Maybe He Was Waiting for the Throw Up Fairies


"Psst... so you know, when you get home from this business trip I'm leaving for Hawaii for two weeks."

“Psst… so you know, when you get home from this business trip I’m leaving for Hawaii for two weeks.”

Hi. You might want to finish whatever you’re eating before you read this. That looks delicious, by the way.

All set? Good. As a blogger, sometimes I am stuck for ideas in terms of what to write about. And sometimes, like last night? The posts practically write themselves.

The VP has been out of town on business, and by last night I felt wrung out. So to try to make things easier, instead of cooking I took the kids to a Chinese restaurant to get take-out. Because when he’s away, I am all about making my path easier. So far so good, right?

But… while I was paying, my five year old son came running up to me with tears streaming down his face. When I asked him what was wrong,  he said he had choked on a piece of candy.

Unbeknownst to me, he had grabbed a peppermint out of the dish while on his way over to look at the fish in the tank. He’s not supposed to eat hard candies, due to his horrific gag reflex that, on a regular basis,  makes me think he’s going to choke to death. One of my biggest fears, but I digress.

He was talking, which I knew meant he wasn’t in imminent danger, but he was still crying and saying “It’s still in there!” and was in a panic, and I didn’t really know what was going on. I tried to figure out how to help him while comforting him at the same time, because he was really upset, when all of a sudden, his eyes got wide and this happened:


Yep. The kid upchucked all over the carpet.

Not a little bit. A lot. As in, the entire contents of his stomach. Oh, hello, gag reflex. Nice to see you too.

So now I was trying to comfort my son while apologizing to the manager for the copious pile of barf he had just deposited. And the unholy mess was right in front of the door to the restaurant. I was concerned for my son, and now I was dreadfully embarrassed. I of course offered to clean up the throw-up. As you do.

The manager said no. He was very polite about it. “No, no. That’s okay. Don’t worry about it”, he said, smiling.

My son was starting to feel better. The nice manager brought him some water.

And the vomit still sat in the entryway.

Again I offered to clean it up, and again the manager said no, and waved it off.

Surely if the manager wasn’t going to let me clean it up,  that meant he was planning on doing it, right? He was going to run get some of that sawdust stuff like they use in schools, or maybe some carpet cleaner? Some paper towels? Anything?

No. The vomit continued to sit right where my son left it. Was the guy waiting for fairies to come clean it up?

Customers came in, and I held my son with one arm while I weakly gestured toward the mess with the other, indicating that they should go around. I didn’t feel comfortable articulating it, though. I’m pretty sure no one wants to hear “Hey! Watch out for the vomit!” when they arrive at a restaurant for dinner.

Mmm. Who wants egg-drop soup?

My son was  feeling better, even giggling with his sister, and we should have been leaving, but I just couldn’t. There had to be something I could do, so I started surreptitiously checking the counter and our bag of take-out for napkins. But there was nothing.

The vomit was still in the entryway. At this point it had been almost ten minutes.

And the manager just continued to sit behind the desk, smiling beatifically.

I tried one more time. “Are you sure you don’t want me to take care of this? If you can just bring me a rag or some napkins, I can clean it up…”

And then the manager said this:

“No, no. You don’t have to clean it. They clean every night when we close.” And he smiled some more.

Um, what?

I pray that I am wrong, but it sounded to me like the vomit was going to stay in the entryway for the next four hours, until the cleaning crew took care of it.

In the end, we finally left, leaving an unfortunate pile of throw-up in the doorway during the dinner rush.

The good news is, my son is fine. He’s not allowed to eat peppermints until he’s 21, but he’s fine. And I still can’t figure out why the guy wouldn’t let me clean it up, or didn’t clean it up himself.

So to anyone who lives in our area and might have gone out for Chinese food last night:  my sincerest apologies. It was us. I hope it didn’t get on your shoes. And from now on I promise I’m keeping a roll of paper towels and a bottle of carpet cleaner in the car.

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Notes from the Shallow End



  1. O…M…GEEEEEEE! I was laughing so hard tears were rolling down my face. Then I immediately called Ashley and read it on the phone to her. Waiting for the night cleaners??!! Lawd!! Poor you, poor your son…poor Chinese food eaters. –Lisa

  2. Oh god. I’m dying. My throat hurts because I laughed so hard I started to cry. Poor little guy. And- I’m glad we ate in last night.

    • Yeah, that’s us. Making friends wherever we go. But how funny would that have been if you were like, “Oh my god we went for Chinese last night and left because there was throw-up on the floor!” (okay that’s not the funny part) And I was like, “Sorry that was us!”

  3. Ewewewewewewewewew!!!!
    Waiting for the cleaning crew?!?! That’s horrendously disgusting. There is no way I would ever set foot inside that place again,

    We were fortunate to have a child throw up in the entryway to a restaurant once, just as our food hit the table. All over the floor by the cash register, the door, the little entryway between doors, and the other door. I feel your pain. Fortunately, the manager at our place cleaned it up right away.

    • At the same time, the guy was just so darn nice about it. I feel like we should go back sometime just because of that. But not anytime soon, I need to wait so they forget what we look like.

  4. I’m back for the third time because the first time I was eating. The second time I was eating again and remembered your warning. Perhaps I should have stayed the second time and I wouldn’t have done a repeat on the cheetos. GROSS – I had my teeth clenched the whole time. I am one whose stomach flips just seeing the sawdust just because I know what it was there for. LOL! I’m glad he was okay 😉

  5. Oh no! And ewwwww! I really really hope that they didn’t actually wait until the cleaning crew came.

    I remember having a similar incident….except I was the child (and getting over a stomach bug. And it was at least in the entrance to the men’s room. Yes, the men’s room. I was at dinner with my dad when I started to feel sick.)

  6. Oh my gosh!! That is disgusting! I don’t know if I could ever eat there again. My littlest one was throwing up at home last night. After reading this I am highly unlikely to take him anywhere for the next few days!!!

    • You’re right to keep him home, those stomach bugs can pop back up when you least expect them to. Thanks for reading!

  7. Oh my gosh. That was hilarious. And gross. And a little scary, to be honest. But mostly hilarious.

    • Yep, hilarious, gross and scary pretty much sums it up. Never a dull moment with our family. Thanks for commenting!

  8. Poor guy! Glad he felt better soon after. And I cannot believe that the manager just left it there. Whoa.

    Also? I am all about the easy – which includes takeout – when my husband goes away. 🙂

    • When he is away, something has to give, right? For me, that’s a few nights of cooking. Other than that, we do okay. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I’m a bit vomit-phobic, and I was eating a pint of Karamel Sutra while reading this (It was delicious and I put it down) but this story…is hilarious. Like you need to submit this somewhere. And..I’m never going to that restaurant!

    • Glad you put it down. I would have felt terrible ruining your ice cream! I will take your advice into consideration, maybe I will submit it somewhere. Thanks!

  10. So funny in the most magnificently gross way!! Motherhood is the best writing material (and I am now thinking Chinese restaurants too).

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