Sunday, April 23, 2006

In Lieu of a Song

I was mentally knocking around writing "The 12 Days of Spring Break" (sung to the tune of the "12 Days of Christmas") to describe my adventures of the past week-and-a-half with my off-from-school children.

But all I could adapt to the tune was "5 Muttered Expletives," "3 Talked-through Movies;" wrapping up with "And A Vomit in the Car in Ocean City."

Plus, technically there were only 11 days in their Spring Break, and we're all about accuracy here at the Suburban Masquerade. (That, and anything hermetically sealed.)

Then it occurred to me that the whole vomit thing pretty much symbolizes the difference between parenthood and childlessness.

A childless person might read about vomiting in a car down the shore and imagine it involved bar-hopping -- pitchers of margaritas chased with shots of tequila...continuing until you're pretty sure the mescal worm himself cuts you off with a "Basta!" Not that I've ever experienced anything like this; it's all hypothetical, ya know.

But a perk of parenthood is that once one is saddled (um, I mean blessed) with children there is very little opportunity to drink to the point of barfing. Desire, perhaps...but very little opportunity.

So when a parent hears "vomit in the car" they inevitably think "car sickness" or "stomach virus." Or in our case, a 9-year-old who gets migraines that usually culminate with her blowing chunks.

Between the kids and the cat's hairballs, I've become somewhat of a cleanup specialist. In addition, I've learned a great deal about the time it takes for various foodstuffs to be digested. (You'd be surprised at how long mac and cheese remains intact, although the cheese does curdle. Please enjoy the mental picture.)

I like to think of it all as an educational process, and continuing education promotes a healthy brain, right?

In summary, even though I've had to entertain two energetic children over the course of 11 days (with help from husband, can't discount that!) and our day trip to Ocean City was marred by a regurgitation, it could be worse. Much worse.

Just ask any grade school janitor.

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