Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Puke Bowl

I find it totally amazing that Addie is three and half and that she's never, in all that time, been hit with the puking flu.  Oh, we've thrown up a little here and there (like the time when Addie was one, and Eric fed her waaaay too much black beans and corn, and she threw up what looked like southwest salsa all over her crib); and we've had the snothead flu; and we've all had the runny-run-runs for sure.  But until last week, it had been a long time since the dreaded pukefest had swept through the house.

I was the first to get sick, and it terrified me because I thought I was pregnant.  Both Tuesday and Wednesday nights, I had to take to my bed in the evening, sure I was going to hurl, achy all over, glands bulging.  The next morning I felt fine.  Thursday I came home from work early, sick again.  Luckily I was feeling better by that night, because at about one in the morning, Addie came strolling into our room complaining of a tummy ache, and about an hour later had besmirched every bed in the house.  Worst of all, she puked on her bathroom floor.  Which is carpeted.  Add mega-grossness to grossness.  I'm sensing another remodel in our future.  Sweet, sweet tile.

The puking went on for another day or two, and has tapered off into a wicked case of the toddler runs.  But the puking, at least, is behind us.

Or at least we think it is.  An anachronism haunts us, it seems.  After that long, long night of having Addie puke on every bit of linen we own, I finally got her to use the "puke bowl."  You know about the puke bowl, right?  The mixing bowl your mom brought in when you were a kid so that you could hurl in the peace of your own bedroom, while she held your hair out of your face and stroked your back?  The bowl you honked into when seated on the toilet, vileness streaming from both ends?

Well, by the end of that night, Addie was using the puke bowl like a pro, waking up every hour or so to retch up quesadilla bits and whole goldfish crackers (how did she swallow those like that?).  I was very proud of her, and also a little sad, because it was like a little bit of her innocence was gone.  There was nothing I could do for her in those moments--she just had to duke it out with the puking demon all on her own, until her stomach was totally empty, and then some.

Anyway, the problem now is that she's sort of addicted to the puke bowl, as a symbol of her grown-up-ness.  Addie's Papa and Nana came to visit this weekend, and for every meal, Addie proudly sat at the table, her puke bowl in front of her, telling everyone cheerily (and falsely) that she was going to "spit up."  We'd be right in the middle of conversation, enjoying a good meal, when she'd crawl up into her Nana's lap, smiling, and demand, "Now WHERE is my puke bowl?  Mommy!  I'm goin' to spit up!"  It made for awesome dinnertime ambience. 

It was tough to call her bluff at first, because on Thursday night, she said she was going to puke, and I didn't really believe her.  I sort of sauntered over to her with the puke bowl.  And she did, in fact, hork up jello all over the kitchen table.  So over the weekend, I was pretty zealous about making sure she had the bowl.  But I figured out pretty quick that she wasn't going to throw up anymore, and was just really interested in the power of the puke bowl.  I finally learned to tell her to go to the bathroom if she was going to vom, and that I would come help her if she did.  That finally took care of things.

But show and tell is on Tuesday.  I have a pretty good idea what she's going to want to take.


  1. Jen, I like the way you conjured just about every verb in the language for "puke".


  2. Well, if you thought you were pregnant, then you must have been having sex. Congrats, my coolest SIL!! Have more for us. And send the after-glow our way.

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