It's frightening, I know. But these fits of domesticity will happen; and, having found that the best thing to do is to go with them until my accustomed slovenliness returns, I obeyed the impulse and gave the slipcovers a good shaking outside on the back deck.
Theo happened to walk into the living room just as I was putting the slipcovers back on the furniture.
"Oh!" he said. "Has someone thrown up?"
If only punctuation and font could convey to you, dear readers, the tone in which that question was asked. It was a tone usually reserved for "Is it time to get the Christmas tree?" or "Isn't it that time of year we make the hamantaschen?"
Yes, the vomit rituals in this family - the ginger ale, the saltines, the cleaning of the slipcovers - are so entrenched into our collective experience that my children (apparently) look back on them fondly; much the way other children - children, let's say, who have grown up in less puke-prone households - look back on summer vacations at the beach or visits to Grammy's house. In our home, vomit on the couch is a Norman Rockwell moment.
I can imagine my offspring at family gatherings future, reminiscing about their childhoods together: "Hey, remember when Brian ate too much of the cherry pie? That was so gross!" and "Remember when Mom had to cut Rachel out of her pajama top, because she didn't want to get the puke in her hair?"
I don't know where I went wrong...
Someone from the Department of Health and Human Services was reading this refrigerator post today - should I be worried?