Take a trip with me will you. It’s a trip down memory lane. Pull up a chair, grab a cup of bubbling hot tea and head back to 1984.
I’m six years old and we are preparing to move from the LA area to Wisconsin. Before we leave, we (and by “we” I clearly mean my parents since they called the shots back then) decide to visit a few sites in LA that we missed in the couple years that we lived there.
One of those sites is a tour of the Queen Mary, a retired ocean liner that’s famous for something or other. I honestly have no idea what it’s famous for. I was six. I didn’t pay attention to the tour guide.
Before we boarded the Queen Mary, however, we got a big pancake breakfast. As we headed to the ship, I felt a distinct and uncomfortable rumbling in my stomach. When I mentioned it to my parents they gave me a highly unsympathetic, “Sorry babe. You’ll be alright.”
As we ascended an escalator somewhere inside the Queen Mary, my stomach began to flip upside down. Again I mentioned the issue to my parents. They were behind me and even though I couldn’t see them, I heard their eyes roll back in their heads.
“Kelli,” my mom said, “You always have a stomach ache. You’re going to be fine.”
Hmph. It wasn’t my fault that I was scrawny and gassy. I kept my mouth shut. And the tour commenced.
Just as we reached the main deck, the tour guide took us to a railed off section that looked down into the engine room. The famous engine upon the famous Queen Mary that’s famous for…something.
As I looked down at the massive engine and listened to the tour guide drone on and on about the inner workings of the old ship my stomach flipped again and as it did so, it propelled the food I had eaten earlier up and out of my mouth with vicious force.
What happened next is a bit of a blur. I remember running across the main deck of the ship spewing this way and that, my mom’s hand over my mouth trying to contain some of the wreckage.
I remember my dad running behind us, dragging my brother along and yelling, “Take your hand off her mouth, she’s gonna choke!”
I remember some strange man running next to my mom, yelling and pointing her to the nearest bathroom.
And that my friends is the story of the day I desecrated The Queen Mary. I think I was in college before I was able to eat pancakes again.
Now, fast forward 25 years to last night at a birthday party for a friend. Tia was complaining of a tummy ache. But given the fact that she ate massive amounts of candy and cookies at her class Christmas party yesterday, I held out hopes that it was simply an upset tummy.
She can’t help it that she’s scrawny and gassy.
When we arrived at the bounce house, she jumped all of two minutes and then came and sat down, still complaining of a tummy ache. An hour into the party, my fears were confirmed when Tia clamped her hand over her mouth and her eyes widened.
We were as far away from the bathroom as we could possibly be, we were surrounded by other children, and standing on a carpeted floor next to a giant blow up bounce house that I knew would not be easy to clean.
So I grabbed her hand, clamped my other hand over her mouth and we took off.
We almost made it. We made it at least to the hallway, which was mercifully tiled, before the dam broke.
And that was the day Tia desecrated BounceU. It’s not nearly as bad as puking all over a historical landmark, but the circumstances were similar nonetheless.
And as I cleaned up the poor girl in the bathroom, I wondered if perhaps this was one of those things that fell under the umbrella of my mom’s prayer that someday I have a child that was just like me.
Not cool, mom. Not cool.