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May 03

Puke as a marital bonding tool

I know it sounds stupid.  But there’s nothing like a night with a puking kid to make Marc and I feel closer to each other.

Jessie was a frequent night puker.  She’s got bad allergies.  Between the dust mites and the pollen, she spends most of the year at least a little bit congested.   When she was a toddler, especially, this would translate to nighttime puking.  She’d be fine all day, and at night she’d cough and cough and then eventually vomit, and then be all better for a while.

Sam is a puker by nature.  He just vomits more than the rest of the kids, for whatever reason.  Allergies certainly play a role, but I also think there’s some sort of connection between colic, reflux and general stomach issues.  Nothing serious or really even all that bothersome, but several times a year, he’ll vomit for a few hours, with no other symptoms and then be perfectly fine.

Julie gets car sick.

When the kids were little (sob, because it just occurred to me that NONE of them are little any more), we got the system down.  I don’t ever remember sitting down and discussing it, but we fell naturally into a pattern that has worked seamlessly for over a decade.  When the child (whichever child it happened to be) would puke (which was mostly at night), I’d sort of aim the kid at me.  Because it’s easier to change my pjs then it is to change the entire bed.  It didn’t always work, but more often than not, it did.  After the kid was done, I’d launch into child soothing, and Marc would take over clean up.

It was (and is) a completely gross job, and one that I’m forever grateful I don’t have to do.  But it seemed like an even distribution of work, at least in the beginning.  I was a nursing mom too – so for a while there, I was the one who had the perfect solution to an inconsolable child who couldn’t hold anything down (because they can almost always hold down breastmilk).

But that was a while ago – and my kids are growing up faster and faster.  Last night, poor Jessica got super sick (she’s still sick as a dog) and threw up more times than I can count.  And my job… was pretty freaking easy.  I got her clean jammies, and a pony for her hair.  I tucked her in on the couch and brought her a bucket for easier puking.  Marc had the yucky job, and it doesn’t get any easier as the kids get older.

But the thing is – it works for us.  We work together so easily (even though my workload has diminished as time goes by), and don’t even have to discuss who’s going to do what.   He handles clean up, I handle comfort.  We’re a team, and it’s never more evident than when it’s the middle of the night, and we’re both bleary eyed and concerned about our sick kid.

(one of my favorite pics of Jessica – on a much healthier day)

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