As a father of three kids under four, it seems we've been awash in a sea of puke this winter.
Why not be blunt about it? Every single day for the last two months, I'm sure at least one kid has been leaking fluids out of either the top or the bottom.
It used to be that the simple thought of someone bringing up their lunch would send me scurrying to the bathroom. Not now. I've been inoculated. I can clean it up with the best of them.
I certainly never thought I'd be almost forty and running around yelling "Where's a puke bucket!" while a small child hurls onto my carpet. Arrgh.
And what gets me increasingly is that the younger kids puke with such ease, such nonchalance. They just open up, and out it comes. No big deal for them. I'm sure they think it's perfectly natural, they've been doing it as long as they can remember. But something happens to the puking mechanisms as you get older. Suddenly puking has to involve every muscle in your body, and not just your stomach. We lean resolutely over the toilet and every muscle tenses, down to the toes. It hurts everywhere. I always feel worse afterwards, and worn out. It's physically exhausting. Even if you try to just go with it and not resist, it doesn't help.
Like everything else that goes on in their life, the kids don't get stressed out about it unless the parents do. If we get upset and make a big deal out of a little puke, they start to do the same thing. OK, sometimes it's not a 'little' puke. What mainly prompted me to write this is that I was sitting at the computer the other day and thought someone dumped a bucket of water on the floor behind me. Turned out to be my daughter, letting go. Sheesh. I didn't know she could hold so much.
And then there's my teenage son, who for some unfathomable reason decided to come into the kitchen at 3:30 am and puke in the sink.
And not clean it up.
Teenagers are really clinically insane, you know that, right?
Not long ago there was a fine book called "Everybody Poops". It's the premier potty book. Perhaps it's time for a sequel.