Barfing Baby Onboard

bokeh christmas lights

Image by Josephwashere via Flickr

Nothing kills the spirit of a holiday drive to look at neighborhood Christmas lights more than someone barfing in the back seat.  Such was the scene in my minivan last night driving around Dayton.

One minute, my children and I were driving around listening to the Christmas radio station while joyfully gazing at flickers of multi-colored Christmas lights and inflatable snowmen.  The next, we were speedily navigating back roads to expedite our journey home amidst the strong, sour stench of vomit.

My poor little 1.5 year-old, Biz e-Baby2, barely gave us any warning before he said, “Uh, Uh Eullufffffff….” And then, he up-chucked all over himself in the car seat right behind me. Even though I was facing front with my eyes on the road, I could tell my little one had gotten sick. I had heard that liquidy sound of car sickness too many times before from my daughter. It was his first time.

I quickly pulled the car over to the side and slammed on the brakes.  I am not sure why I had to verify that he’d ralphed because the running heater soon amplified the smell two-fold and there was no mistaking what had just happened.

The poor little guy was too shocked to say much other than a pitiful, “Mommmmmy…”.  I unbuckled my seat belt and looked over my shoulder.  Yep. There he was feebly holding his arms out, hands limp and covered in chunks of the chicken and rice he’d just had for dinner an hour before.

The inexperienced mom in me would have probably stepped out of the car, unbuckled him from the mess, wiped him down, covered the seat and then strapped him back in the car after a cursory cleanup.

Instead, the experienced mom in me turned right back around, buckled my seat belt and did a U- ey in the middle of the street.

“Hang in there honey! We’re going home.” I assured him.

You see, there is no point in trying to clean it up because there are never enough rags or towels in the car to do a good job. Not only that, but once your kid is out of their puke-filled seat for even a moment, they sure as hell don’t want to be put back in it for the rest of the drive home. It’s always best (especially if you are close to home) to keep your kid in the seat and get home as fast as you can.

Luckily, we weren’t far from where we live.  I estimated we could be in the bathtub within four minutes if I hit all green lights. If only I had a “Barfing Baby Onboard” decal I could put on my car window to express the importance of my situation to the others on the road at times like this.

“What happened Mommy? Is he sick?” my daughter asked, as I did an about-face with the car and watched inflatable snowmen diminish in our rearview mirror.

“Yes, he puked,” I responded quickly, too preoccupied by the odor to get into a long conversation.  I was hoping the lights wouldn’t change on me.  Luckily, we sailed through three intersections without stopping.

“Hang in there buddy!”  I kept saying.  “We are almost home.”

Then, I heard him laughing big, deep belly laughs. I tried to glance in my mirror to see what he was laughing at.

“Piook!” He said, making himself laugh uncontrollably again.

“What are you saying?” I asked him.

“Piook!” More giggling.

My daughter, who often has to translate for my son clarified.

“He said ‘puke!’” She explained.

By that time we had pulled into the garage.  I let my daughter out first and asked her to turn on the lights, go upstairs and meet me in the bathroom. I went around to my son’s side of the car and scooped him up in my arms. He looked at me with his big blue eyes and repeated, “Pioook!”

His laughing made me laugh.  Thank goodness he turned the moment into something positive because there’s nothing worse than getting vomit on you – especially when it’s not your own.  Sure he’s my child, but still.

We got him undressed out of his wet, puke-soiled clothes and started the bath. All the clothes and rags had to be washed, and my least favorite part of the clean up was still in the car.

There’s something about vomit that just permeates the air. That smell was burned into my nostrils and followed us into the house. No amount of scrubbing with soap, Febreeze, Resolve or Oust can ever make it totally go away.  I used all of those.

This morning, when I got into the car to go to work and grab my morning coffee, I was reminded of our adventure the night before. It was 23 degrees. The memory became more vivid as the heater kicked in and the doors trapped the sour, warm air around me.  Ahhhh, the faint smell of parenthood.

I cracked a window.

About bizemom

I am a busy working mom (get it... "Biz e-Mom"?) of three kids under the age of four. I have a white-collar day job, I have a night job as a mom, and an "in between" job as a freelance writer and blogger. What can I say, I am a glutton for punishment and I don't go to bed until 1 a.m. No matter how much I complain, I like being busy. That must be the Sagitarius in me--we get bored easily. Now on to the next adventure (I mean... venture!)
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3 Responses to Barfing Baby Onboard

  1. I love reading your blogs although this one made me squirm a bit! I know what you mean about the puking, I am a chaperone and look after child actors and my very first day at the theatre during this Christmas production I had some child puking their guts up. It wasn’t pleasant and as chaperone it was my job to see to the child and get them sent home and also clean their mess up. Made me want to barf too….but alas, all in a day’s work!! Hope your son is soon better.

  2. Hmmmmm, your situation presents the burning question: How *does* one remove vomit smell from a car. I bet those folks who do crime scene cleanups might know. I’d also bet that your Barfing Baby Onboard flashing decals would sell like hotcakes.

    On second thought, maybe now’s not the time to mention food but there it is …

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