I checked on my son in the night and noticed that an odd smell, like fermented poop, permeated the air in his room. It was a strong odor.
I flicked on the light from my smart phone and flicked it around in the darkness, wandering around the room in an attempt to locate the source. Eventually I made my way to the bedside. His cute little pajamaed butt was sticking out from under the bed covers. I bent low to sniff in case what I was smelling was some gawdawful fart he had just made or perhaps he had not wiped well enough earlier that day…
I straightened up, glancing around again. Was it possible that some poor, unwitting creature had been kidnapped and then hidden by him somewhere in this room, subsequently starving to death?
Then I saw it.
He had puked in his sleep.
Vomit covered his head, the pillow, and the wall. Hotdog chunks the size of a thumb were splattered all about. He had marinated in it for a couple of hours, apparently, and it had dried in his hair. A bit of hotdog was even stuck to his cheek.
How many of those things did he eat, anyway?!?!!!?!?
Then I panicked.
Was he breathing? He wasn’t moving. Did he aspirate and choke to death? Is that why he had not alerted me?
I called his name.
I shook him, gently.
I shook him harder, my other hand on his puke covered neck feeling for a pulse….
His eyes opened wide.
“Mommy! What’s wrong?”
I flashed to the bit of cheeseburger that he had left on his plate at dinner time. I had snatched it up and polished it off myself because I hate to see cheeseburgers go to waste and because food that you eat from your kids has no calories….
But it does have germs, doesn’t it?
Starting the countdown now… Incubation period for a viral gastroenteritis? Ah, yes. It should be hitting right when my on-call week begins.