Much To My Delight

Much To My Delight


If you’re gonna spew, spew into this

A therapist’s office is supposed to promote relaxation. We paint the room in soft, soothing colors and turn on lamps instead of overhead lights. Some buy fresh flowers once a week (not me, I’ve got a house to buy) while others invest in fine leather sofas or beautiful, non-threatening artwork. You want to create an atmosphere that feels safe, calm and serene.

That is exponentially harder to do once someone has barfed all over it.

Due to difficulty finding childcare, several of my clients occasionally bring their small children into sessions. It is painfully boring for them as I have nothing in there that could entertain a child, so I usually just ply them with office letterhead and a red pen and tell them to draw their mother a picture. One day, a cute kindergartner came in with his mom. She was wise enough to supply him with an iPad, so we could talk and he could remain occupied.

His mother and I were in the middle of a very serious discussion when all of the sudden, without warning or fanfare, the little boy stood up, turned to face my big leather chair and puked up his entire homeroom all over it. It happened on a Friday, and if you went to elementary school in the United States during this century, you know that means pizza day. My pale green office was suddenly awash with pink.

I’m guessing mothers are accustomed to acts of violent and spontaneous barfing from time to time, but as a non-mother, this child’s sudden volcanic ejection caught me completely off guard. It was alarming to be in the position of having vomit on the chair, the rug and the floor and I looked longingly at the sink bizarrely placed in the corner of my office. It finally had an opportunity to serve a purpose, and the moment was completely wasted.

Once someone has puked in a therapy office, there is no more talk–there is only action–so I was more than pleased to be the professional person who needed to quickly flee the room in order to obtain enough paper towels to remove this incident from my chair, my rug, and my short-term memory.

I ran down to the basement. There were enough boxes of Kleenex to get a theater full of women through a Sunday matinee of Beaches, and not a single roll of paper towel to be found. I made a quick call to the janitor (clean up on aisle 9!) while discreetly asking people if they were hoarding towels in their offices. Finally the psychiatrist gave up his sad little roll, and I brought it upstairs.

The mother was on her hands and knees, furiously mopping off her kids’ backpack and my furniture with whatever errant cloth she could find. Meanwhile, the kid looked completely non-plussed and was back to playing with the ipad in another chair. He was smiling broadly and his little legs swung back and forth without a care. He looked like he was ready for his Friday night to get underway, maybe hit up an arcade or a G-rated flick on the way home. He wasn’t even crying. I cry every time I puke. It’s just so…upsetting.

I began to long for my own childhood. A simpler time when someone else was there to kiss my boo-boos, wipe away tears, undo my mistakes, and clean up my barf.

Maybe I should talk to my therapist about this.

Jenn P.

30-something psychotherapist. Loves cooking, hosting parties, exploring new places. Texan by birth. New Yorker by choice. Likes to tell little stories. Pull up a chair; I'll tell you one.

  • http://byvashtico.com Vashti Collins
    Reading about him barfing made me want to barf so I don’t know how it was cleaned up = | . I definitely need to clean up my bloglovin list because I have somehow managed to lose your blog in the mist. I am going to browse around for a bit. You write so well and I feel your pain about the barf all over the place. I still find myself wanting kids but can only want to run off in store when I hear a kid crying at the top of their lungs so I can only imagine what this was like.
    • http://muchtomydelight.com/ Jenn from much to my delight
      I completely relate to your barf-reciprocity-reflex. Being in the presence of barf is no easy task.
  • Brandi James
    This post is hilarious! Plus you quoted one of my all-time favorite movies….I love you.
    • http://muchtomydelight.com/ Jenn from much to my delight
      I’m not worthy.
  • http://writemeg.com/ Meg
    Oh dear. I have to be honest and admit that cleaning up vomit is one of the parts of motherhood I’m most dreading. We’ve already dealt with plenty of unfortunate diaper blow-outs and yeah, that’s gross, but puke? Will be calling in the big guns — aka my husband — for that one. Yikes!
    • http://muchtomydelight.com/ Jenn from much to my delight
      Yeah man, vomit is gross, no matter how cute a person it comes out of!