Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Barf Conundrum

Ok all you experienced moms. And all you people who, on occasion, walk on sidewalks. Here is my question:

What is your obligation to the universe when your kid throws up on a sidewalk?

I guess you could extrapolate this to any public puking, really. But for the purposes of this question, let's take the circumstances as they happened, and go from there.

It was very cold on Wednesday. The Bean has been, as I have stated, coughing so hard that she spits up diluted juice. Well, on Wednesday I was determined to take her to the park (read: leave the apartment before I was compelled to shoot myself), after stopping at Starbucks for the most absurd drink ever invented ever ever (a decaf, tall, soy, skinny, cinnamon dolce latte - Fat Flush compliant for my money). But when we arrived at Starbucks, the line was out the door, so we reluctantly turned around and headed directly toward the park. At which point the Bean started hacking. And hacking. And hacking. And ultimately, regurgitating small amounts of juice. Okay, with a little particulate matter to be totally honest. Several small puddles. And here's the really insidious thing: the puddles were small enough that really, that you could walk down the street and totally not see them--until it was too late. But they were definitely big enough to do damage. No doubt at all about it. As I urged the Bean to breathe deeply and try to stop coughing, I knew that here was just no doubt those puddles were going to be targets. I could see it coming.

But there I was. On the street. No caution tape. No orange cones. No flares. No hose. No mop. No wipes even. Not cold enough that the puddles would freeze. Not hot enough that they would evaporate. And nary a rain cloud in sight.

And for the record, let me say that I clean up my messes. I am courteous to others on the subway. I always wait my turn in line. And I have even been known to pile up all my dishes on the table at a restaurant and pick the crumbs off the floor when our family has made what I consider to be a mess larger than any stranger should have to clean up. So this is not an easy moment for me...this moment coming up.

Did I have a choice?

I wiped the Bean's mouth and sleeve with a tissue and jammed it in my back pocket. And I walked away from those puddles on the street. Knowing for certain that some poor person was inevitably going to step in them and be grossed out beyond belief when she got home. And it would be entirely my fault.

This, my friends, is why everyone in New York City doffs their shoes the moment they walk in the door.

1 comment:

Bex said...

Wow. Just another one of those things it's easier not to think about. Not that I could afford the carriage ride anyway, but seriously. People being mean to animals just wrecks me.