Our last day there, the girls ran around in and played and ate a million different things, including vast quantities of cherries. Ruby took a three hour nap that afternoon. I should have known.
We put them down around 8:30. At 11:30, I heard Ruby cry and went to her bed. She seemed warm, but it was hot in the house so I wasn't sure if she had a fever or was just hot. As I was making this determination, she began to throw up. Since I wasn't in my own home, and wanting to preserve the carpet, I pulled her to my lap and attempted to catch all that came out into my hand. Did I mention she ate an enormous amount of cherries? Oh....yeah. It was like that scene in The Witches of Eastwick.
As I was gagging and Ruby cried and continued to empty the contents of her stomach onto my lap, I was also trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do -- how was I to get from there to the bathroom? I was literally covered. She was covered. And then I looked up and like an angel from heaven, there was Dara. She immediately sprung into action, brought me a towel and helped me get Ruby into the bathroom. While I changed into something less toxic, she got Ruby out of her pjs. We then cleaned her up, tried to get it out of her hair. Then, while I changed the sheets and cleaned up the bedroom, Dara, got Ruby into clean pjs and wrapped her up and rocked her. Within 45 minutes, we were all clean (for the most part) and Ruby was back in bed fast asleep. We recapped and had a laugh and went back to bed.
My fear was that Kayla and Lucy were next...and we had a 3 hour drive home the next day. Would we be driving home covered in plastic as though we were front row at a Gallagher show? The horror! Luckily, the other girls were unscathed and Ruby woke up happily announcing that she had "thrown up just like baby Lucy!" and was none the worse for the wear.
At any rate, the whole thing made Dara and I appreciate each other as friends and as moms. We were in a situation that was gross and uncomfortable but we rolled up our proverbial shirt sleeves and did what had to be done and were able to laugh about it when it was all over. It made a horrible situation, not just tolerable but the source of a good story and a solidifying of a friendship. Neither of us went to bed mad or resentful. No one stomped their feet or grumbled. We did it together and with a smile. It was a well-oiled machine. It made me proud to be a woman and proud to be a mom. It made me appreciate all of the times women have tackled problems and situations head-on and worked together, making the best of it.
Ruby, Lucy and Kayla will hear this story as an illustration, that no matter the difficulty, if you have a friend (or two or three or 70) to help you through, you can get through it and maybe even have a laugh and a good story to tell about it later.