I am no stranger to gross things. I grew up on a dairy farm where I waded through cow excrement in my rubber boots on a daily basis on my quest to deliver hay and grain to hungry cattle and round up cows for milking. I got peed on, pooped on, chewed on, and helped pull stubborn calves that were less than anxious to be born. We used to play baseball with chunks of dry cow poop and sticks, and I distinctly remember being knocked off of my bicycle when my brother threw what he thought was dry cow poop that turned out to only be partially dry, as I found out when the wet part made contact with the side of my face. (in retrospect, that was an impressive shot from about 30 yards away)
My farming days came to an end when I moved away to college, and then got married and became a mother. I've been a mother for 12 years and 9 days now, and I thought I had pretty much seen all of the grossness that motherhood x5 has to offer. I've dealt with every kind of vomit, poop, and stomach spill mess imaginable, or so I thought. Piper is trying to increase my realm of experience in those areas, and she's doing a pretty good job of it this week. Either that or she's trying to convince me that she is a puppy.
Monday afternoon, I was babysitting for a friend and Piper was in the high chair gnawing on some Tostitos (the rolled kind) after having finished a bottle and a container of baby food. I went to answer the door when my friend came back to pick up her kids and when we walked into the house toward the kitchen, Piper started to gag on a piece of chip. Then she vomited. And vomited. And vomited. She emptied her stomach onto the high chair tray. Then she started playing in it. I helped my friend round up her kids and was going to take Piper to the shower as soon as they left, but I didn't want to take the high chair tray off until I was ready to take her to the shower, so she continued to splash and smear it around with her hands. She styled her hair with it, which I've seen my kids do before so that was no big deal, but I had to draw the line at having her pick up pieces of the tortilla chip that she had thrown up and eat them again. That was gross along the same lines as some of the things our farm dogs used to eat.
Last night, she decided to push the envelope of grossness again. Her favorite things to play with these days are the tubing from my breast pump and everything related to Raya's feeding pump. She has also recently developed a love for getting dressed, which she defines as putting something on top of her head and pulling it down so it ends up around the back of her neck. I was in the middle of cooking dinner last night and heard the kids say, "Mommy, Piper pulled out Raya's balloon!" You know you're a seasoned tubie momma when your knee-jerk response to that statement is, "Raya, you'd better not leak on the carpet! Clamp the tube and lay down!"
I walked past the girls on my way to get the syringe and KY jelly from the emergency supply basket. Piper was happily playing with the pump tubing while Raya's AMT Mini One, balloon fully inflated and still attached to the extension tube, flopped around on the floor like a freshly hooked trout.
As I turned to walk back to the living room, I looked up and saw Piper holding the G tube in her hand with a contemplative look on her face. I knew exactly what she was thinking. There may as well have been a marquee sign above her head. If there had been, it would have said, "Mommy, I'm going to put this in my mouth and you're too far away to stop me!" And she would have been right. I couldn't get around the kitchen table fast enough to stop her from popping the shiny, squishy, still inflated G tube balloon right into her mouth.
She took it back out as fast as she had put it in. My only regret is that I was not quick enough with the camera to get a picture of the yuck face she made. I am all too well-acquainted with the powerful, permeating smell of formula mixed with Raya's gastric juices, and I can only imagine how awful that must have tasted. But gosh if it wasn't funny to watch.
|(I got a new phone and the camera stinks. She's too fast for it.)|
Piper was still trying to help by diving for the medicine cup. I imagine she wanted to dump out the last 3mls of water that Raya hadn't spilled yet. I got enough out of the cup to fill the balloon and then handed her the cup so I could get on with the tube replacement.