I think it's pretty obvious that I adore my son. He's sweet, well-mannered, blows me away with his brilliance on a daily basis, and I find him to be quite cute. (Granted, he's mine, but whatever.) And he's had a big week, what with his starting school and all.
There is, however, one thing that he’s been doing lately that--while I feel bad for him--sort of makes me want to run as far away from him as possible, ideally to some tropical island with my husband, fruity, rum-heavy drink in hand. T has started—um, how do I put this delicately? Hurling all over the damn car every time we're in it for more than five minutes. It happened for the first time a few days ago; we were all driving along, and he asked me to open his window. As I was attempting to do so, I heard the unmistakable sound of someone gearing up to barf. "NOOOOO!" I shouted, all slo mo-like, as I quickly grabbed a plastic shopping bag that lay at my feet and miraculously managed to get it under his chin just in time.
I caught it all…and then proceeded to drop the bag on the floor. If there is anything worse than a small child barfing all over himself, it's A BAG OF SAID BARF SPLATTERING ALL OVER THE INTERIOR OF YOUR CAR.
I made sure that T was okay—and he was; it was really just carsickness—but the odor rapidly became unbearable, to the point that J and I were driving along with our heads hanging out the window, not unlike golden retrievers, gasping desperately for fresh air. Truly, we are kind and compassionate parents.
We stripped T down, threw his clothes in the barf-coated bag, and attempted to do what we could to get rid of The Odor Situation in the backseat. We were scrubbing like there was no tomorrow, but it was clearly beyond our limited capacity. This was no ordinary barf; it laughed heartily at our weak organic cleaning products, scoffed at the air freshener we borrowed, and gave the finger when we brought in the twin big guns of Shout and Zout.
We were clearly in need of an exorcism. Failing to find an old priest and a young priest willing to tackle the job, we drove around in search of some industrial-strength cleanser to work its magic on our car’s interior.
We wound up at a sketchy store selling sundry car accessories, and began rifling through our options. And although we didn’t need one per se, I felt compelled to buy one of these babies. You know because who doesn’t want an imitation car phone antenna?
J talked me out of it, as there was serious business to attend to, and we cracked down in hopes of finding something to fix the awful stench in the car. We sniffed all manner of scented merchandise in the store, trying to find something less offensive-smelling than toddler barf. (And you might think that’s simple enough, but have you smelled car air fresheners lately? NASTY.) Easier said than done, my friends. I’m fairly certain the people behind the counter thought we were high on a very potent drug cocktail as we made our way through the scented beads, fringed, floral-scented crosses, and pine tree-shaped deodorizers, sniffing thoughtfully before proffering our analyses of the product in hand. Just like at a wine tasting, except: (a) no wine, (b) you're continually finding yourself woozy from the chemicals; and (c) I'm fairly certain no one at a wine tasting compares its bouquet to "a funeral home, mixed with the perfume of an old, diseased whore." So, um, not like a wine tasting at all.
We were losing faith, but then I found it--the Wall of Awesome. “J!” I shrieked happily, “Come quickly! Look at this! Super Sheets! You stick them under the seat and they emit a ‘pleasant, subtle aroma’ throughout the car! If we stick them by the back seat, aka, the scene of the crime, it will totally get rid of the smell!”
Unfortunately, “pleasant, subtle aroma” is code for “Yeah, all of the Super Sheets smell just as shitty as the rest of the products here.”
Except for one of them.
I had been going down the line, and was pretty much gagging at the overpoweringly-fruity scent they all seemed to possess, when one caught my—nose? It actually smelled pretty good, and I was pleasantly surprised. I looked down to see the name of my future purchase.
I was at a crossroads—did I become the person who bought a car deodorizer named Sex Forever--complete with intertwined male/female symbols, mind you-- or did I sack up and just pay for a carwash?
We got the carwash.
It wasn’t cheap, but it definitely made the horrifying stench dissipate somewhat, and we breathed a collective sigh of relief. We had survived. It was over.
And then came yesterday.
I had plans to take the kids to visit my family in NJ, and to get a haircut. It was the first time in a while that I’ve been doted upon in a salon, so I was feeling relaxed, carefree, and quite happy that I’d gotten a new, fresh style.
After arriving back home, I packed up the kids and we left for NJ. I’ll admit it, I was doing that thing that everyone does after getting a haircut, swinging my hair to and fro, admiring it in every reflective surface…I was feeling good.
Let me tell you, though, nothing will bring you down faster from your new haircut high than a toddler getting carsick. Again. This time, there was no one else in the car to play Barf Catcher, and this time, it seeped into the foam lining of his carseat. Lovely!
Have you ever tried to operate a motor vehicle in which someone just became violently ill? While driving in the pouring rain, so you can’t really open the windows? And manage to avoid throwing up yourself? Suck it, Michael Phelps! I DESERVE EIGHT GOLD MEDALS FOR THAT SHIT. (I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it, Michael! Come over to my place and fetch me things from high shelves! Preferably in that half-wetsuit thing!)
Yes, truly there is no faster way to go from this:
"I'm so happy! And serene! Hooray, new haircut! Tra la laaaaa!"
To this lovely shot of me elbow-deep in the cleanup process...Gaze upon my ethereal beauty, people, and just try to restrain yourselves:
Once again, I did what I could (J is away on business, and missed the second barf explosion. HOW LUCKY AND CONVENIENT FOR HIM.), but still, we are faced with a formidable task before us. And so, I leave you with a song. A song of cars, a song of despair, and above all...barf.
(To the tune of "My Sharona")
Ooh, my car is reekin’ now, it’s reekin now;
What’s gonna knock out this barf aroma?
Ooh, it makes me wanna hurl, wanna hurl.
Truly can’t handle this barf aroma!
Never gonna win, give it up,
Such a smelly car. Should be cleaning up with a touch
of ammonia. My my my i yi WOOOO. B-b-b-barf aroma!...