Laughter Transforms A Tragedy Into A Comedy


One evening, when I had only four children, everyone was finally asleep and Michael had gone out to play hockey with his house league team.
"Ah", I thought to myself, "A chance to put my feet up and enjoy a bit of reading."

This was not to be. A couple of  minutes into my "free" time, I heard that plaintive little cry that always caused me  to jump up into the air and rush to the rescue. This time it was five year old Melissa who woke up vomiting everywhere. It covered her pillow, p.j.s, sheets, comforter and was in her hair, all over her face and soaked right through her top. Poor Melissa reeked almost as badly as her room and she was crying. I gently washed her face and body with a warm, wet facecloth and lots of sweet smelling soap, washed her hair over the edge of the tub, quickly dried it,  put on clean pyjamas and tucked her into my clean bed with a hot bean bag and lots of hugs.
Of  course, I had just put clean sheets on all the beds that very morning.
I had no sooner stripped Melissa's bed, rinsed out all the bedding, put in a load of wash  in the basement and remade her bed,  when she vomited all over my pillow, sheets, comforter, her pyjamas and in her hair. I cleaned her up a second time, tucked her in her now fresh bed, stripped my bed, piled up the dirty bedding on the basement floor and soaked what I could in the laundry tub.
 But guess what transpired  in the next 20 minutes? You've caught on quickly to the manner in which that  forever seared in my brain night unfolded. The entire  procedure happened all over again. Finally my little girl was sleeping peacefully, in her own bed, made up with blankets I had unearthed from a box in the basement.

I  felt myself relax. The marathon had lasted two hours and all that was left ( besides oodles of laundry)  was to nurse nine month old David back to sleep. Tiptoeing into the kitchen, half hoping he had fallen asleep on the quilt I had spread out on the floor, I stopped dead in my tracks. Even though I had corralled David into part of the "child proof" kitchen, he had  managed to pull out three litres of oil , tip it over and spill all of the oil onto the kitchen floor. Now, David was gleefully swimming and splashing on his tummy in a pool of oil which  had drenched every inch of his clothes, face, body and hair.
What was my reaction to this overwhelming scene? I leaned against the kitchen wall and slid down  till I sat on the floor with my legs sticking straight out. Then I giggled. Then I laughed and laughed and laughed until my stomach ached and tears were streaming down my face.
I pulled  myself together, somehow,  and began the arduous task of cleaning up this slippery but happy nine month old. After giving  him his second bath that evening and stuffing his oil soaked clothes into the garbage, I balanced him on my hip as I spooned up some of the oil.
 Finally, near eleven, that night the floor was washed and David was asleep. Michael came through the kitchen carrying his heavy hockey bag and he nearly broke his neck slipping on that kitchen floor.
"Gee Mel," he said, " What happened here?"

My reaction? I threw up my hands and laughed.

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