When I say grossest, I mean it. If you are eating, you might want to wait to read this. If you aren’t a parent, you might not want to read it at all. Parents have a different threshold for grossness like the one I am about to tell you. It is bad.
Valentine’s Day was Friday, in case you missed the memo. I only know this, because everyone seemed to post flower and chocolate pictures on facebook and instagram. And most blogs seemed to cover the loves of their lives.
After work on Friday, I got a quick run and ran to HJ’s daycare to pick him up. He chatted with me while we drove to the grocery store. I had decided I did not want to make dinner. And I felt like the thing for single people to do on Valentine’s day is to eat Chinese food. And chocolate.
So that was our plan, pick up Chinese food and a cupcake. While waiting in line for take-out, HJ asked me to pick him up so he could see the food. We decided on rice with cashew chicken and an egg roll. I just finished saying, “rice” and I noticed HJ moving his lips strange. He looked right in my eyes about 5 inches from my face and goes, “uhhh”.
At that moment I knew what was about to happen. He was about to throw-up. I started saying, “hold on!” and took a step to the left. And…it happened. He started projectile vomiting on my face. MY FACE. While I was talking. Vomit in my mouth. I tried covering his mouth, which resulting in the vomit pouring down the sleeve of my coat. It JUST.KEPT.COMING. By this point, he was standing on the ground, but still vomiting. We were covered. Our faces, our hair, our coats, they were all dripping. I started taking his coat off, unsure of how to proceed at this point (after pondering this a few days, I should have grabbed him and ran out the door).
Behind me in line had been 3 high school age girls and one of their moms (actually, they were 2 people behind me, but the man right behind me kept on ordering his food). The girls grabbed some napkins and ran over. The mom mentioned HJ looked cold, and one of the girls took of her coat and wrapped him up. At this point, one of the workers at Hy-Vee handed me some paper towels. I wiped off HJ’s face as best I could, and the high school girl offered to take him to the area with tables while I continued cleaning. Her friends started wiping up the floor until I told them not to worry about it (because, gross, it was vomit). By this time a worker came out with a garbage can, and I started cleaning the floor.
I realized at this point, vomit was drying on my face. I can not imagine what I looked like. I had our coats laying in a pile, dripping of vomit, while trying to wipe my face and arms as best I could. I also spent a good minute trying to scoop a puddle out of my purse. And wipe off my phone that was of course in the puddle.
Did I mention this was right in front of the main entrance? So everyone walking in had to witness a panicked mom, covered in vomit, wearing a short sleeve shirt in freezing weather, sitting on the floor scooping up vomit.
At this point I asked the worker what else I could do. I thought he was going to vomit on me. Clearly, this was not as common a thing as when I worked at a bar in college. I stuttered something about needing to find my son, and carried our dripping coats to the eating area.
When I arrived, the young girl was wiping HJ’s hands off with her shirt (seriously, what a saint. I would never use my shirt for a strange child’s vomit covered hands). She offered to stay with him if I needed to get groceries. However, I was still covered in vomit and had enough embarrassment to last a while. I wanted to get the hell out of there. As we got close to the door, HJ started crying because he was so cold and wet. I had my hands full of coats and purses, and was wearing short sleeves in work-out capris. I wanted to start crying too.
We made it to the car after the treacherous walk of shame and just sat in the car for a minute. At this point, I thought for sure I was going to lose it. Instead, I looked at my vomit covered child in the back seat and started laughing. I thought of the poor people who just witnessed that. They were waiting in line for their dinner, and end up witnessing a scene from the Sandlot. They had to watch the whole thing unfold, while I think my body went into some sort of shock. The poor worker who had to help me clean! I mean, how did they decide who had to come out from behind the counter?
So laughing is what I went with. My child and I laughed on the way home and jumped in the shower immediately. I had to wash our coats and clothes about 3 times before they looked clean. It took me an hour to clean my purse. HJ’s shoes are still drying and may never look the same. Also, I am terrified to bring him shopping with me. And I might be banned from Hy-Vee.
And HJ immediately asked for chicken nuggets.
*And yes, I completely caught whatever bug he had and am currently being a big, sick baby.
I think it’s safe to say I will always remember this Valentine’s Day. XOXO.