Nobody ever told me that my biggest parental superpower would be to not gag when cleaning up vomit. So much vomit. The vomit that surprises you in the middle of the night. The vomit made up of noodles they had for dinner, and random yellow slime that you truly never determine the origin. The vomit that lands on you – coating your face, hair, and clothing, and lands on the bedding and pillows and sheets and walls and carpets. The vomit that then coats the walls and bathroom fixtures as you are carrying your vomiting child across the room and throwing them into the bathroom to – my god – try to contain the vomit. And you don’t even take a moment to think as the vomiting finally stops and you enter into clean-up mode as you strip the child and throw her into a hot shower. She cries from the water and your yelling “STOP WITH VOMIT EVERYWHERE” because you know the hot, shocking shower won’t kill her and must be done. And as she is bathing off the goo, you too jump in to remove the goo off of you, and then you throw her a warm towel and tell her not to move as the real work begins. You strip the sheets, blankets, pillows and wash the excess vomit off in the sink before throwing them in the wash machine. You think about people who have to rely on the laundromat and don’t have hot running water and how horrible this is when their children vomit everywhere. You are thankful you can even clean up the vomit with your luxuries. And you start laundry load #1 of 10. You lay towels over the bed and you fetch the child to go back to sleep on towels with a puke bowl nearby. You then take handfuls of vomit off of the bathroom floor and walls and bleach every inch of that room. And then…then..the worst – the chunks all over the carpet in the bedroom that you scrape up and dispose of before getting out the Bissell at midnight and cleaning the carpets. Older children now wake wondering why their mother is cleaning carpets in the middle of the night. They notice she is naked too. You finally finish, get dressed and go back to sleep on the towels next to the child just waiting for rounds two, three, four, five, six, seven to come.
No one tells you about this part of being a parent. And no one tells you that you will and can do all of this without gagging once.