The Pinto Bean Fire Hose

I think my daughter is trying to kill me.

Melodramatic? Maybe.  But the fact remains.

It started off innocently enough.  She came home from school and things were as usual.  She ate when she got home, and she ate at dinner time.  She ate pinto beans, her favorite.  She ate a lot.  A lot. She ate some other stuff, too, but primarily it was beans.

I noticed she was fairly quiet, but it was close to the end of the week, and sometimes she is pretty much worn out by the time the end of the week rolls around.  Fine.

Let me offer a brief preface before continuing.  I have one rug in my house.  One rug. I have no carpet.  I hate carpet.  If I was ever to be elected as the supreme ruler of the universe (unlikely, my college days would haunt me) my first official act would be to ban all carpet from the planet.  I figure we could reinstate the space program just long enough to launch all carpet (especially shag) into outer space.  Anyway, there is no carpet in my house.  One of the primary selling features of this house was that it was one hundred percent carpet free.  But I do have that one rug, right at the top of the stairs.

(Note: I like to show off my literary chops whenever possible.  Have you picked up any foreshadowing yet?)

Bedtime rolled around, and I remarked on my daughter’s paleness.  My husband uttered the now infamous words: “I hope she’s not getting sick.”

She was.  She did.

At the approximate moment her feet felt the rug at the top of the stairs, her digestive system shifted into Full Reverse Thrust Mode.  Remember the pinto beans?


If you ever have the opportunity to see semi-digested pinto beans shot at high velocity from a fire hose, don’t.  It isn’t as fascinating as it sounds.

When my husband cried out “Bring a towel!” I knew we were in trouble.

As it turns out, one towel wasn’t quite enough.  The rug was a write off, as was every article of clothing both my daughter and my husband were wearing.  If I may, I’d like to pause for a moment to offer a little advice to all you new or soon-to-be parents out there.  You know how parenting is depicted on television commercials (usually for diapers) as this warm, fuzzy experience, with lots of smiles and gleaming white carpets and shiny counter tops?  And how even a “dirty” diaper isn’t really dirty?  Well, watch those commercials closely.  Hold on to them.

You’ll need some sort of pleasant memory to focus on when your child vomits into your cupped hands.

(Why do I do this?  When I see she’s getting ready to puke, why do I try to catch it?  Do I think, somehow, by holding out my hands I can actually stop the puke from hitting the floor?  Please, please tell me I’m not the only one who has this reflex reaction.  Some of you out there have done it before, right?  RIGHT?)

Anyway, the carnage continued throughout the night.  I did laundry all night long.  Once, I heard this lady I know talking about how all of her grand kids had a stomach virus at her house at the same time, and they were getting to the point where they thought they were going to have to start using curtains as blankets.  At the time, I thought this was a little odd, but after the other night, I see her point.  The puke mechanism was working much faster than my washing machine.

Also, my daughter has this uncanny ability to completely miss whatever pad or towel I put down in a vain effort to catch the mess (which had also migrated south, if you get my meaning.)  Seriously, there will be mess on every other available surface except the towel.

We survived, and the symptoms were actually pretty short-lived.  Of course, I suffered from PPSD (Post Puke Stress Disorder) for a day or two.  You know what I’m talking about–every time someone coughs or burps, you twitch.

And if you’re like me, you hold out your hands.


I’m linking up this week with a group of outstanding writers over at Yeah Write. Go check it out!



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