Everyone has their thing...you know, the ONE thing they're truly good at.
Some people have a passion for photography and/or cooking...I'm not one of them.
Others were born with a natural ability to create beautiful things, such as paintings, music or hand-made clothing...I'm not one of them.
So what am I good at?
Well, it might surprise you. Perhaps you're thinking, "Hmmmm, could it be how well you emotionally clock-out at 7:00 every evening, without fail?" or "Is it that you always have a healthy supply of wine and cookies on hand?"
No, not at all...though I always happen to have a chilled bottle of wine at the ready and I am quite the expert at screaming, "Okay, people...4 more minutes until Mommy's shift is over! Get your hugs and kisses while they're still hot!"
Honestly, my one true talent is basically quite simple.
I am the reigning "Queen of Puke". Not everyone can claim this very special and unique title.
I am what they call a "puke magnet". I attract puke, all kinds even...be it pinkish in color with tiny pieces of spaghetti mixed in or pure liquid with a brownish tinge to it. It seeks me out, especially when in a desperate situation.
Let me give an example from a memory that is still very fresh in my mind.
December 2005 -
Cole and Bella were merely 14 months old and we had just gotten done celebrating Christmas with Tim's family at his brother's home. Against my better judgement, I let Cole eat some chocolate cake for dessert.
Truth be told, I was just too tired to argue with my MIL about it. "Oh, let the boy have some cake...it's Christmas," she had said, as I witnessed Tim shrugging his shoulders.
I could see the look of utter confusion upon Tim's poor face....the dilemna was disheartening. Should he side with his wife, the mother of his children and she who held the key to his active and healthy sex life....or his mother, the woman who gave him life and taught him to respect his elders?
Depite the fact that he was aware that I no longer had proper bladder control due to carrying his two children (at the same time, mind you) and knowing full well that many ice, cold showers were in his near future, Tim shoveled a heaping forkful of chocolate cake into his eager son's mouth.
Oh, the child was a very happy boy indeed....with a toddler-sized belly full of rich, chocolate cake.
It was on the long drive home that we heard the sound. You know which sound I'm referring to....that low rumbling gurgle that rises from the pit of an upset tummy, as it empties its acidic contents up into the esophogus.
Yeah, that's the one.
I looked towards the backseat where my sweet baby boy sat upright. Oddly enough, he had no idea what was about to happen...he smiled back at me and then it happened.
Puke-Fest 2005...with a vengeance.
We're talking full-on projectile vomit, which my first-born child hurled towards me at....uh, say....45 mph. Give or take 1-2 mph's.
In a panic, I screamed to Tim, "Pull over....quick!! Cole's puking...he's gonna choke!"
I was already wriggling free from the contraints of my seatbelt, when Tim swerved over to the side of the freeway. And within a millisecond, I was bent over Cole, trying to pry him free from his carseat, as he continued to spew brown chunks all over the place.
He seemed to be in shock...not making any sounds, other than the noise of repulsive upchucking every 3 seconds.
Covered in the brown goo myself at this point, I asked Tim, "Just exactly how much chocolate cake did you give him?!"
He shook his head and responded, "I don't know...however much my mom put on the plate. He ate the whole thing".
All I could do was roll my eyes, as I noticed another car pulling along side us on the shoulder.
A concerned woman rolled down her window and yelled to us, "Do you need help? Are you all okay?"
While Tim explained to the lovely couple that we were in the midst of a Puke-Fest that surely would end our year with a BANG, I took Cole to the back of the mini-van where I stripped him free of his soaked jammies and into another pair of warm, cozy jammies.
In an instant, my mind took me back to a time before I was a mother when I swore up and down that I'd rather change a thousand poopy diapers than clean up vomit...even if it did come out of my own child.
By now, Tim was attempting to clean the carseat, which too was soaked with what used to be the contents of Cole's small tummy. I heard grumbling, mixed in with a few other words...something like, "Damn...this shit smells...oh man, this isn't gonna come out...f*ck, this smells BAD".
Within a few minutes, he was able to clean the seat well enough to strap Cole back in and for us to get home as quickly as we could.
It was too cold outside to drive with the windows down so with each breath we took, the rancid smell of puke would permeate our nasal cavities...prompting us to hold our breath for as long as we could before being forced to take in more of the sour air.
Once we got the boy tucked away, safe and sound, in his crib, I hit the shower and Tim got to work taking all the padding off of Cole's carseat to be washed.
By the morning, Cole was fine...but Tim and I were completely wiped out from the night's events.
You know you've been inducted into the Parenting Hall of Fame when you've been up most of the night with a child vomiting what could only be nothing more than pure stomach acid at that point...only to rise at the butt-crack of dawn, dead tired, with a happy-go-lucky toddler who suddenly had more energy than Tigger, high on meth.
As an added bonus, we also had his twin sister who had DOUBLE his energy...whose face has written all over it, "Trust me, today you are going to experience what it's like to regret the very moment you decided you wanted to have children..."
The night's events were nothing more than a distant memory already for Cole....yet, for Tim and I, we kissed goodybe all those silly, fleeting ideas of catching up on sleep.
And we begrudgingly accepted that we would not become one with our comfy bed again for at least another long and dreary 16 hours.
That was only the beginning, my friends....with the most recent event being covered in yellowish-orange puke spewed by Landon at Tim's brother's Superbowl party this past January.
You haven't lived through a true honest-to-God puke experience until you've been soaked in it while wearing jeans on an oddly warm winter's day...surrounded by well-meaning family members who keep asking you every 10 minutes, "Good God, how can you stand that smell?"
So yes, folks, Puke-Fest 2005 is when I earned the distinguished title "Queen of Puke".
Even though it's not exactly something Martha Stewart would claim proudly, it makes me feel important...and needed. Plus, no one can argue with the plain and simple fact that I earned that title.
And it's the one thing I'm truly good at....
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