Monday, November 06, 2006

The Rudest of Awakenings

On many a morning, Isabella wakes a good bit earlier than we do, or than we wish to. On those days, she climbs into bed with me for a sweet bit of morning snuggling before we all have to get up and prepare for the day. I'm a side-sleeper, so lots of times, what this means is that I'm lying on my left side, toward the center of the bed, and Littlun' slips in and snuggles up behind me, tossing an arm across my neck and lying her precious little head right atop of mine, so that we're ear-to-ear.

So it was, yesterday morning, and all was right in the world. Until I heard it. Even out of the deep recesses of my slumber, I heard it: that unmistakeable "hurka-gurka" throat noise of someone who's just about to toss cookies. It registered immediately, mainly because it was happening RIGHT IN MY EAR. Like I say, the sound registered, but what followed, followed too quickly for me to take evasive action. I think you see where I'm going with this.

That's right. I was awakened early on a fine Sunday morning by my 4-year-old daughter puking di-RECT-ly onto my face. And into my right ear. And my right eye. And my nose. And my mouth. And my hair.

I was bolt upright, temporarily blinded, simultaneously barking a command at still-sleeping Alex ("Get towels! NOW!), and likely frightening a few years off his life, and trying to soothe Bella, who was still puking, and had no idea what was going on ("It's OK, Honey. You're just throwing up. It happens to everybody.") She was most upset that it had gotten on her princess nightgown, because "Grandmommy gave me this nightgown and now it is all ruuuuuuined!" By this time, Alex had gotten back with towels so that I could, at least, wipe my face and subsequently open my eyes. The substance that was seemingly everywhere was totally liquid, and resembled red Kool-Aid. It was even sweet, and don't ask me how I know that--it's too horrifying. I rushed Bella and myself off to the bathroom for a shower, while Alex stripped the bed and started the laundry going.

Bella has an occasional habit, when she rises before the rest of the household, of slipping stealthily into the kitchen and raiding it for things she knows we wouldn't let her have at that hour, were she to ask permission. After much questioning, and the discovery of some forensic evidence, it was finally revealed that she had gorged that morning on frozen fruit-juice bars before getting into bed with us. Red ones, judging from what was all over me.

Fresh out of the shower, we got her into some clean underwear, warm socks, and one of her daddy's t-shirts, and settled her on the loveseat on top of a comforter for cartoons and rest. And then into yet another of Daddy's t-shirts, and another, when she threw up a couple more times. She was mopey that day, and fell asleep a couple of times, but never ran a fever. By today, although I kept her home (out of laziness more than anything else, just because I did NOT want to get that call from the preschool, informing me that I needed to come right away and fetch my puking, crying daughter, and take her home. Better safe than sorry seemed to be the best call on that one.) BUT, Alex and I sure felt like crap this morning. So it must have been some kind of 24-hour bug that started with the Little One.

The remarkable thing about this story is that this was a first. Isabella, having reached the age of four years old, had never really vomited before in her life. I thought she did once, back when she was still nursing (which she did until she was two and a half), but that turned out to be a reflux-type of high-powered spitting-up thing. Full-fledged vomiting? Never. So she was totally freaked out. She kept asking me why she was throwing up, and I tried to explain, "Well, sometimes we just have bad stuff in our tummies that makes us sick, and our body has to get it out, so it makes us throw up to get our tummies empty." She considered this only briefly, and then, acceptingly, said, "So now I have to go to the doctor, and they will open up my tummy and take the bad stuff out, like they did with your tummy, and then I will have a 'cut' too."

Poor dear, she thought that a little puking indicated a need for surgery. And she was just rolling with the punches about it. (God, I love that kid. Keep us together as long as possible, OK?)

So now we have a new catch-phrase around our house, although it will never be as effective as it was yesterday. At the first sign of any complaining, whinging, or carping, I now get to say, "WELL. Who puked on YOUR face this morning?"


  1. Oh. my. gawd. Thanks for the birth control. Seriously. Ugh.

  2. ! I love that you managed to keep a sense of humor about this. You are a better person than I.

  3. Only you, Belinda, could take something that horrific and turn it into such a funny -- and even cute! -- story. Thanks for making your readers smile, although, wow, what a hard-earned one on your end!

  4. Love your sense of humor :)

    Alan had a similar odd throwing up incident this past week. Must be a bug going around.

  5. Kids always pick the best places to vomit:o) That is great that Bella made it to 4 with out vomiting. Most of my baby/early childhood was spent vomiting due to food allergies. Thankfully, I was healed and don't have problems with them anymore.

    I love you catch-phrase!!!

  6. Oh, poor baby! (I don't know whether I mean her or you!)

    She has been blessed to not have the pukes until now, but that realization is just awful for kids. It's sort of a double-ewww--I feel horrible, and there's this horrible gross stuff pouring out of my mouth!

    LOVE your catchphrase.

  7. Belinda~~you definitely trump Alex on this one. Anyone who has puke dumped on their head, in their ear, eye, or horror-of-horrors MOUTH!!!! wins. You are an exceptionally good Mommy. I would have puked right back at her.

  8. I'm dying here. At least I haven't had my breakfast yet. (The possibilities are either Cheerios up my nose from laughing or Cheerios on my keyboard from puking them up again.)

  9. They say you never learn why your parents tell you not to do things until you do them yourself. :)

    Here's hoping the early morning fridge raiding comes to a halt... :)

  10. Just think, When Bella's sixteen and giving you a hard time, you won't have to resort to the overworn cliche "I carried you for nine months". You'll have "Yeah? Well, you puked in my mouth and THIS is the thanks I get!"

  11. Oh bless her bones. It just hurts my heart to hear of a sick little one.

    And God love you for having to get a face full of sick!

  12. Melissa: You are welcome. Although, you would have AWFULLY pretty babies...(sorry, Donna-mom!)

    Sarah: Nah, you just work on instinct at these times!

    Jennifer: The sure sign that there is something wrong with me is that even before I wiped my face, I was thinking, "Oh, this is going to make a great post."

    Leslie: My condolences to Alan! Did his last long? Bella's was less than 24 hours, really. She was bouncing off the walls the next day. It turns out that our thermometer was faulty, so all that time I thought she didn't have a fever, she very well might have. She FELT like she was burning up.

    Kim: Right or wrong, we TOTALLY credit Bella's good health (aside from the allergy problems) on prolonged breasteeding (she self-weaned), and the fact that she did not have solid food or any other substance introduced until after the age of 6 months. For some reason, that was a big deal to us, and it helped that Bella had NO interest in any food but Mommy-Milk!

    Kate: You're right--it was really painful watching her confusion, and seeing that she felt like she'd done something "wrong" each time she "made a mess." :-( According to MY mother, I had done some projectile vomiting by that age, so hopefully we don't have THAT still to look forward to!

    Avalon: If I'd stopped to think about what was happening, I might have done just that! Luckily, I ran on instinct and adrenalin until it was all over. The worst moment was getting ready to get into the shower, licking my lips, and tasting SWEET. UGGGGHHHHHH.

    Andrea: Funny you mention Cheerios. Up until now, Alex's favorite "why are you in such a bad mood" phrase involved "poop in your Cheerios." I think I win.

    Dan: You are SO wise, and would make a good daddy. We spent quite a while, once all was cleaned up and fresh, having the, "You know how we always tell you not to get into the refrigerator without Mommy & Daddy's permission? Well, this is why." I think it was, what we call with dogs, a perfect "self-correction."

    hank-daddy: YES. My only regret about Bella's labor and delivery being such a TOTAL piece of cake is that I'd never be able to use the old "I was in painful labor with your for 92 hours" line. Thanks for the idea--now I have the, "YOU PUKED IN MY EAR!" line!

    Dixie: You continue to prove that you can move the Southern gal to Germany, but you can't take the Southern out of her. I don't eve know the last time I heard the phrase "Bless her bones." Thanks for a BIG smile!

  13. Aaack! You poor dears! I can't handle vomitting at all. When Dawson does it, my gag reflex kicks in and I'm pretty much useless.

    Ugh. I hope everyone is better!

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  15. Oh, that is just WRONG on SO many levels. I've been on the receiving end of things, as it were, but not in the face. So glad she's feeling better, and I hope you and Alex recover as quickly.

  16. There's something about vomit that I just can't handle. Most other bodily functions don't bother me, but if this had happened to me, I'd have been right beside Bella tossing my own cookies (or frozen fruit pops as the case might be). So you're a much better woman than I! Love the saying, and I might actually start using it with some of my co-workers.

  17. Oh my god! Do you forgive me for laughing hysterically?

    I only laugh because of similar experiences lately. Amazing how that first real puke freaks them out eh?

  18. Poor Bella!! The catchphrase in our house is eerily familiar. Ours is:

    "WELL. Who puked in YOUR van this evening?"


  19. After I threw up in my mouth a little, I laughed so much I almost peed my pants.

    Then I laughed some more. :)