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A River Runs Through Her

Updated on April 3, 2009
Taken minutes before the fiasco described herein. The calm before the storm.
Taken minutes before the fiasco described herein. The calm before the storm.

A River Runs Through Her

By Wes J. Pimentel

As I typed today’s date at the top of this, I noticed it’s April Fool’s Day. Fitting. I had a simple mission a couple of hours ago. All I had to do was get dropped off at the airport by my wife so I could go spend a glorious week in Fayetteville, NC with my brother, Lucien. Well, I’m on the plane, but not unscathed.

We were off to such a good start. I started packing ridiculously early to avoid the last minute mistakes we all seem to make when we’re pressed for time. I laid out my travel outfit; I made a meticulous packing list, detailing all the must-haves; I even remembered all the things that one would consider nice to have, but not indispensable. I even mowed the lawn and did all the laundry, just so my wife wouldn’t have to do it. I was set, man!

We departed our home right on time, like clockwork. The ride to the airport was uneventful. My wife and I held hands, my daughter fussed a little bit, until she got her cheese puffs, and all was right with the world. I even took a moment to take some pictures of my adorable daughter, so the images could keep me company on the long flight. I guess that was my first mistake; actually believing that everything was OK. I should have known. I should have seen it coming. When my wife and I didn’t get in to an argument, my daughter didn’t scream bloody murder and the car didn’t break down, I should have realized that I was being lulled into complacency.

We made it right into the airport without a single problem. It was just inside the airport that all hell broke loose. You see, my daughter hasn’t been feeling too well, lately. She has had what the doctors assume is a “stomach bug.” I guess that’s technical medical jargon for a viral infection in her intestine. At any rate, her body has felt the need to intermittently expulse things like milk and food lately. It hasn’t been a huge problem. She has never been a big puker, so it’s kind of different and slightly challenging to deal with. I had to individually wash foam floor tiles the other day, but other than that it hasn’t been awful.

For some reason, I don’t know if it was God or karma or what, my daughter’s virus-infested intestines decided they weren’t feeling quite that welcoming toward those goddamned cheese puffs any longer. As we neared the departure terminal, my wife and I heard something that sounded like a faulty pump rupturing in the back seat. I turned just in time to treat myself to a bit of the horror that the priest in The Exorcist must have felt. My daughter had gone from a beautiful little angel to some sort of grotesque device whose job seemed to be to fill car seats with a putrid mix of curdled milk, crushed cheese puffs, and who knows what else.

It was a truly amazing sight. In 32 years on this planet I have never seen anyone throw up that much. I have been to countless keg parties. I have attended events whose favors have included shrooms, acid, meth, coke, ecstasy, and just about everything else. I’ve seen a LOT of people puke. I repeat, I have never seen anyone puke this much. It was incredible. It looked like puke you would see on Saturday Night Live, where the actor holds a hose up to the side of their mouth and gallons of liquid just shoot out of their face. My poor little girl’s face had been reduced to a hose nozzle.

I was supposed to just be let out at the curb. That’s how the Pimentel clan rolls. We just drop and bounce. Well, that’s a little hard when a 20-pound creature is emptying the contents of her intestines into the seat behind you. She threw up for about the last 45 seconds of the trip, and it ended right when we pulled up to the curb. Quick quiz: What would you do? My wife and I jumped out of the car. I had to catch a flight, so it was decided that she would clean up the baby, and I would run away. My exodus was cut short when I saw her reaction to the smell. You see, my wife is 7 months pregnant and very susceptible to throwing up, herself. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t just run away and leave her throwing up, while at the same time trying to clean up my daughter’s puke – and along the dreaded white curb, of all places!

I had an hour and a half before my flight and I had to think fast. I gallantly offered to clean up the baby in the terminal bathroom while she did her best to wipe down the car seat. I reached for the place on my daughter’s body where I would normally find her seatbelt buckle. It had unfortunately been replaced by a small river of vomit. As my hands came closer to the once familiar spot, I too almost threw up. The combination of sight and smell gripped me with the force of a shark’s jaw, and for a second, I was almost a goner. My wife handed me some wet-wipes and I made a half-hearted attempt to wipe the buckle clean before I grabbed the regurgitation-soaked thing. I shivered like a little girl at the thought of holding her against myself, drenched in stomach contents, right before an eight and a half hour flight. Seeing this my wife grabbed a small blanket out of her diaper bag and recommended I use it as a sort of barrier between me and the barf-battered beauty. I tied it around my neck, like a fat man would with one of those lobster bibs at a seafood restaurant. I shouldered the diaper bag, grabbed Fauna out of the car seat, turned her away from me and ran into the terminal.

What a sight I must have been; running through the terminal, holding up a baby covered and dripping with vomit, face-out, at arm’s length. I am not familiar with this airport, so I ran toward the first uniformed person I saw to ask where the bathroom was. Before I could even ask, he pointed and I darted in the prescribed direction.

Just as I got done cleaning and changing her, my wife called to let me know the white-curb Nazis were accosting her about her excessive time at their beloved curb. I was again running through the terminal, albeit this time with a much cleaner baby.

It just goes to show you; nothing is simple in this world. Sometimes you think you’re a minute away from a well-deserved vacation with your brother, when chance strikes and you end up frantically running around an airport, drenched in gut garbage and raising the suspicions of National Security agents.


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    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Hi schwag, didn't the ob/gyn tell you... the pregnancy is actually ten months from start to finish! June... well, you probably have the new little love muffin by now, so perhaps congrats are due?!

      i had three and one just graduated college. it doesn't get any better, the problems grow like wrinkles on freckled skin. it's all worth the pain, though. i miss the days of vomit and car seats, lol.

    • profile image

      Apricottonskies 8 years ago

      This story is a perfect advertisement for birth control. :-)

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio


    • Hawkesdream profile image

      Hawkesdream 8 years ago from Cornwall

      Oh Schwag, I know the feeling well and get this ,just when you think they have all grown up and it's all over, Along come the grandchildren, here we go again!

    • Schwag profile image

      Schwag 8 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      RKHenry - the same to you. I love throw-up-in-the-mouth stories. Thanks for the comment and the compliment.

      Jake4d - I feel like saying "thanks for the visual" but about what you made smell, not see.

    • Jake4d profile image

      Jake4d 8 years ago from Tennessee

      Cool hub schwag, I don't have any kids but my sister has three. Her old car always had a hint of that smell from it happening so many times. (Her oldest one would either throw milk up or just dump it out of the bottle, thus skipping the middle man.

    • RKHenry profile image

      RKHenry 8 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

      What a great family story. Thanks for sharing. When my lil sister was sick one time, I was rocking her. She's 7 years younger than. Well anyways, I remember looking down at her, while she was trying to sit. I said, "Hey there baby...." and at that moment she threw up in my mouth.

      Thanks for the laugh.

    • Schwag profile image

      Schwag 8 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      Whikat - You said it, sister. It adds a whole new gooey facet to one's life.

      Cris A - Thanks. Although, I think it highlights my cowardice a little more than my parenting skills.

      Triplet Mom - Yes that is the very creature of which I write. Don't let those baby blues fool you. She is capable of great feats of mass-destruction.

      goldentoad - That sounds lovely. I can't wait for what else parenting has to offer. I guess I'll need one of those bio-hazard suits.

      Abbey - Thank you for taking care of my car, my love!! And thank you for the insight on the rest of the story. When I calculate how pregnant you are I just subtract from the due date, which is around June 1. So, June 1 (9 months), minus two months gives me April 1 (7 months). Is that too male math/logic? I don't get it. Anyway, you better have that all cleaned up by the time I get back (pause for laughter. pan to wife's incredulous expression. pan back to Schwag, showing deep regret) Muah!

      gwendymom - Yes, these unexpected little gems keep us on our toes. I wish I could have gotten that guy's expression on video. You're right, it was definitely a remembered horror.

    • gwendymom profile image

      gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

      LOL. I always worry when things seem to be going good. I figure that means something really unpleasent is about to happen. That security guard or whoever just pointed the bathroom out to you has had to do that several times before no doubt.

    • profile image

      Abbey 8 years ago

      I guess Schwag doesn't realize that his wife is actually 8 months prego, not 7. Anyways, here is the continuation of the story from my point of view. I get Fauna back home, and she will absolutely not let me do anything but cuddle with her and baby her. So, until her bedtime is how long the puke drenched carseat sat in my husband's beloved Mustang. Just when you feel all cool because you bought something high tech, it comes back to bite you. See, normally I would have gotten a standard carseat, but this time, I had to get the one with all the bells and whistles. I was in that kind of mood the day I got it. I had to have one of my neighbors come over to help me figure out how to get this nasty carseat out of the car without me or her vomiting from the smell. Thats some friend. She really took one for the team. She got right in there and grabbed the carseat and fiddled with it until it came out, in the dark. She even insisted on wiping up the curdled milk/cheeto intestine mix that was trapped under the carseat. Now my next mission is to go get his car detailed before he gets home, and figure out how to take this whole carseat apart to wash every nook, cranny, and piece of cloth, but I also have to figure out how to put it back together. When I joined the Army, I thought the gear they issued us was difficult to figure out. That stuff is 100 times easier than this carseat. So, thats what I'm about to go do. Why am I on hubpages procrastinating?

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 8 years ago from Free and running....

      my son had diarhea in the airport talk about the whole gate smelling oh my, and on top of that we didnt have enough wipes, the explosion went up the backside of the diaper up into the mesh stroller and so thanks for reminding me of my own "joys"

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 8 years ago from West Coast

      You couldn't possibly be talking about that angle in the picture at the top. No way. Welcome to the wonderful world of parenting and always expect the unexpected. Great hub!!!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      It's more like a riverwild that ran through her! Anyway, I guess this goes to show how great a parent you are Schwag! :D

    • profile image

      Whikat 8 years ago

      Funny hub, Isn't parenting grand. You never know what is going to happen next when you have kids. :)