Except for when it isn't.
The Wife (who is a school teacher) and the kids got a full week off for Spring Break this year. We had some big plans. Okay, so not big plans, but we did have some plans. And it started off pretty well....
Monday: For the first day of Spring Break we went as a family to the aquarium. We saw the penguins, otters, sharks, and rays. Oh, and we even saw some fish. It was a fun outing and we had a pleasant day. It was a great start to our Spring Break week. (And, no one barfed!)
Tuesday: This was our day to just relax. We had nowhere to go and nothing to do, so we thought we'd sleep in (the kids woke us up before 7:00 AM) and lounge around most of the day. The Wife got ambitious enough to make several loaves of rainbow bread. (It's regular wheat bread with the dough dyed in such a way that when it is baked it comes out looking like a rainbow. It was very pretty and very tasty.)
We then went to bed and everything was fine....until The Baby made a bit of a crying noise at about 11:30. I was still awake, so I got up to check on her. By the time I got to her room she looked like she was back asleep, face down with her bum in the air. I almost shut the door and went back to bed, but I could smell something foul in her room. Assuming she had pooped in her diaper, I picked her up and did what any good parent would do: I sniffed my baby's butt. (Ten years ago if you had told me how many times I would sniff another person's butt I would have told you you were crazy.)
But, her bum didn't smell any worse than the general air in the room. I thought about putting her back in bed, but decided that since I was up I might as well change her diaper to be sure. And as I put her down on the changing table, that's when I discovered the barf in her hair!
Yes, barf in her hair! So, I immediately went into damage assessment mode. I turned on the lights, which instantly changed The Baby's mood from sleepy-and-a-little-fussy to turn-that-darn-light-off-screaming-at-the-top-of-her-lungs. I checked her bed: barf everywhere!
Apparently, she barfed, fussed for a moment, then put her head back down into the barf and fell back asleep. After assessing the damage, I switched into clean-up mode.
Barf Clean-Up Tip #1: Babies should not have barf in their hair.
I got her barfed-on jammies off and got her to the tub for a shower/bath. (The shower to wash the barf out of her hair; the bath because babies generally do not like showers.) Once I got The Baby cleaned and in new jammies, I gave her to The Wife, who held and cuddled her. (NOTE: The Wife, who is pregnant, had taken something to help her sleep, so she wasn't able to help with the clean-up as much as she would have liked.)
Barf Clean-Up Tip #2: Embrace the barf. Don't worry about getting barf on yourself. It's going to happen no matter how hard you try to avoid it. You're going to have wash your clothes and yourself anyway, so just roll up your sleeves and go after that barf.
I took the sheet and mattress cover off of The Baby's bed and threw them in the hamper with the barfed-on jammies. I had to clean the bed frame and a little bit of the floor. I changed my barf-covered underwear. Luckily, only two little specks of barf got on The Baby's nighttime stuffed buddy.
I grabbed The Baby and went to put her back in bed. She gurgled a little, then started to barf. I caught it with my hand and raced her to our bathroom, where she barfed a little more in the sink.
Barf Clean-Up Tip #3: It is better to have The Baby barf in your hand than on the floor. Your hand is easier to clean than the floor.
Barf Clean-Up Tip #4: It is better to barf in the toilet than in the sink. Sometimes the bigger chunks don't go down the drain.
So, I had to change my underwear (again) and her pajamas (again.) I got her back in bed on her new, clean sheets, hoping she was done barfing. I took the dirty clothes hamper full of sheets, blankets, pajamas and underwear, wiped and rinsed the bigger chunks off, and put it all in the washing machine.
Barf Clean-Up Tip #5: Do not try to figure out what kind of food a piece of barf was in its previous form. Doing so serves no purpose, and only increases the chances of more barf happening.
I went back to bed, but watched shows for an hour and a half in case she barfed again. (She didn't, thank goodness.) And then, finally, I went to sleep.
Wednesday: Because of The Baby's barfing, we decided not to do anything too adventurous. Happily, The Baby seemed fine and showed no ill effect from her late night barf-a-palooza.
So, we stayed around the house and I actually went outside and did some yard work, which doesn't happen all that often. (I do yard work at least three times a year, whether the yard needs it or not.)
I got all three kids bathed, then put the two older ones to bed. I then fed The Baby her night-time bottle. She happily drank it all, cuddled into my chest, and barfed the entire contents of her bottle right on me.
|Spring Break Barf-a-rama!!! (And this is after I'd wiped most of it off.)|
Barf Clean-Up Tip #6: It is better to get personally barfed on than to get barf on the couch. People and clothes clean easily; the smell of barf can linger in a couch.
So, while The Baby got her third bath/shower in less than 24 hours, I gathered up her pajamas, my clothes, and the towels I used to clean up the barf, got as much barf off of them as I could, and put it all in the washing machine.
Barf Clean-Up Tip #7: It is best to get as much of the barf cleaned/rinsed off of clothing/towels before you put them in the wash. You don't want chunks in the washing machine.
The Wife got The Baby in bed, I showered, and another fun barfy evening ended.
Thursday: The Baby was not feeling well. She slept almost straight through until 11:00 AM. But, she didn't barf any more!
Unfortunately, The Girl (our eight year-old) took over the barfing duties. She said her stomach wasn't feeling good. I had my doubts, because she is not one to throw up very often. She spent a few minutes on the bathroom floor, lingering near the toilet, but she didn't barf. Until she did. But, she got it all in the toilet, so all was relatively well.
When The Girl went to bed, we gave her a large bowl to keep by her side as a barf bucket. The idea, of course, is that if she get sick in the night she would just have to lean over and puke into the bowl.
That was the theory. In actuality, when it came time to barf she leaned to the side opposite of the barf bucket, covering half of her mattress with vomit.
Barf Clean-Up Tip #8: Always use a waterproof mattress pad on all children's beds. A good one will keep the unholy trinity of children's bodily fluids (Pee, Poop, and Barf) off of the mattress.
Once again, The Wife and I were forced into action. She took The Girl and cleaned her off. I removed the sheets, blankets, pillow, and mattress pad off of the mattress. The Wife then set up the blow-up guest air mattress for The Girl to sleep on.
The Girl sleeps on the top bunk. While all of this was going on, including The Girl yelling for help, me climbing around the top bunk to remove the barfed-on bedding, and The Wife loudly inflating an air mattress two feet from his face, my son slept peacefully on the bottom bunk. (That boy can sleep through anything!)
So, for the third night in a row, I had an emergency barf-load of laundry to do. Meanwhile, The Girl was thrilled to be sleeping on the air mattress, after she received a lecture on the importance and purpose of the barf bucket. And another night of the barf siege was completed.
Friday: No barf!!! (Well, the cat did run down the stairway, stop on the bottom stair, and dry heave for a few seconds. But there was no actual barf, so I'm going to count that as a win.)
Saturday: I mentioned my wife is pregnant, right? But, she is enough of a veteran of The Barf Games that she is able to get her barf into the toilet. (Mostly.)
So, I hope you had a fun and memorable Spring Break. I know I'll never forget my Spring Break Barf-o-Rama!
Barf Clean-Up Tip #9: By all means, try to keep the witnesses to the barfing and barf clean-up to a minimum. The more people that see the barf, the greater the chances of a sympathy barf.