“What honey? Can’t you see Mommy is putting on her shoes?” I hated the accidental third person. I wouldn’t have said, “Can’t you see Jessie is putting on her shoes”. And my kids haven’t referred to themselves in the third person in years, so I can’t claim I’m echoing them when I morph into the person I call “Mommy is”. She usually comes with a slice of “Can’t you see she’s” followed by any number of activities.
“I need you to move my book out of the way.” He pointed to where it had fallen on the garage floor.
“Don’t you want me to hand it to you?” It was his favorite, something from the Star Wars universe that made Wookies sound like they belonged in encyclopedias. He answered with his mad face. The one that usually preceded phrases like, “You already know!” and “I just said.” But instead of lambasting me for my failure to listen to his orders, he turned violent red. Exactly what Mommy doesn’t need. A meltdown to start the day. I pulled on my left shoe and went for the book.
The instant it left the ground, Sam vomited. Craisin colored, oatmeal textured puke splattered onto the side of the car.
“Scott! I need you!” What? You can’t cope with this one ‘Mommy’?
Sam threw up again, another lily pink stream. “Oh.”
“We need a bucket out here.”
I scooped Sam out of the car and into the kitchen, where he deposited a final breakfast delivery just before Scott arrived with an empty trash can. “I guess take your pants off and go curl up on the couch. Looks like you won’t be going anywhere today.”
I went for old cloth diapers to clean up the car, and Scott started in on the kitchen floor. One pail of lemon cleanser later, I could finally take Caroline to school. “You want to know the most disgusting thing for me?” I told Scott as I walked out the door.
He shrugged. The answer probably was no.
“It smelled like strawberries. The thing that brought me closest to spewing myself was that I couldn’t escape that odor, and I kept thinking, “this is the most pleasant barf I’ve ever scrubbed.”
He did not kiss me on the way out.
Sam seemed fine for the rest of the day. In fact, at one point, he bounded around on the trampoline with no consequences. I had just about convinced myself that he had swallowed his strawberry toothpaste this morning by the time I went to rescue Caroline for the day.
I picked him up for a cuddle when we got home. He pushed away from me and grunted. “What honey?”
He twisted away and another pink volcano erupted onto the floor, this one smelling rankly of the barbecue sauce he had demanded for lunch. The attack continued so long that I got him to the toilet before the last chunks arrived. After Scott and I had cleaned him up, I stripped out of my own clothes, which had not been spared, and disinfected the toilet in my underwear. Scott went for the mop and some more lemon cleanser.
“You got things under control out here?” I asked him.
“Good. That’s one too many encounters with my children’s bodily fluids today. Mommy’s taking a shower.”
“Not a bad idea. When you get done, I think Daddy may need a turn as well.”
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.