A forewarning: The following post makes at least 8 references to vomit and vomit related things.
This weekend, I came one step closer to figuring out this new role that I’ve found myself in.
Jason and I took the boys to Toys-R-Us today to buy a present for a birthday party they would be going to. While we were there, Jacob started to mention that his head was hurting. We tried to pick up the pace so we could head home, but it was apparently not fast enough. After about 10 minutes, Jacob said his stomach was hurting too. He seemed noticeably miserable instantly, and we were sure he wasn’t exaggerating (I mean really, what kid fakes being sick in order to leave a toy store?).
We gathered what the kids had already picked out and hurried to the check-out line. When the cashier handed us our bags, I had a moment of genius. Knowing that I had recently cleaned my car out, and disposed of all bags, cups, or other possible vomit-catchers, I asked the cashier for an extra bag. At first, I flattered myself thinking about what a wise thing that was to do. Maybe my parental instincts were really starting to kick in. Then I decided it was probably more likely the fact that I myself get car sick very easily. Those weren’t parental instincts; those were just well-developed vomit preparation instincts.
We loaded into the car, setting the bag in an easily accessible and open position next to Jacob. It was about a 10 minute drive home, but he was looking greener by the minute. We drove about 8 minutes successfully, growing evermore hopeful that we may just make it home vomit-free. But alas, there was no such luck. We pulled up to the last stop light, with our apartment complex in sight, and it began. I think it must have been the stopping motion. Poor Jacob made every effort to grab that perfectly positioned bag. It’s all kind of a blur and I’m not sure exactly what went wrong, but when all was said and done, there was none in the bag. None.
Once we got home, Jason took him upstairs to clean him up and do all that other stuff parents do. Me? I spent the next hour cleaning vomit out of my car. Someone else’s vomit. I even learned how to dismantle a car seat and clean out all those little cracks and holes where the vomit inevitably seeps into. Yep, I’m now one giant leap closer to owning this role of step-mother.
It didn’t occur to me until later that night just how pivotal and iconic this moment actually was. When I was in second grade, I threw up in my step-dad’s glove box in a strikingly similar situation. I wonder if he spent the next hour cleaning it all up and thinking the very thoughts I thought this weekend. I feel like I’ve gone through some sort of step-parent initiation.