Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bless This Mess

So the other night, I asked my husband to unclog the toilet in the kids’ bathroom. Normally, I’d do something like this, but I’ve found that my arm strength is that of a T-Rex. I look like I could handle such a job, but I can’t do even one pushup, let alone handle the plunging of a toilet.

Later, he says to me: “That was really gross. I mean REALLY gross. I almost got sick. You almost had to deal with that.”

And I said: “You think I would have cleaned up your puke if you had thrown up?! Not a chance!”

Suffice it to say, he was disappointed in my lack of sympathy. From my point of view, I could not believe that he was playing the “gross card” because since we have had children, I have handled nothing but gross.

I’ve held kids’ heads while they threw up. I’ve cleaned up bathrooms and sheets and other inconvenient places to get sick. My favorite was driving to my parents’ house on Christmas morning when my son proceeded to vomit in the minivan while I was driving on the highway. The good news was that he had eaten cinnamon rolls and the interior of the car was tan. (OK, I confess, my husband was at home recovering from surgery, so he couldn't have helped me on this one.)

And of course, over the years, I’ve dealt with my share of messes from “the other end” as well. I remember diapers bursting with surprises, leaking all over clothing in the most embarrassing places and ways.

I’ve dealt with all of this, happily letting my husband hand the kids over to my capable care. And yes, he did change his share of diapers, but I’ve always prided myself on the containment and cleaning of hazardous messes. It’s what I do best. And when a sick kid runs to you, you are not going to say: “Go wake up daddy. It’s his turn.”

And it’s not bad enough that kids have accidents from time to time. We also have a cat and a dog and each of them has blessed me with their mess at the most inopportune time. I have acutely tuned hearing that can predict the cat vomiting up a hairball within moments of the first wheeze. And you haven’t experienced “ick” until you’ve hosed off a golden retriever with diarrhea. Makes cleaning up the kids seem like a breeze.

I’m not trying to act like a martyr. There are moms with way more kids and way worse messes than what I’ve had to deal with. It just makes me wonder why, in this age of enlightened women and interchangeable roles for moms and dads, it’s still largely left up to us moms to mop up the messes for the masses.


At 3:24 PM , Blogger kenju said...

I wish I knew the answer to that. It is the same here, even when it was mr. kenju's mom who got sick, I had to clean it up. Men are such wusses.

At 2:29 PM , Blogger Geggie said...

Hi Karen, Michele sent me.

By now, you'd think someone could invent a diaper that is "explode proof", but, alas, no.

At 3:35 PM , Blogger Anne said...

Hi Karen, thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm going to have to read more of your blog since you write about mom stuff. I hate cleaning up after sick kids. My son used to come in to our bed, then throw up. lovely. My husband usually helps when he needs to.

At 2:09 PM , Blogger Carmi said...

I think I could write a thesis on the cleanups I've experienced. I always seem to almost lose it before regaining my composure. I have a weak stomach...but I knew that going into this parenthood thing. Next time, I'll stick with a parakeet :)

BTW, thanks for your question about blood donation. I posted a response in a comment on my site, but just in case the blog gods chew it to pieces, I thought I'd paste it here, too:

Donations of blood plasma (plasmapheresis) have a deferral period of 6 days, up to a maximum of 26 donations within a 6-month period. unlike whole blood, which has a 56-day deferral period, plasma donors get back all of their red blood cells when they donate, so they can come back within a week. Most regular donors schedule the same time every week, and build it into their routine.

Platelet donors have a 14-day deferral period.

At 2:24 PM , Blogger craziequeen said...

Hi Karen - I can beat that....MB threw up over me in his sleep one night.....
He slept through the event, slept through me getting up, putting my pyjamas in to soak, having a bath, getting into fresh pyjamas, making up the spare bed and sleeping in there.

He was quite surprised when he woke up in a filthy bed, and to this day doesn't remember that night.
I've had generations of children and pets throw various bodily fluids on me, but that one was the grossest....

Michele sent me to say hello this Saturday evening.


At 5:22 PM , Blogger Melody said...

Hello Karen, from both me and Michele!!

Oww I know all about this, I could've written this post myself. How come it is always me that changes the nappies and the vomit? I don't complain though - I just carry on regardless. I'm lucky I don't have any pets I guess so you do have the upper hand.



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