Friday, November 20, 2009

Nice Timing

Parent Consultations. What a moment of shared parental pride they can be.

It was our first teacher consultation for Johnny Drama this week...and let's just say it is one that will stick in our memories for years to come.

The boys' school has changed the format of the consultations this year and the children are invited to attend. I duly hang around the school with both boys in tow and we wait for our appointment time. The boys are beside themselves with excitement. They're impressed that they get to attend a 'meeting'. But more keen to muck about without much supervision in Johnny Drama's classroom for 15 minutes.

Finally, our appointment time arrives, ex shows up and we go in to meet the teacher.

Oh it's all good stuff. Ex and I beam with pride as Johnny Drama's multiple virtues are discussed. Outstanding letter formations (even though he is left handed and up until 2 months ago all marks on paper appeared to have been performed by a pencil gripped with his toes or his teeth). Fantastic letter sounds. Great participation in French. Excellent listener. Friendly, polite, enthusiastic, social and caring.

Ex and I share a grin over our little 4 year old wonderboy protege. (Even though behind us Johnny Drama is attacking paper with scissors so violently that he has snipped several holes in his jumper and is on the verge of surgically removing a finger from his right hand.) No matter. The boy is surely just steps away from certain stardom. All is good in our world. Irrespective of our circumstances we are obviously doing something right and we absorb all this praise as a reflection of our own talents and apparent parenting abilities.

All too quickly the meeting is at an end and we start to gather up various bags and belongings and instruct the boys to put their coats on. Which is when the drama begins.

"My tummy hurts a little bit" whispers Johnny Drama.

And in the next instant he has liberally sprayed the whole front of the classroom and at least 6 Lilliput chairs with the contents of his stomach.

The world stands still for approximately 0.1 of a second before I leap into action and pick up my pale little boy in an attempt to get him into the bathroom at the back of the class.

Before I can reach my destination a loud cough signals the next round of barfing, which succeeds in covering the remaining back of the classroom. The fact that I am holding him a few feet off the ground ensures that the splatter effect is even more dramatic. As I scuttle him quickly towards the loo, I notice that the new Teddy Bear Picnic display features freshly adorned remnants of, what I can only guess to be, partially digested ham sandwich and several pieces of carrot.

Now, if Captain Underpants is the Stealth Vomiter (he could regurgitate his own gall bladder and you'd never know it) then Johnny Drama definitely favours more of a Shock and Awe approach. His preferred tactic is to deliberately withhold the vomiting reflex until it is physically impossible to contain any longer and then project a semi-digested mix of lunch chunks, fluid and phlegm over a 10 metre radius. Over and over again.

Given that there are 4 adults in total in the room and just one sick child, you would think I would have received some assistance. Er, nope. I glance out of the bathroom, whilst holding a limp and ragdoll-like sobbing Johnny Drama, knee deep in puke, to see the teacher and the learning assistant paralysed by the classroom door turning a Shrek shade of green. As for ex, well he was doing his best not to wretch into the tiny wastepaper bin full of bits of shredded paper.

"So sorry," whispers his teacher, just before exiting room, "I'm really not very good with dealing with sick."

Ex keeps gagging while trying to help by covering a 20 metre squared radius with 7 paper towels.

Captain Underpants carries on cutting out Dragonoid, seemingly oblivious to what is going on around him.

Finally, Johnny Drama finishes being sick and lays limp in my arms. I am crouched in a bathroom surrounded by mini mountains of multi-coloured puke and can't even begin to think how I am going to even start to clean the mess up. Luckily, another helpful teacher arrives on the scene - allowing at least their big toe to cross the classroom door threshold - and volunteers to grab the cleaners to start the sanitation process.

We're escorted quickly from the premises, exhausted and drained, to ensure that any further projectile incidents occur off school property - and as we step outside one teacher kindly points out that my jeans are still covered in a varied array of Johnny Drama's stomach lining. I smile wanly and accept the donation of a large plastic bag for the journey home.

Gold Star JD.

The humiliation of a decimated classroom I can handle. I was just so glad and thankful that you hadn't waited to empty the contents of your stomach in the car. I know from many personal experiences what a bugger those bloody car seat straps are to clean.


  1. I feel a little queasy now... Your descriptive powers are quite amazing. Excuse me...

  2. OMG!! Now I know why he's called Johnny Drama. One day you will look back at this and laugh.....maybe.

  3. Oh poor little boy....but that was hilarious. And after his glowing report too!

    (by the way, I've noticed that they take the meet the teacher meetings TERRIBLY SERIOUSLY here, even for very little ones - calling them conferences, whole days off school for them, etc. etc. I don't know what happens in the UK now, but when I was a child I think it was just a parents' evening?)

  4. Loved that! And I can see what you mean about preferring the embarrassment to cleaning out the car. Because that's just horrible.

  5. Ugh. The smell of sick in the car - well averted. Laughed out loud at this - not only the Shock and Awe, but also Ex retching in to a bin of finely shredded paper. Some help.
    I think I may have changed my mind on wanting kids. x x x

  6. You read my mind on the preferred location for this!

  7. ha ha like the way you end the story - we had a bit of a similar episode on our holiday in Morocco - which meant I had to walk into a museum carrying a large bag of sick - thank god they didn't have security checks like they do in london you can just imagine the conversation

    - open your bag madame
    - no, it's sick
    - no it's just a security measure
    - ok then, please yourself...

  8. Ugh! I can do vomit but the Ball & Chain runs a mile from it! Mind you, he was always better with the poo messes, the very thought of which can almost make me lose my stomach contents.

  9. Oh, I do love a good vomit story. And that one was one of the best ever. Thanks for the laugh...

  10. Sick in the car smell - well averted. It may be embarrassing, but someone else had to do the deep clean!

  11. Amazing that you didn't manage to catch the vom in your hands - because that is a talent that only mothers have. 'I'm going to be sick mummy'. Oooh, I know, thinks mum, I'll catch it. Wouldn't want to spoil the carpet....

    But then again, it was the school's carpets so no worries. Poor him. Hope he's better now

  12. Found you via Expat Mum (I think!) What a great post, so graphic, I could almost smell it. I would have thought teachers would be more prepared for that sort of thing.

  13. OMG! That's awful. The poor lad, the poor teacher, the poor all of you!

  14. Thanks everyone!! I have actually been laid low with the same stomach bug as JD, hence my tardy response to your great comments. Feeling a bit better now, thank goodness xx

  15. Not good at dealing with sick? That primary school teacher is in the wrong job.

    Love your description. You are so funny.