Picture if you will…

Hey, this is an oldie but a goodie, and worth bringing back around.  Enjoy!  But uh, hey,  you might want to put down that snack before you start reading.  ~h

I had a truly interesting experience just the other day. Let me take you back…

It was a sunny, beautiful, breezily temperate day. Rather perfect, I thought, for an outing with just the three of us: myself and my two young boys, who are 7 and 11 months. I thought it would be fun to start our afternoon off with a walk to our local supermarket and have a bit of lunch in the eatery there. Nothing could have prepared me for what was to come.

In between the bites of my lukewarm pizza and perfectly scrumptious cantelope, I was feeding the baby his midday fare: Chicken Stew and Apricots. He ate his Chicken Stew with gusto, and – as usual – with nary a second to spare from one bite to the next. And then it was time for the apricots. This fruit portion of the mealtime regime usually goes even quicker than the first, since the fruit is practically a liquid and he takes it quicker.

But not today. He seemed, distracted, slightly uninterested. How unusual…

I kept regaining his attention, trying to infuse his not-so-little body with every last bit of the fruit, intent upon assuring his proper nutritional intake for the day. But it was getting increasingly more difficult to get the fruit from point A to point B.

At halfway through the jar, I set the jar down, resigned to finishing my own food, and getting back to him in a bit. But then it happened. While in his stroller, which was practically new from sheer lack of use, I saw him lean to rest against the backboard of the stroller and could never have predicted the event that followed.

He opened his tiny little mouth and from that baarely gaping 1 and 1/2″ oriface erupted the entire contents of his stomach. It was as if someone had turned on a faucet, full force, letting rip the thickest, most food-group discernable sludge, never-before seen exiting a child of his age.

And it just kept coming! Layer after layer of chunky chicken stew slathered itself smoothly across his cute little outfit, seeping between his body and the stroller padding, wedging its way into the very fibers of the belt and latch. And as each new layer burbled its way up from the depths of his little belly, a gentle, ‘sploosh’ could be heard as it slapped down on the ever-thickening pile of regurge settling all around him. I sat there with my hands out to my side, my eyes wide as silver dollars, absolutely aghast at the unbelievable sight before me, as my older son laughed beside me saying ‘it got on my shirt!’

The gastric flow finally came to a screeching halt, at long last, and not a moment too soon. My little man was sitting in his stroller, covered from neck to thigh in what can only be described as a weeks worth of Gerber’s best, looking at me as if nothing had happened. Bless his little heart! I stared in amazement at his predicament, my hands still raised, mouth agape, wondering how in the world I could even begin to clean this up. And then one of the deli workers comes to my rescue with… a paper towel. ONE single, solitary, barely absorbent scrap of recycled tissue. The considerate nature of the worker’s act was not lost in the ridiculous inadequacy of the single towel.

I looked worriedly around at the dozen or more customers peacefully eating nearby, and stared intently at my target: the restroom door. That was the light at the end of my puke-filled tunnel. But how to get there without driving the entire place into a downward spiral of nausea, swooning, and vomit? I told my older son to wait at the table and finish his lunch (of all things) and made a break for it. It was a straight shot, and I hollered out “Nobody look! Nobody look!” until I had made it safely to the confines of the public facilities. In retrospect, the warning shout probably only heightened people’s awareness of the situation and peaked their interest enough to turn and look… oh well.

Once in the bathroom, I found myself staring helplessly at this chubby little fellow, wallowing in his own upchuck, wishing there was another way to go about things. But there were just no other options. I tried, with much futility, to swipe away some of the barf from around the buckle so I could free my son from the surprisingly (and gratefully) odorless goo. No good. So it was time to get down and dirty. I plunged my hands down into the sloppy, warm mush and unbuckled him successfully. And then I plopped him down into the way-too-small-for-a-22pound-baby sink and turned the water on him. For all he knew it was bathtime.

It took about twenty minutes – and a roll of paper towels – to scrape, slide, scoop and swipe off the spew that had decorated our beautiful little stroller. Add in another 5 minutes or so for rinsing off the baby and 1 or 2 for ringing out the chunky, juicy baby outfit and there you have it.

One happy family outing, one mediocre lunch, and one unforgettably exorcist-esque midday upheaval, the holy trinity making up the perfect day.

Oh, and we continued on the rest of our outing like nothing had happened. Hey, we’re not ones to let a little puke ruin our plans… heck, not even if it’s a lot of puke.

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