Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Amen! Err... Bleghhh!

We got to the church on time, but we didn't stay to long last Sunday....

Well, my wife and I should have realized something was up. Our six year old daughter seemed to be a bit too lethargic in hindsight. And she had been to the bathroom three times before we left the house that morning. Usually it's a struggle to get the kids to go to the bathroom at all! Why is that, by the way? You can see them there crossing their legs, hopping from foot to foot.... "Do you need to go potty?" we ask. "No, no! I'm fine," they say. A couple minutes later they're making a beeline for the toilet. We're parents! We know these things, darn it! Anyway, back to the story at hand....

We arrived a few minutes early for Mass. We usually sit in a front pew, but thought we should sit closer to the back this time (just in case our daughter needed the potty again - we did notice that much). Our daughter wanted to sit on my wife's lap (not particularly unusual), which she did. A few minutes later, after the service had started, she kind of burped and cupped her hands to her mouth. I looked over at her just in time to see her throw up all over my wife. She barely had time to take a breath when another convulsion hit her and she spewed again (and again all over my wife).

A well-meaning lady sitting behind us offered my wife a totally inadequate little tissue as our daughter upchucked a third time. I jumped up and ran out to the lobby, grabbed one of the ushers and told him our daughter was sick and that I needed something to clean up the mess... quickly! He seemed to be at a bit of a loss, glanced around a moment then hurried off to the basement. I ran to the bathroom just across the hall and grabbed a fistful of paper towels.

By the time I made it back to the pew our daughter had that tired, sick-but-I'm-feeling-better-now-that-the-contents-of-my-stomach-are-on-the-floor look. My wife was completely covered in puke. I started to mop up the mess the best I could while she took our daughter out to the bathroom, clutching her to her chest as much to keep the mess from dripping to the floor as to comfort our little girl. Our son followed them out.

The usher returned with a roll of paper towels and a plastic bag (good thinking there, as I needed a place to dispose of the steaming, stinking mess of soggy paper towels). Fortunately our church has a concrete floor which made cleanup a little easier than if it had been carpeted. Unfortunately, the floor slants down towards the front row of pews. As the service continued on around us, the guy in front of me leaned over and asked for some of the towels. The vomit was running down under his pew now as well. Apologizing profusely, I handed him a bunch, and the plastic bag.

Eventually I had cleaned up everything I could. I gave the leftover towels to the usher, along with the bag, which he held at arms length all the way to the trash can. I thought my family would still be in the restroom, but it was empty. I figured they had gone back to the van, so I grabbed my coat and hat and made for the parking lot.

They were indeed in the van - with the heat turned up full blast since it was about 20 degrees outside. My wife had removed our daughter pants. Modesty prevented her from removing her own which were completely plastered, along with her shirt and sweater. The heat in the van was not helping the smell factor either, if you know what I mean. As I got in and pulled out of the lot to head home, I thought about unrolling my window despite the chill it would cause. "Just hurry!" my wife said quietly. She was really uncomfortable in her soaked clothes (even her shoes squished when she walked).

Anyway, our daughter seemed much improved yesterday. No fever. No more running to the bathroom. No more throwing up. She was up and about, and her usual playful self. I guess she got it out of her system, whatever bug it was (and left it on the floor of the church... or maybe my wife's lap).


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