Motherhood Summed Up in One Story

The last few weeks have been packed full–spring programs at preschool, sick visits to the doctor, tee-ball practice, birthday parties and holidays–the norm once the warm weather hits. In the midst of all the running, I cut out the trips to the gym. The gym would still be there after all the programs were over, so I would start back into a regular routine after spring break.

Monday was my first day back, and I strangely enjoyed the soreness and stiff muscles that accompanied me on my Tuesday consisting of a parent-teacher conference and excessively long oil change. Wednesday I would visit the gym again.

In the meantime, I finished out my Tuesday with Matt on the couch. We were both drained after a busy day and decided to numb our minds with a little tv before dragging ourselves up the stairs to bed. We had a little company, though. Chloe complained of a tummy ache, so we let her lie down on the couch next to us. Of course she didn’t fall asleep as we had hoped; the thrill of getting her way kept her up and excited, but the intermittent cries over her tummy were enough for me to pull a wastebasket near.

I had passed the last 30 minutes or so half-listening to the tv while trying to achieve something impressive in my games of ‘Words with Friends.’ Matt and I gave each other the look that said it was time to get off our butts and call it a night, so we each promptly moved an inch and settled into a new position on the couch. Chloe also fought the idea of moving upstairs and crawled into my lap.

Of course she would have crawled into my lap before it happened.

I heard the groan but didn’t realize what was happening until it was too late. And then I felt what was happening–all over my arm, all over my shirt, all over my pants. I couldn’t concern myself with me, though; that’s what the husband sitting next to me was for. Instead, I rubbed Chloe’s back, trying to calm her, while I waited for Matt to help me move her to the trashcan.

“It’s okay, baby,” I offered in my most soothing voice. I tried to move Chloe away, but I was in an awkward position and dripping with vomit. I did my best to not drip on any undisturbed part of the couch or carpet and thought how much easier this task would be if Matt just lifted Chloe for me.

Surely, Matt would intervene before the second upheaval. Surely he would help me turn her around. Surely.

Unless, of course, my husband was completely unaware that his daughter was throwing up all over his wife because he was checking his Tweets.

As the second upheaval was happening, I turned to see Matt holding his phone in front of his face, not even offering a glance in our direction.

“Seriously?!?!?!” I yelled at him.

Just like that, the Twitter trance was broken.

“She’s throwing up all over the place! How do you not notice?!”

Matt had already scrambled to get paper towels. I wiped the face of Chloe who was still screaming and then grabbed a towel from Matt to clean my wet arm. I decided it would be easiest for the two of us to strip down to our underwear and throw our clothes straight into the washing machine.

As I was delicately lifting the vomit-covered shirts over our heads, I heard a gag sound coming from the couch. I looked over to see my husband cleaning up with a paper towel.

“Matt!” I called out in a tone that spoke ‘you better surpress all gags from here on out since I am the one wearing the throw-up.’

“I know,” he answered, knowing exactly what the tone meant.

I couldn’t really be mad, though. After all, he was cleaning up vomit.

We all made our way upstairs after the evidence of the night was cleaned away, and I washed and dressed Chloe. I took a shower, and then I made my way to bed where Matt and Chloe had already found sleep. I snuggled in next to my baby knowing that, once again, I would delay getting back into a routine at the gym.

I couldn’t help but laugh to myself at the life of a mother. We get to wear the brunt of the throw-up and  have to change our plans daily while, many times, our husbands are clueless as to the chaos of our everyday.

The next morning, I let Chloe sleep and wrapped her warm body in a blanket when it was time to take the other two to school. We spent the first part of the day snuggling as we listened to Elmo’s laughs and Strawberry Shortcake’s retelling of Cinderella, and we gave each other lots of hugs and kisses. And I had to admit, vomit aside, this morning ended up being much better than any day at the gym.


How would you sum up motherhood? Dads, how would you describe being a father?

13 thoughts on “Motherhood Summed Up in One Story

  1. totally off the subject – but do all kids have those blankets with the frilly edges? All three of mine do and I know several kids that have them too!


    1. My mom gave each kid a blanket for Christmas. It sounds like a craft that I could actually tackle (but, of course, I haven't!).


    1. Completely agree, Kendal. Really, sacrifice is the summation of any relationship based on love. I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I don't sacrifice graciously, but there are other times (like today when I got to cuddle with Chloe) when sacrifice seems rather beautiful.


  2. Despite the vomit dripping from you and the clueless husband (sorry Matt, but you really couldn't hear the gurgling of someone throwing up next to you?), you do what you can to make sure your little one is comforted in the midst of illness. I do hope little miss Chloe feels better. 🙂 I also hope you don't catch the stomach bug!


    1. Thanks, Jessica! Around the afternoon, she started jumping on the couch. I knew then that all was well. 🙂


  3. This reminds me of a picture I saw in another blog today. It was supposed to be a family picture with one of those automatic cameras with the timer. So in the picture, which the timer took in perfect time, you see dad and older sister smiling at the camera. Mom, with toddler on her lap, looking horrified as out of toddler's mouth is coming a stream of yellow liquid spilling all over her leg. It's a pretty funny one.
    Anyway, you get the brunt of the vomit..AND…you get to snuggle with sick little girl on the couch all day. Sweet trade, right? I hate to see my kids sick but I like the chance to stop for a morning, and make it all about them.


    1. Oh, Gaby, that is so hilarious and GROSS! Poor baby and mommy! It was a sweet trade. I don't like seeing my kids sick, either, but it is nice to have a calm kid who just wants to snuggle. 🙂


  4. Look Jen! It could have been worse. Stop complaining; she could have had a case of diarrhea along with the vomiting and Matt could have been out of town.. And how I would describe me as a Father??? Hey, I watched you and Lisa as well as Oscar vomit on your Mom many times and never gagged.



  5. NOW I see where you get that wicked sense of ironic humor. Great stuff, Dad. And great stuff, Jennifer. We had a designated 'barf bowl' in our house and it was kept nearby whenever the slightest twinge of tummy problems showed up. And I loved the moving your butts an inch line…yeah, that's me. Time to move….but only a very little bit. Sorry about the messy stuff-glad for the morning cuddles.


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