Throw Up Happens!

My daughter Fiona is doing this high pitched screaming, whining, I really don’t know what to call it. She does it when she wants something, especially things I take away from her, things she can’t have. She does it when she’s tired and when she can’t find Tiger. It’s driving me crazy. Last night at dinner, I screamed at the top of my lungs in response. I traumatized my son.

I head up to Petaluma to see good Friends Bettina and her twins, Willa and Eliza. We are so excited to see them. Bettina and I walk the babies’ downtown intending on getting lunch. Fiona is whining the whole way. “Maybe she pooped?” I say. “Or probably just tired and I forgot to bring Tiger.” It’s really hot outside today. We get downtown, right in front of the restaurant we are going to eat at, I peer in to see if it’s busy and out of nowhere Fiona pukes, a lot of puke. It’s all over her stroller seat, shirt, pants. I’m on the sidewalk, “What can I get you?” Bettina keeps asking me. “Um, um, A plastic bag?” I say. I’m in shock and I’m letting my mind adapt to the situation, I’m waiting for the “Clean up baby throw up sidewalk hot as hell situation” brain function to kick in. I start by taking off her throw up top, pants, diaper. I have a naked Fiona standing on the sidewalk in downtown Petaluma. I scoop the thick chunky throw up off the stroller seat with her pants and top. I pour water on the stroller seat to try to get the throw up that’s stuck in the buckles loosened up. I put a clean diaper on Fiona and stuff all the dirty clothes, diapers, paper towels in one plastic bag, I’ll sort it when I get home. We decide to head back, skip lunch, and just in case Fiona has the flu, stay 5 feet apart on the walk home.

I go down to get Fiona out of the car, she fell asleep on the way home. Jack is “Loose” upstairs, the gates are open. I get my little girl and as I’m walking back upstairs I hear glass hitting the floor. “Oh Shit Jack, what did you do?” I hurry back upstairs with Fiona and see he’s taken the microwave tray out and it’s shattered. Broken glass everywhere. I pick him up and put him in the play area, both babies keep trying to get into the kitchen to where the broken glass is. I have to keep grabbing Jack and Fiona with one hand and put together the gates with the other hand. Oh my Gosh! I decide I’ll try to put them down for a nap, or at least put the babies in their play and packs so I can clean up the glass. Maybe have a moment to myself. I think they are going to sleep so I turn on my new guilty pleasure, “Married at First Sight.” I get a glass of ice water. The babies are babbling to each other, laughing, then they get restless, no nap. I bring them out with me and I finish watching “Married at First Sight” anyhow! How much harm could it really be?


I’m on my walk with the babies and Billy. I run into my neighbor. I like her a lot she’s really cool, I met her years ago, we walk our dogs on the same trail. We catch up when we see each other, she’s privy to all my tragedies’, losses, and triumphs over the past 7 years. I’m pretty sure she knows we used a gestational carrier, but I’m not 100% sure. I thought she knew about Fiona’s hearing loss but she didn’t.  I’m telling her about how Fiona threw up today, “Do you think it was motion sickness?” I ask. “Yes, My son had motion sickness until he was (I think she said 16 but it could have been 6).” I tell her that I suffer from motion sickness myself. “I think it’s hard wired.” She says. “She got it from you.” I’m just listening to this, as I always do. She goes on with how Fiona has my eyes. Everyone says that. Fiona does have the same exact color eyes as mine. She also reminds me of my mom a lot. But there is no genetic relationship between my children and I. Do I explain this to my neighbor? This time, no. Not because I feel ashamed or embarrassed, but because she’s delighted in this conversation. She’s enjoying this and I like her so much I feel like at this point I would need to sit down with her and really explain the situation. I wouldn’t want her to feel bad.

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist