Let’s be honest, you’re not an official member of the Parent Club until you’ve cleaned up your kid’s puke in the back of the car, and lived to tell the tale.
Okay, so that might not be entirely true — you also get major street cred after your first truly insane diaper blowout. But a car seat barfing is like a parental right of passage. And gross as it may be, it does make this whole parenting gig a whole lot more interesting. It tests your willpower (and your gag reflex) in a way you probably never imagined possible; and once you’ve made it out on the other side in one piece, you’ll realize that you’re all the more stronger for it.
I was reminded of my own first vomit-in-the-back-of-the-car story while scrolling through Facebook the other night and coming across a post from a newbie dad whose own hilarious tale is now going viral. But let me tell you: It blows all others out of the water.
On Friday, Ben Patterson took to Facebook to share a series of hysterical texts that he sent to his wife shortly after their toddler threw up epically in his car seat. But that’s not even the worst of it. The rest of the story has the Internet laughing with (okay, and feeling sorry for) the dad at the same time.
As Patterson explains in his post, it all began when he switched cars with his wife because she wanted a night out with friends. Just as he was heading home, their son suddenly barfed on himself and his car seat — which in turn led Patterson to feel a little, well, nauseous.
He sent a photo of his son to his wife, along with the following series of texts:
“So this just happened,” wrote Patterson, before adding, “I just pulled over and am trying not to throw up myself.”
It seems things went downhill real quick after that.
“Call me,” he writes. “I just threw up trying to clean him up. It smells SO BAD.”
And the story only gets more entertaining — though Patterson kept firing off his texts with no response from his wife. Apparently, he doesn’t take the smell of vomit very well. So he didn’t just throw up a little. He full-on had his own vomit-fest. In front of someone’s yard.
“I’m standing on the side of the road dry heaving,” he continues, desperately. “I can’t even be in the car its so awful. I seriously don’t know what to do, I’m barfing every time I try to clean him up.”
Oof. Poor Dad. But unfortunately, things are about to get much, much worse.
“I’m puking on some lady’s lawn in Burlingame and she comes out to ask me if I’m drunk while driving the kids,” he says, apparently texting the play-by-play in real time. “I’m trying to explain that I’m a sympathetic vomiter and can’t handle the smell. This is so bad.”
“How can this get any worse?” you say? Oh just you wait.
“Aaaaand now the cops showed up,” he continues. “Aaaaand now a breathalyzer. YOU OWE ME SO BIG.”
Yikes! Still no answer from his wife, at this point — but the dad continues to update her anyway.
“Meanwhile Declan continues to barf,” Patterson texts. “WHAT DID HE EAT BECAUSE IT SMELLS LIKE ROTTING WHALE BLUBBER. ANSWER YOUR PHONE!!!!! At least I passed the breathalyzer. Trying to drive home with the windows down and breathing through my shirt.”
I laugh every time I read the story, only because it’s a moment that all parents can so relate to, in all its graphic detail. Of course, I’ve never been given a breathalyzer for puking in someone’s yard; but we all have those “only-in-my-parenting-world-could-this-ever-happen” stories. And if you haven’t had yours yet, consider yourself forewarned: Your time is coming very, very soon.