Yesterday my almost 10-year-old tried to convince me that he couldn’t possibly make his school reading goal if I continued my unreasonable requirement that he bathe regularly.
We finally had to tell him that bathing was one of his chores, and if he didn’t do it, he would not get his allowance.
As is often the case, once I got him in the tub, I couldn’t get him out.
Exhausted and ready for some grown-up time, I trudged back and forth between the boys’ bedroom and the bathroom, hollering at my kids to finish their bedtime tasks.
Eventually I gave up and flopped down on the bedroom floor where my youngest cuddled our dog with the dedication of an alligator wrestler. Chunky squeezed Willie, making comments like, “Her heart is beating really fast. I think she might be sick. I can hear something in her chest.”
I ignored my little wannabe vet until I heard it. The unmistakable rolling heave of a dog about to hurl. I jumped up, yelling for Kory to call the dog and get her outside. When he didn’t respond, Chunky and I ran down the stairs, urging Willie to follow. We raced for the back door.
She stopped in the kitchen and hunched.
“No!” I screamed and flung the door open. She made it to the rug in front of the door and let loose.
At this point, Chunky was beside himself with excitement, squealing, “Willie barfed! Willie barfed! Willie barfed!”
Monkey, wrapped in a towel and dripping, showed up to inspect the vomit.
Grumbling, I retrieved paper towels and carpet cleaner—really she had to get the carpet, not the deck or even the wood floor. I returned to my defiled doormat to find my boys standing over the dog puke, my youngest giving a blow-by-blow account of the incident.
“And then she put her ears down. And then it sounded like she was coughing. And then her tail did this.” (He demonstrated tail tucking with his hand.) “And then she puked! And I see her dog food and the carrots from dinner in it.”
I got that mess cleaned up and almost had the boys in bed when Willie lost it again on the stairs. This time Kory got the honor of cleaning it up but not before the boys tumbled out of their room to gawk at the spectacle.
After devotions I noticed Chunky was pale. He huddled on his bed, whimpering. “Mommy, I don’t feel so good. I think it’s because of Willie’s barf.”
“Stop thinking about it,” I told him.
“I’m trying to, but I can’t.”
“Maybe next time you shouldn’t describe it to your brother in such detail.”
I got him calmed down and put a Phinneas and Ferb CD on to distract him, but all the while I was thinking, “This kid’s gonna make a great writer someday!”
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