5. New Friends
A few years ago, our family was invited to dinner at the home of some friends we'd recently met. Their house was large, immaculate, and had white carpeting throughout. We had a very nice evening, with the kids happily watching a movie and the adults enjoying a meal in the dining room without interruption, until after dessert, when my son wandered into the study and deposited the entire contents of his stomach, which included pizza, ice cream and several juice boxes, in the middle of the floor. After my husband and I cleaned up the bulk of it, our hostess demonstrated the powers of her excellent spot-cleaning machine from Sharper Image, and generally, she and her husband couldn't have been lovelier about it. Still, the incident pretty much killed the evening for us, and we left with our heads hanging low. Amazingly, we have been invited back several times.
4. Swimming Lessons
The summer he was three, Will took a one-week session of swimming lessons at a local pool. He yakked in the pool 3 of the 5 sessions, causing it to be evacuated each times.
One day the year Will was in kindergarten, I arrived at school to work in his classroom to see that the mouth and lips of every child in his class were stained toilet-bowl blue. Their sheepish teacher, who earlier that week had sent home a notice asking parent to please pack healthier snacks for their students, explained that a little girl in the class had brought cupcakes with bright blue frosting to celebrate her birthday that day. When school was over, I took Will home and fed him lunch. Within an hour, he turned a little pale and, before I could get him to the bathroom, sprayed blue chunks all over the family room rug. He continued to barf blue on and off for the rest of the afternoon.
2. Two in One Day
A few years ago, we stayed overnight in San Francisco, and the next morning, we went to breakfast at a recommended place, Sears Fine Food, near our hotel. Will enjoyed something in the pancake/waffle family of breakfast foods, perhaps a little too quickly, and when his sister got up to use the restroom, he took advantage of the situation by turning his head and hurling his breakfast on the seat she'd just left vacant. A harried waitress helped us clean up the smelly mess and was rewarded with a tip equal to the amount of our bill. We spent a fun day at the Exploratorium and stopped for lunch at a chain restaurant on our drive home. As we were getting ready to go, Will got that look on his face and my husband was able to get him to the restroom before he spewed, thus making this the day he managed to throw up at every restaurant we took him to.
1. Fake Crying
My daughter is a picky eater, and one night I made a new recipe I thought she would love, so I was surprised when she was resistant. "Take a bite of that and tell me you don't like it," I dared her. Well, you can probably guess what happened: the little stinker brought the tiniest morsel to her lips and declared "I don't like it." I burst into fake, dramatic sobs, which failed to impress my daughter. My toddler son, on the other hand, failed to grasp that I was only pretending, and burst into real tears. My husband and I tried to calm him down, but we weren't fast enough, and before we knew what was happening, he became so worked up that he horked all over the dinner table, drowning his dinner plate in its previous contents, only now in liquid form. Three times in quick succession, in fact, did he heave. We spent fifteen minutes cleaning up, after which our daughter returned to the table and ate every bite of the recipe I had earlier been so sure she would enjoy.