Parenting tales not told in books.

Captain’s Log. Diaper Date 2366. Daddy Chronicles.
What had once been an uneventful flu season came to a crashing halt this morning around 2 am. The boy puked.

He was smart though. I must give him credit. To begin the tale he requested that the Captain take him downstairs to the Captain’s chair and rock.

And so we sat and rocked in the dark.

I thought he was nearing sleep, his eyes looked heavy (as much as they could in the dark) and his breathing was rhythmic.

And then he asked for water.

I got up to get him water, bleary eyed myself, and he insisted in following me. “I get water, Daddy. I get water.”

What happened as I got the water was not for the tame of heart.

The boy looked at me and booted. Vomited. Puked. Earled. Threw cookies. Emptied his stomach.

I watched in horror as the homemade pizza stated at me, splattered across the cold, unforgiving floor, and draping onto the crevices of the baby gate leaning on the kitchen wall.

The boy looked at me and said the best thing he could muster, “Yuck, daddy. Yuck.”

His disgust reviled my own. I retrieved my cell phone and called Mrs. Captain (we are that type of couple – we call each other when we are in the same house); the boy would need new clothes, at least a wipe down, and maybe some counseling.

To add insult to injury a cat puked – I swear on purpose.

I cleaned the puke, Mrs. Captain cleaned the boy and then left us to watch Paw Patrol. I could have used Rider’s help, but alas he is merely a cartoon.

Nearly two hours pass as my consciousness fades in and out. I finally get the boy in my lap so that I can sneak an hour or two of slumber.

The boy looks at me with the eyes of a grateful and happy child and pukes in my lap.

Fortunately, he saves the chair. So I strip him down to his diaper. I strip down to my underwear (sorry for the image), and climb the stairs to fetch new clothes.

I return with new pajamas for us both and figure it would be selfish for me to cloth myself before the child in the cold living room.

And that’s when I realize that he had had a bout of diarrhea in my absence and it has leaked on to the blanket under him.

So then I find myself, in my underwear, on all fours changing a diaper and cleaning the blanket. And it hits me – the only difference (a big difference) between me and one of those drug sweatshop workers (that you see in movies) is that they are dealing with drugs and I diarrhea. We are both working under duress in our underwear. There are many other differences too, but it is 4 am and I can’t list them right now.

These are the things you think of with no sleep at 4 am with your second round of pajamas draped on the back of the chair that your son almost desecrated with the residue of regurgitation of the homemade pizza that you made. For him. With love.

And then I realize that once again, within hours of each other I am going to have to clean up puke and write sub plans. That ain’t fair.

These are the moments that people don’t discuss when they say children change your life forever.

And despite the puke and poop, it is definitely worth it all. And there are a million reasons why, but I’m tired, and it is 4 am.

May your day be puke and diarrhea free. May your bleach be plentiful and your paper towels on standby.

I share this tale not as a cautionary one, but as G.I. Joe used to say in my youth, “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”

All I can smell is an unholy mixture of puke, diarrhea, and bleach. On that note, I take my leave and will exit stage right.

Have a great day. For now….
Captain out.

Read more of The Captain at Balcony Dads!

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