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?"