Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What did I just step in?

The number of times in the last week I’ve contacted nauseating bodily fluids has arrived at a non-comical level. You know, it’s cute a few times. Then after a while you laugh because it’s happened so often. Then it exceeds the humorous and borders on the ridiculous. Based on last week’s post, you know the weekend that was. Well it continued.

After we thought all was good, we loaded up in the car to get our Christmas tree. Ten minutes later, our firstborn was puking in the car’s trash can. (Yes we have a trash can in our car.) Great. Anyone else?

The next morning the mama wasn’t feeling well and had a bad day. Fortunately, she didn’t take any car trips which seem to cause the upchucking. Well I guess just the boys survived.

Errrr. Hold that. 72 hours later dad takes the three kids to the movies while mom’s at work. We get all the way to the credits when Jr. cries out in pain, “MY TUMMY REALLY, REALLY HURTS!” Really? GO! GO! GO! Both girls run for the exit. I pick up the little man and sprint for the parking lot. The poor guy is in serious pain. Fortunately no vomit. Unfortunately his virus manifested in another way. And for 48 hours, culminating in the foulest nighttime wake-up smell ever I’ve had many more opportunities to clean floors, toilets, carpet, you name it.
Of course last night’s pinnacle incident occurred 45 minutes after I had stupidly declared “Ahhh. The peace.” I should’ve known better. That Sunday night after the movie incident, and a day of cleaning cat and dog messes of various sorts the house was finally peaceful. I headed to the tv to watch the last quarter of Sunday Night Football. Two steps from the couch of solitude with diet coke & popcorn in hand…I stepped in it.
I didn’t even know which animal had done it. There’s evidence to convict either if not both. For 20 minutes I fumed and cursed the existence of animals and the presence of sin in the world. This morning I read from Isaiah 11 about the time when the “wolf will live with the lamb” and “the infant playing near the hole of the cobra.” Certainly at some point the insanity ends. I really hope this includes cleaning up the messes of those animals and any pets I may have.
But I keep telling myself that other people are having worse days and I know it’s true. It could be worse. I realize that for the unforeseen future I will be cleaning, wiping, scooping, and rinsing. But that this is part of the privilege of parenting. Inhale. Hold. Exhale. Thank you, God, for this day. Its highs and lows. The sun that rose and actually appeared in Seattle. For that full moon last night and your faithful presence as I clean, wipe, rinse, etc.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

41 - The Wildest Birthday of them All

Do you remember your 41st birthday? No, not 40 or 30 or 21. 41. I remember mine. It was last week. Betcha I remember it for decades to come too! You’re probably thinking. Hmmm, is 41 a magical Fraser birthday?  Do they do something weird in the Northwest for 41?  Nope.

My sweet wife booked a condo for the family near the ocean last weekend. A great way for the family to celebrate. Day one went great. We all drove up to Bellingham (very close to Canada) after another great Portage Bay Breakfast in Seattle (another entry someday). We explored Bellingham and Birch Bay (a tiny town even closer to the Canadian border), ate some more, and swam in the heated pool.

At 4pm on day two, Jana wakes up from a nap to the sound of a sheriff on a bullhorn. I was watching football so I hadn’t heard a thing. The sheriffs were calling for a man to come out of his condo – a mere 15 yards from ours. After an hour we decided to make the trek back to Bellingham for dinner. The three patrol cars were still there as were the sheriffs. We brought a couple extra items just in case, but were hopeful that whatever delinquent was being coaxed from his apartment would behave and walk downstairs.

As we left the condo, the kids kept asking what was happening. “The police came to arrest the man for not eating his vegetables” we told them. One rolled her eyes, one’s eyes lit up, and one’s eyes were glossed over (he didn’t understand my humor). But we were concerned enough to know that we may not be spending the night in our nice little getaway.

After departing the Olive Garden, child number two began coughing that distinctive cough. There really is no way to descibe it.  You just know it.  The one where you don’t have a cough but something else is seriously wrong. Then she made those moans in the car and began crying. Only one thing was the result – vomit! She’s never puked before, so it was a new experience for all. (Her older sister and all of our pets barf all the time, however.)

A 25 minute drive back to the…oh yeah, standoff. Oh, no. What if it’s still going on? Well. It was. Now the entire road was blocked off. What about my phone? Jana’s medicine? Fresh clothes for the puker? Oh well. Better than getting shot!

We said a quick prayer for the safety of the sheriffs and drove 25 minutes back to Bellingham to find a hotel. After checking in Mama headed for the room with three confused kids. Daddy put the towels and clothing with vomit onto the hood of the car to minimize the fermentation in the Toyota. I borrowed some Febreeze and wiped the seat down. Because it was 30 degrees outside, I knew everything would freeze – but who cares? At least it ain’t in the car!

Well, all was resolved in the morning. It's amazing what a solid four hours of sleep can do! Only one other puking wake-up and only a few hours of lost sleep. Apparently there had been a serious threat along with a gun. More sheriffs and patrol cars including an armored car. An arrest was made and no one was hurt. We showered, laundered, and cleaned. Then we drove two hours south in a smelly car (the Febreeze didn’t cover all sins) and arrived at home where we spent the next three hours REALLY washing the seat, showering, laundering, and cleaning.
Here’s to a very boring 42!