Posted August 18, 2010 by Harry Tournemille in How To

Stay At Home Dads (Part 2) – The Vomit Incident

An alternative title: The Art of Impromptu Vehicle Clean-Up.

A normal day; my daughter not exhibiting any external symptoms of illness. In fact, she seemed happy enough — if one can call drooling and gurgling a sign of happiness. Off to the grocery store we went. Shopping was fine, typical. Probably bought too many carb-related items.

On our journey home, things took a turn for the worse.

In the car, hands ten-and-two, I hear a strange sound form the back seat. A cross between a surprised hiccup and a hooting owl. I glance in the rear-view mirror in time to see a perfect, cylindrical stream of chunder cascade across Simone’s lap. Her eyes saucer-like. I nearly drove off the road.

A few seconds later, pulled over in a neighborhood that could have harbored any number of nefarious characters, I found myself scooping liquid barf out of a car seat with my bare hands. My daughter wrapped in a jacket next to me, more curious than alarmed, as I dry-heaved into the shirt pulled up over my nose.

Never again would I be so ill-prepared.

Preparation for normal, every day fatherhood is one thing. Now I had to factor in the “betcha weren’t expecting this” incidents too.

Rule of thumb: wet wipes are a godsend. I predict world peace will be achieved through their application. Keep ‘em in the car. A big ol’ package of ‘em.You can never have enough. I promise. Write this down.

Other items to stock: bottle of water, plastic grocery bags (to contain the mess), a couple of rags, a small spray bottle of eco-cleaner, and always…always, a change of clothes for the kids. That jacket Simone was wrapped in? Very difficult to wear afterward. Even once clean.

Random nastiness happens. You’ll hit it at some point — and oh what wretchedness if it occurs in the vehicle. Keep the travel-pack appropriately stocked. Line your car with plastic. Okay, maybe that last one won’t work.


Harry Tournemille may not know much about art, but he knows what he likes.

Harry Tournemille

Father, husband, writer, maniac. Well, the last one depends on who you ask. I'm an at-home father and writer here to serve up mild doses of entertainment and nerdery for your viewing pleasure. My interests? Movies, literature, outdoors, fitness, television, BBQing, beer (a category unto its own), food...wait...this sounds like I'm looking for a date... Best to stop here.