I’ve had a lot of bad nights as a parent, nights where my baby was up 12 times in 8 hours, nights where we waited for surgery in an ER waiting room, nights of anxiety.
But Saturday night was definitely in the top 10 Most Horrible Nights of Parenthood. Maybe even top 5.
I’m being generous—it was BAD.
It all started with the sound that makes the stomach of every parent plummet: your child throwing up in the bathroom at midnight.
I was actually quite proud that Benji, my 9 year old, made it to the bathroom. We have reached this stage, where they puke in the toilet.
Or near it.
I soothingly patted his back and he confessed, “I threw up a little bit in my bedroom too.”
“Okay, honey, it’s okay. I’ll clean it up.”
Resolutely I marched to his room, paper towels in hand.
What I saw literally made me freeze for a good 2 minutes. He did not throw up a “little bit.”
Now would be a good time to mention that my husband was out of town for the weekend. I was flying solo on this mad, mad mission.
“Okay. Okay! Grow a backbone, you! You can do this. Paper towels. Plastic garbage bags. Lysol. You. Can. Do. This.”
I really needed this pep talk because my son vomited all over legos, plastic blocks, stuffed animals, socks and underwear that littered his bedroom floor.
I spent the next 30 minutes picking plastic toys out of barf with my bare hands.
This is the worst thing ever. I thought. Literally, the worst.
Seriously, if legos had been invented back in the day, Dante would have included this horrific middle-of-the-night task in one of his levels of hell.
I should have just thrown everything away (teach them a lesson for not cleaning their room! HA! But I’m a nice mom) but then I would have other problems to deal with. So, I finished. Cleaned up. Disinfected. Washed my hands a million times. Sent Benji back to bed and lay down myself, exhausted.
I slept for 30 minutes when Micah, my other 9 year old who had gone to sleep in the living room, came in and told me he threw up on the couch.
“You threw up on the couch?” I repeated, in a stupor of horror.
This is not happening. I was, once again, frozen in horror as I surveyed the damage.
There is no way. That’s it! I thought. I’m going to have to burn the couch. How else am I going to get this clean?
Making snap decisions in the middle of the night, such as setting your sofa on fire, is never a good thing. Thankfully, I was able to gather enough common sense to remember that the cushion covers are washable.
Thirty more minutes, my roll of paper towels dangerously low, and sweaty from wrestling the cushion covers off and starting a load of laundry, then dousing the foam cushions in vinegar to please God! get out the smell, I was back in bed.
But the night was still young.
I didn’t even get to sleep when I heard someone head to the bathroom again. A huge crash sent me leaping from my bed.
When I got to the hallway, Benji was stumbling around, falling into the wall. I caught him as his legs buckled. He lay quivering in my arms, his eyes unfocused.
Oh my gosh, my kid just passed out. This is bad bad bad BAD!
“Honey! Benji! Are you okay?! Are you okay?!
He came to a few seconds later, telling me that he got sick again in his bed. He wanted to take a bath so I ran the hot water for him and sat on the toilet, watching him like a hawk as he sat huddled near the faucet. Thank God he didn’t faint again.
Then I had to get him back to bed.
Have you ever changed sheets on a top bunk? Yeah, it’s not a walk in the park. Especially when the ceiling fan, going at full speed, hits you in the forehead.
I swore loudly to tell the ceiling fan what I thought about its reprehensible actions. It helped. The fan contritely promised never to do it again.
I finally got Benji back to bed, begging him repeatedly to please please don’t miss the bucket this time, whatever you do.
It was now 3:00am. I’d been cleaning up Vomitageddan for three hours. And finally, I slept.
Aaron came home from his trip early, because he too, felt sick. Thankful doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt when he walked in the door.
Yesterday we all felt puny but no one threw up (even me, which is a miracle considering I was practically knee deep in hazardous waste on Saturday night).
Today the boys are still home from school but have so much energy that I’ve already had to send them outside to run ten times around the house so there’s that (Aaron and I are still dealing with dizziness and upset stomachs but neither of us has been sick, thank goodness).
So what’s the moral of this story, in case you are wondering (especially if you made it to the end of this squeamish tale)? All bad times come to an end, even if while you are going through them, you are in hell.
The Worst Night in Parenting Ever (forget it, it’s at #1 as far as I am concerned) passed, as all horrible moments, days, weeks, months, and even years pass.
What’s your Worst Parenting Day Ever?
Share your story below (as you can see, I’m not squeamish)!