Monday, November 17, 2008

Tales from the Crib

I feel obligated to provide a warning to all who read these words. This column contains images that are not conducive to eating breakfast. It is a tale of unspeakable horror and scenes so vile only the bravest of souls should dare read Tales from the Crib.
The day started out like most other days, except this day my son, Junior, had the flu. Now a flu is not fun for anyone, but for a two-year-old boy it brings with it a whole set of problems adults don’t deal with, such as a child’s ability – or should I say willingness - to throw up no matter where they are.
Hearing Junior was awake I entered his room and stopped cold when I saw what my young son had accomplished. I also instantly realized giving grape juice to a two year old with the flu is not the smartest move.
Standing in his crib with a big smile on his face was my son. The front of his sleeper was purple, the crib was purple the floor and even the wall was purple, but what really impressed me was he got some on the ceiling.
That is regurgitation of Herculean proportions. I had never seen a kid hose down a room with such efficiency.
His older brother had done his fair share of spewing, but I was in awe of the master.
I felt a brief twinge of fatherly pride, however it was quickly eclipsed by a sense of ‘Oh the humanity.’
Junior was not upset in the least by the situation, but I was left wondering how I could get my hands on a haz-mat suit. My wife poked her head in the door and then took off faster than a gazelle on steroids mumbling something about how she gave birth, so the least I could do was clean up the mess.
Now, just how long does the ‘I gave birth’ excuse work? When I’m 90 and the dog makes a mess on the floor, will she mumble through her false teeth something about giving birth before wacking over the head with her cane and telling me to clean it up?
But, back to the task at hand. The first thing I had to do was get Junior out of the crib, which would normally be an easy task, but the blonde, blue eyed Creature from the Purple Lagoon standing before me made it a scary proposition.
At first, I tried using ‘The Force’ to lift him out and float him to the bathtub, but it didn’t work.
It was obvious I was going to have to pick the little guy up and carry him to the bathroom. It is amazing how fast one can run while carrying a small child by two fingers at arms length.
Jr., meanwhile, was having a great time and giggled all the way as I tore down the hallway with the determination of a weight watchers class which had just spotted a pizza.
I placed him in the tub, got him out of his sleeper and cranked up the water. I took the sleeper to the wash machine and set it on puree before heading back upstairs to deal with the crib, wall and ceiling.
Surveying the room I wondered how so much goop could come out of such a tiny person. As I scrubbed I realized I had not even had breakfast yet and I began to think about how good some eggs would be right about now.
I am convinced only a parent could think about what to have for breakfast while cleaning up 37 gallons of kid barf.
Eventually I got the room cleaned up – there is still a stain on the carpet as a sort of memorial to the event – and got Junior dressed and downstairs, thus ending the vomit incident.
If you’ll recall this adventure in parenthood started because Junior had the flu and with it came diarrhea, or as we call it ‘the scoots’ because you are always scooting to the bathroom.
That was also the day I learned a diaper can only hold so much recycled food matter before it escapes the elastic confines of the undergarment by any means possible.
But the story of the overflowing diaper and the family dog who gave its best effort to help clean up the child will have to be told a different day.
After all this is a family publication and even we have limits.

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