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The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test of Parenting

Quite a few women I know are pregnant with their first child, so I’ve been trying to come up with just the right gift to celebrate and prepare them for the adventure ahead. 

Like a Hazmat Suit.

White onesies and 300-thread-count crib sheets are lovely, but what you really need is a puke plan. 

Something that involves a giant bucket, plenty of towels and lightning-quick reflexes. 

The adjacent photo was taken by my husband during what I now refer to as the Eruptus Period of my daughters’ childhoods. 

No Instagram filter was used in the making of this psychedelic masterpiece—just a hot summer vacation night mixed with a few too many cartwheels and far too many strawberries. 

This colorful, projectile period in our lives spanned several years before my daughters hit the age of 10. During this phase, no space was sacred from the byproducts of sensitive, little stomachs. 

Purses, buses, Disney rides, hotel lobbies, the backseat of my Volvo on the day I bought it. 

You learn as a parent to let go of the material things – and to get over your gag reflex. 

It is one of life’s greatest mysteries that a child’s 30-pound body can expel gallon after gallon of liquid with a power and force that would put Linda Blair to shame. 

You have no choice but to mommy up. Rinse those red-velvet vomit chunks out of your matted hair, pick the food particles out of the crevices of your engagement ring and strategically dump down the drain the upchuck chowder pooling in your underwire bra. 

I can’t wrap up and give tolerance for tons of retching or prepare my friends for the pukefest ahead. But I can tell them that they will be amazed over and over again by their ability to deal with unimaginable grossness, only to find their love grow. 

This is a journey every parent must take alone – just you and a puke-stained set of 300-thread-count crib sheets.