Friday, December 21, 2012


A fair indication that you may not be having the best night ever: it is 4:21am, you are stood in your baby's bedroom. You are holding your baby, facing away from you, with one arm. Your other arm is covered in vomit. The carpet you are standing on is covered in vomit. The cot you have removed the baby from is covered in vomit. The baby is naked because its clothes were covered in vomit. You are wearing just your pants.

Last Sunday, all of the above applied to me.

Mrs L started feeling a little unwell around lunchtime. By three in the afternoon she was in bed. Apart from when she wasn't in bed because she was doing one of the things that Norovirus makes you do. You know the ones. Erk.

So the 4:21am alarm call (is there a worse alarm call than the sound of a baby doing proper vomiting for the first time in its life? I think not. I haven't changed the alarm sound on my phone to it.) was mostly for me. Mrs L did get up, because she's hardcore, but was soon back in bed.

Seeing your son lying face down in a two foot diameter pool of his own vomit is quite scary. Especially when he's not moving. Sleeps well that boy. Without thinking too much about it, I picked him up and started changing his clothes and nappy.

At the point where he was most naked, the viral invaders resumed their attack on his tummy. I picked him up to comfort him. He vomited over my shoulder onto the carpet.

I stood on the vomity carpet for a bit, feeling lost. I couldn't work out what to do first. Despite Cam's recent stomach and bowel evacuations he was in a ridiculously chipper mood. He certainly wasn't going to sit still while I cleaned up the rest of the room. Especially since Cam is to vomit as a magnet is to ferrous metal: irresistibly attracted.

Being a parent is weird. Things happen on a regular basis that make me think "I don't know what I'm doing", but somehow I muddle through. That's what we all do. There is no definitive manual for parenting (there may be things which THINK they're definitive manuals for parenting, but they're not). There is nothing in a book which will instruct you on how to grow a second pair of arms in order to hold the baby and simultaneously change the bedclothes and clean the carpet.

But we manage.

I don't remember what order I did things in, but somehow he ended up with a new sheet on the bed. A clean nappy, vest and babygrow. A hastily cleaned carpet. A dazed and confused father.

My Christmas wish for all of you is that Norovirus doesn't come to visit.


  1. These are the times that you will look back at and laugh, because there is absolutely nothing you can do. Here's hoping norovirus is out of the house by Christmas.

  2. What in the frig evolution was thinking when it gave parents only two hands I don't know. You need four bloody hands just to change a nappy, let alone mop up a Vesuvius of vomit.

  3. You did brilliantly... One of my nasty memories of one of mines childhood was wishing they hadnt had boiled egg and soldiers and ribena for tea when cleaning up vomit.....

  4. If someone did write a book on how to clean baby and room, you wouldn't be able to read it because the baby would have been sick on it

  5. I'm going to make the Vicar read this. In our long vomit-soaked history of child rearing he has slept through volcanic nocturnal dramas, except the once when he woke me and retired to his pillows while I swabbed.

  6. it's a horrible feeling sitting there not knowing where to start isn't it? knowing full well there is likely to be more sick as soon as everything is clean!