During a fitness class a couple of weeks ago, a noxious odor seeped through the room, eventually hanging over all of us like a smog inversion, thanks to the poor air circulation of the studio. It was bad but even though my eyes were a watering I couldn’t find it in me to be upset. Mostly because I’ve totally been there before. Who can forget the great Soy Patty Incident of 2006? I was doing an evening kickboxing class and, because I was still a vegetarian then, grabbed a quick soy burger patty for dinner before heading to the gym. As we warmed up, I felt my tummy start to inflate faster than Kanye West’s ego and become more bubbly than a hot tub full of starlets when George Clooney walks in. Unfortunately there was no escape as I was right at the front of the class, packed between friends who I was hoping would still be me my friends after the inevitable happened. And oh it happened! I tried to hold it in but all that good cardio activity plus moves that compressed my stomach from every angle made it ripe for a rectal rebellion. That was the night I discovered both how forgiving people can be and also unforgiving my gut is of processed soy.
Birthdays are supposed to be festive affairs and so when Son #3 recently had one we decided to party it up by going to a local Italian all-you-can-eat buffet. It was insanely delicious and we all had a great time. Until. On the way out my son looked up at me with glowing eyes and said, “Mom you got me the bestest birthday present ever!”
“Oh you’re welcome sweetie,” I cooed, thinking that he was talking about the sweet race track we got him (which he demolished the next day with a screwdriver to “make it work better” making me wonder why I even bother with real toys instead of just taking them to a junk yard and letting them go nuts).
But no. He had something else in mind. He reached his tiny hand up and patted my stomach and said, “You got me a new baby! I always wanted another brother!” At least Jelly Bean had the decency to look offended. Although that might have been because he kinda just dissed her. (He’s still not over being de-throned.)
Crouched low over the bathtub, I laid my head against the cool wall as I switched the blowdryer to my other hand, careful to keep the hot air trained on a small, nubby, once-blue, now-damp baby blanket. “Are you done yet?” I heard my husband call over the sound of our son hiccup-crying in his arms. Crying because he’s two and can’t sleep without his precious “snuvy”. Snuvy was currently MIA, even though it was the middle of the night and the usual sleeping time for most humans (although children are notoriously flagrant breakers of that rule), because it had been puked all over. Along with everything else in a three-foot radius – it’s hard to appreciate the explosive power of projectile vomiting until you’ve seen it in all its geyser-like glory. And because our stupid dryer had broken the week before I was left rinsing out the lovey in the bathtub and drying it with my hair dryer. As I contemplated how much my life sucked at that moment, I heard the too-familiar sound of coughing, retching, and the splatter of puke on the wall, bed, floor. It was our other son, trying to top his brother’s impressive splash zone (always so competitive those two!), now also crying.