heavily on wood, we have not had any public puking incidents. Although my husband has had to deal with an epic bloody nose in public. I am just amazed at the amount of bodily fluids you take on as a parent. Stuff I never imagined!

  9. Well, I learned (the hard way) that large amounts of foot powder will eventually take the smell of puke out of a leather chair.

  10. Thank goodness my kids are not big pukers. Can probably count on my fingers the times I’ve dealt with it, though the time that they had it simultaneously clearly stands out: tandem puking in a trail from the family room through the kitchen.
    I, however, was a champion puker as a kid. Had semi-permanent broken blood vessels on my face from heaving so hard. Food allergies at a time when no one knew quite what to do with them. My dad was the master cleaner-upper. I remember one time I had a bleu cheese dressing induced episode at Wendy’s and he appeared as if by magic one second later with a bucket of soapy water and a rag he had secured from a worker. Or the time I lost it in the mall and while my mom mopped me with tissues, my dad was already in line at the nearby drugstore to purchase a roll of paper towels. Let’s just say I also have very vivid smell memories of that sawdust they use in schools to clean up vomit, and even know its name: VomSorb. I kid you not. It’s a wonder I’m not more of a basket case.

  11. I don’t have kids, but I was one of the six that my mother had, so I KNOW she earned her badge many times over. I was the second of the six, and I can still remember going on long road trips. Several of us kids were prone to car sickness, so my mother would keep a set of those blue tuperware canisters in the car. At the beginning of a trip, or anytime a child mentioned not feeling well, she would hand us the canister without the lid on it. If we were indeed sick (the goal was to be sick into the canister), she would hand us the lid, and VOILA! no smell in the car anymore.
    I refuse to think about the job she faced when cleaning those out. I believe to this day that once you snapped the lid on, all vomit magically disappeared.

    • Can’t wait till mine are old enough to grasp the “puke in this here bowl” idea. I do try, but we’re not quite there … And many, many gold stars to your mom!

  12. Oh wow, I’m having major flashbacks of me puking in my own lap in the car…how did my mom clean that all up? I guess I’ll have to ask her too. It’s not like we sold the car!

    Oh, I used to have horrible menstrual cramps. And once my friend and I rode our bikes to get pizza, but then I felt awful, and essentially passed out by the side of the rode. So my friend had to ride to my house and get my mom to come get me. I woke up to some terrified woman leaning over me by the road. I think she thought I was dead. Then my mom pulled up and got me into the car, where I promptly leaned over and puked. Awesome.

    I loved my pound puppy. What happened to pound puppies?

  13. Oh, dear, it sounds like an awful week!

    My favorite puke stories are all about ME! My kids are still too young to have any good ones, so I will have to share my stories. Dang.

    I get super sick when pregnant, so I am very aware of where a restroom is AT ALL TIMES. Of course, when I’m in the car I make sure to have a bag/bowl ready.

    One weekend, when I was pregnant with my first, my husband took me on a surprise overnight trip to see a play. It was fabulous. I felt like crap, but the play was wonderful. The next morning we grabbed breakfast to go and headed back home. About 30 minutes into our trip I feel it. Strong. So, I grab the nearest bag and, um, allow my body to do its thing. Yeah, the bag I grabbed? The bag with our food in it. Oops.

    • I’m laughing, even though I know I shouldn’t! =>

  14. I clearly recall being about 5 years old, walking into my parents’ room one night, shaking my father awake, saying, “My tummy hurts”, and hurling all over him. I don’t think I have ever seen my father move so fast. And he used to play racquet ball!

    I have many puke stories about my kids, of course. What makes me crazy sometime is how when a child pukes, she doesn’t understand that she can’t eat (or drink) anything for awhile. I mean ANYTHING. I have gotten in wrestling matches with Kate over yogurt.

    The worst kid puke story I have is coming home from Kate’s ear tube surgery. Of course I couldn’t feed her that morning; she wasn’t even allowed to have water after 6 a.m. or something like that. So by the time she is conscious again and we were allowed to leave, she was ravenous. I don’t remember what-all I fed her — I know she had at least two popscicles when she woke up, and then some graham crackers and juice. Whatever, she devoured a bunch of what I hoped would be light on her tummy foodstuffs — and puked it all over the back of my car and herself when we were two minutes away from home.

    Thank goodness for leather seats. But everything else was quite messy and time consuming.

    What I am amazed about is, in general, my children’s puke doesn’t phase me. I mean, I can’t watch someone puke on television or a movie without gagging. But my kid pukes? And I’m like, no sweat. Let’s get you in the shower.

    • Yes, the shower! Then you don’t contaminate all the bath toys. Not to mention, gravity’s on your side.

  15. That should be “faze”. Oy.

  16. BTW, I don’t know if we have a particular kind of car seat or if my husband is just super duper handy (or some combination of both), but we have a competely disassembled carseats to wash them, straps included.

  17. My best puke stories have everything to do with pregnancy. Let’s just say, I knew all of the rehydration rooms at the birth center. And I knew all of the labor and delivery nurses LONG before I was laboring or delivering.

    I hope everyone is on the mend. (And, I’m sure Bun didn’t suffer any from a little cough syrup…)

  18. Oh, Stacia, I’m sorry you had such an awful week. And shame on those sandwich shop guys. Nobody likes puke, but making you leave your sick child so that you could pay for your sandwich? Please.

    This post and the follow-up comments are making me count my lucky stars that we have only been visited by one puking bug since my older son was born. Fingers crossed, fingers crossed, fingers crossed…

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