Normally Toby is in the studio with me in the morning when she pukes. I don't clean it up. Clay studios can take a little vomit here and there. (It was really put to the test by my first frat boy employee) Friday, however, is mommy day, so Toby's hideous sour-milk puke was all over our bed this morning. I changed the sheets, but I was just going to flip the mattress pad around. Mid-flip I remembered that I'd already turned it last week when one of us forgot a diaper on Steel at nap time. I've reached that level of parenthood when I turn instead of launder. I opted for the pee side near my head rather than the puke. I then looked guiltily out the window....and Fabrezed it. Fabreze isn't a guilty pleasure; that's Clorox wipes. It's a desperate last resort.
I discovered Fabreze when we got our couch reupholstered by a tiny woman named Tiffany. She'd had the thing twice as long as we'd expected, and a leg fell off when we loaded it into the truck. The glue she'd used to stick it on a half hour before we'd gotten there didn't take. We turned a blind eye and chucked the leg into the front seat even though one of her main selling points had been using a carpenter to fix any woodwork issues. Her work place turned out to be her tiny row home, and the root of her tininess that she's a chain-smoker. I'm not a militant anti-smoker. In fact, I've been known to have a cigarette after a drink or 2, but that couch was so saturated I couldn't let Jack Peter sit on my lap after he'd been sitting on it because the smell in his hair made my spit hot-the way it gets before I'm about to puke. Granted I was in my first trimester of pregnancy with Toby. We Fabrezed in a last ditch effort to avoid pitching a McDonald family heirloom into the dumpster. The whole house reeked of a breath of fresh air. We opened the windows, went to bed and awoke to an odorless couch. I was musing over this miracle to my hopefully-soon-to-be sister in law. (also Tiffany) She replied, in her matter-of-fact Midwestern accent, "Oh yeah...we used to spray it on our hair if we didn't have time to shower after a frat party before class." Why bother with baths and laundry anymore? "Honey, I packed the lunches; have you brushed their teeth and Fabrezed them yet?"
Opting for the pee side of the mattress pad near my head rather than the puke was a result of my brother's declaration that "urine is virtually sterile." I include that quote in my short list of great tips for parents. The others are: "crying is an infant's only exercise."* and "a portion of protein need only be the size of their palm."* I recite these three things multiple times throughout the day like some sort of yogic mantra.
*Lisa Randolph Strickland-best friend from home
*Karen Hull Pellis-dear friend who introduced me to my husband-also a potter married to an architect