Thursday, March 31, 2011

The stunning arc of barf

For the most part I’m a fairly lenient parent. It could be said this is borne of laziness or fear of confrontation, I’d like to believe I’m just super cool. But whatever, I rarely put my foot down and insist the children do something against their will or not fitting into their social schedules. A recent exception to this was Loren’s film festival presentation last Friday.

I was over the moon tickled that he had been invited to this particular film fest.  It wasn’t in his usual line up of ski porn, a bit more off the path because it was an environmentally based presentation. I bought our tickets a couple of weeks early, even getting extra just in case. Cassidy and Devon were both informed they would be attending. Cass was a bit put out because this meant her spring break trip to Vegas wouldn’t start until Saturday morning and just when the hell did Loren last come to something of hers, she wondered. In return I promised her he would be at her upcoming Spring Concert. Devon wasn’t thrilled about the evening either because it meant riding in a car for more than five minutes and sitting through dinner at a restaurant he didn’t know.  I sent Loren with my mom and a friend to eat and then Loren had to get to the festival a bit early. Matt and I brought up the rear.

Time management is not in my bag of accomplished tricks and by the time we hit the road I realized we would be running late no matter where we stopped for dinner. We opted for one of Cassidy’s favorites and Devon announced he wouldn’t eat a single bite there. But eat he did, with such zest that I knew something unruly would eventually become of our evening. Sure enough as soon as we hastily paid the bill and hit the car Devon started complaining of tummy pains. Within a couple of miles his pain was unbearable and I asked Matt to pull over at a convenience store. Dev and I trotted into the bathroom where he promptly stripped from the waist down, his typical move when doing a big job, and then perched himself over the lid in a sort of yoga stance, again typical for Devon. And then we waited. And waited. And he strained. And nothing more than a slight plop. It hurt, it was pointy. I informed Devon  he was constipated , likely from the medicated cough medicine he’d been taking for his week old cough, at which point he hurled himself off the pot and into a ball of tears. “I can’t go like Elvis did, Mai-Mai! I’ll die. He died on the pot because he was constipated.” I assured Devon that Elvis used and abused far more the codeine cough medicine to end up in his sorry state.

Once back in the car we raced to Aspen and made it in time for the opening act. Loren was a mess of nerves. Devon stretched out across Cass, Matt, Lo and me while each of us took turns rubbing his neck, arms or back in order to distract him from his Elvis fears. When Lo’s movie finally did show I was beyond thrilled and even shed a few tears of pride. He got to announce a few things about himself before the feature and then retired to the back of the movie house to be alone and watch it. Matt, Cass and I left shortly after because Devon was so wiggly. On the way home, a 45 minute drive in good weather, the conditions were a nearly white out snow storm and Devon started wailing about 25 minutes in to it. Matt concentrated on driving while Cass and I tried to keep Dev calm. Once to Matt’s, Devon tottered up his stairs, clutched his belly and wailed at the top of his lungs. He staggered to the edge, vomited a lovely yellow spew once over the balcony to a flower bed below and I scooted him into the toilet where the real barf show began. It was spectacular.

It’s most often like this with the three children spaced so far apart in ages. All I wanted was to peacefully watch Loren give his small talk and then view his film on a large screen. I waited six weeks, planned more than a few schedules around it and anticipated nearly every mishap, except Devon. God love that little guy, but it’s never easy with him. And, of course, the Cassidy the Sandwich child in between was lost in the shuffle. At least she’s in Las Vegas for the week living it up and having a blast. And regardless for the amount of drama in the evening, it was so amazing to see Lo’s work on a big screen and hear the whistles and applause for him, a beautiful gift. And to sit in that theatre, the five of us together as a family, laughing at the absurdity of the evening, that was just pure beauty.


  1. I am so sorry, but I just laughed until I cried about Devon's Elvis comment. Oh man. Priceless.

  2. I had no idea how deep The Elvis Fear dwelled in Devon. Thanks to my brohter for that educational tidbit!