When your kid embarrasses you in public.
I’m gonna warn you, if you have a tender tummy, I would stop reading. Fair warning.
Each year Max and I go on a date to see the local performance of The Nutcracker. He sees it with his classmates as a field trip, but he and I always go together. I love seeing the kids I teach perform doing something they love. They are so ridiculously talented.
This year Phoebe caught wind of us going and wanted to go with us.
That did not surprise me considering I can’t even go to the bathroom without her wanting to tag along.
She’s like a ninja.
I’m sneaking out the garage door, death grip on my car keys so they won’t jingle and there she’ll pop up out of nowhere.
“Hey mommie! Where you going?!”
“Oh! I wanna come! Can I come?!”
I thought it’d be fun for her to go. Max was okay with her crashing our date, so, along came Phoebe.
We get to the auditorium and settle in to a packed house.
The lights dim and the announcer comes over the speakers asking us to please refrain from flash photography and to silence our cell phones.
We were ready.
Phoebe sat excitedly on my lap and her eyes were wide with wonder as each group of dancers made the stage.
Now. Taking Phoebe to the ballet, I have learned, is a lot like taking my 70 year old dad to the movies. The last movie we saw with him was in a packed theater to see the Titanic in where he, equipped with a jumbo tub of popcorn, loudly throughout the movie…
“JOO SEE THAT?!”
“I CAIN’T BLEEVE HE DID THAT.”
Phoebe, leaning back, but just as loudly…
“MOMMY. WHO’S THE GIRL IN THE GREEN DRESS?”
“IS THAT HALEY FROM THE MIDDLE SCHOOL?”
“I DIDN’T KNOW HER BODY COULD DO THAT!!!”
With the exception of her being squirmy, she loved it.
Intermission came and went and soon the lights again dimmed.
Phoebe took to her own seat with her eyes fixed on the stage.
If I’d only knew what was in store…
Soon Phoebe’s little face was standing before me…
The events that ensued in the next few seconds were straight out of a horror movie. I thought for sure that someone had us on sloooooooowwwww mooooottttiiionnnnn.
I couldn’t stop it.
There was no where to hide.
Max jumped shock and awe of the amount of fluid that was coming from her mouth onto my dress, my purse, the floor, the aisle, the wall…projectile.
Out of the corner of my eye I see the teenager behind us recoil in absolute terror.
I. have. never.
In the 14 years I have been teaching and the hundreds of kids I have dealt with, I have never seen so much vomit.
Meanwhile, Chocolate from Spain was continuing on the stage.
We naturally were about 10 rows from the front, about 10 rows from the back and as my adrenaline was coursing, I couldn’t decide where to go. Max paced the aisle mumbling “Oh my gosh, Phoebe puked. In the Nutcracker. Oh my gosh, Phoebe puked.” The mother of the friend he brought flowers for was to his left and was frozen in confusion. Meanwhile I’m offering my purse as a bucket and leading her out of the auditorium.
We get to the hallway.
We get to the lobby and soon I see shock and sympathy on the surrounding faces, I look down at my dress.
Oh. My dress.
I look like I just came from a crime scene. From my chest to the floor and the entire width of the front is nothing but vomit. We run to the bathroom and short of me taking the thing off I just had to deal with it.
Phoebe at this point was done puking so we decide to wash her hands. The door flew open and in rushed Reagan’s 2nd grade teacher. We locked eyes. Mine said, “Oh my gosh. Please.” as hers answered, “Of course.”
There were no paper towels or mop for that matter…because mopping the floor wouldn’t have been inconspicuous AT ALL.
“Don’t mind me Clara and Sugarplums! YOU’RE DOING GREAT!!”
I meet Max back in the lobby and his face shows me that he’s on the downside of a panic attack. I apologize to him as someone hands me a huge stack of concession stand napkins. A wave of panic rushes over me as I realize, “Oh dear God. I have to go back in there and clean it up.”
And for the sake of NOT setting off a chain reaction puke fest…I did.
As quietly as possible I snuck back in and on my hands and knees I cleaned it all up. Under my breath, I’m apologizing to everyone, thinking, ‘hey well at least my dress can’t get any worse, right?’
On the way home Max said, “Mom, what about the flowers? I can’t give them to her now.” I assured him I’d figure something out.
Here are some other things I figured out.
1–Maxi pads are not effective in the soaking up of diarrhea. Oh yeah, diarrhea came later.
2–I’m SO thankful she wasn’t still on my lap or the blood bath would have been on the unsuspecting soul in front of us.
3–I’ll never take for granted my kids’ health. I’m SO thankful my kids are healthy. Parents of chronically ill children. Dear God. I love you.
4–Reagan will make an amazing husband one day. His self appointment of hair holder and mouth wiper was as tender as Christ washing the feet of the disciples.
5–While unfortunate the timing, everyone vomits.
Who cares anyway.
God is still good.
I’m a book-shelving, former tap dancer, wanna be writer, singer,
and banjo player, mother of 4, wife of 1, follower of Christ,
walking in the shadow of the Proverbs 31 woman
and redeemed by the grace and love of an Almighty God…
just living the dream.