My six year old daughter was sick and home from school the other day. She had thrown up a massive amount right on the living room rug. I think I saw a snack she had when she was four in there. She’s not a good throw-upper. Not that it’s anyone’s greatest moment but she’s particularly bad at it. When she feels it coming up she freezes like a deer and her eyes go wide and then it comes. And then the real panic starts because she starts running in place while screaming in a high pitch. It’s kinda’ scary. It’s like if Linda Blair had decided to take up tap dancing.

But then she got better. I talked to her about in the future she should probably try to make it to the bathroom when she was going to get sick. She agreed. She was fine for two days. And then…not so much.

At 1:09 a.m. I heard the horrible sound from the bathroom outside my room. Uh-oh.

I ran into the bathroom and found my six year old in batman pajamas retching over the toilet. I sat on the tub behind her and held her hair back from her face. Sometimes it’s all you can do. When she was done I washed her face and hands. I picked her up and told her I was proud of her for making it to the bathroom.


“What what?”

“Uhm,” she said. “I didn’t make it to the bathroom. It’s in the hallway.”


I told her not to worry about it. I told her she should go to the couch and that I’d clean it up. She raced out, happy that I wasn’t upset with her in that post-vomit window of wellness where you feel like you’re actually all better. My wife went out and sat with her on the couch. Now I’m not going to get into details here but I’m just going to tell you that angel hair pasta with meatballs don’t go well together with carpet. Or with walls. It was bad. Many souls in purgatory were advanced in their journey to Heaven.

Mental note: Talk to daughter about chewing her food. Holy smokes.

After picking up the pieces and scrubbing the floor and taking it all outside to the garbage can at about 1:45 a.m. I came back in and went around the ping pong table near the stairs. And I saw it. Another huge pile of angel hair pasta with meatballs. Sheesh. How much did the child eat? And this mess dwarfed the other mess. It laughed at it. And did she get lost on her way to the bathroom? What was she doing over there? Doesn’t matter. Back to work I went. I eventually got back to sleep around 2:30. And my six year old still says she’s all better.

But I don’t believe her. I am tempted to never feed her again or at least tie a bucket around her neck until she’s ten.

The good news from all this is that now I have two amazingly clean bright spots in the carpet. The bad news is that the two spots show what color the carpet is supposed to be and now the rest of the carpet looks dirty. My wife thinks we should shampoo the whole carpet now. Next time, I won’t do such a good job cleaning it up.