I used to wear leather pants on New Year’s Eve. I curled my hair. I wore excessive amounts of black eyeliner and a WonderBra.
I have always liked New Year’s Eve. Even as a bartender I didn’t mind it. New Year’s Eve brings out the amateurs and typically working cut in to my party time but I never minded.
I liked the Get Fancy and Kiss a Boy aspect of the celebration.
A lot has changed in the past few years. But much has stayed the same.
This year I was not wearing leather pants. But I was wearing my fancy lounge pants, the linen ones. I was not wearing a WonderBra. But I did sport a clean “sleeping bra” (the most excellent option for keeping boobs up out of your waistband but nowhere near your neck.) I did not curl my hair or put on loads of makeup but I showered and I was wearing lipgloss. I was going to kiss my favorite boy.
We had considered having dinner across the street but Lucy had been under the weather. We opted to have dinner at home. Em would join our neighbors for dinner and a sleepover and MQD and I would have a quiet evening at home. I ran out to Trader Joe’s for wine and MQD grabbed sushi from our favorite place. It was all systems go for a good time.
We had dinner. I finished preparations for our New Year’s Day Brunch. I made three dozen ham biscuits and enough mac and cheese to sink a ship. A lemon pound cake waited on the counter. The heartburn inducing Chicken and Bleu Cheese Frank’s Red Hot dip was in the crock pot. When our neighbors invited us across the street for a drink it seemed like a great idea. Lucy was chipper and not particularly nose-runny.
Sinking in to their couch I was laughing that it was only nine o’clock and I was fading. I would give Emily one more kiss goodnight and MQD and I would head back across the street with Lucy and hopefully make it until midnight. I bent down to kiss her forehead and I thought she was hiding, goofing off the way kids do. I pulled back her blanket and she was hot. There are five words I did not expect in a million years to hear. “I want to go home.”
Across the street we went, Mom with her baby and half a bottle of wine, Dad with the big girl wrapped in her blanket. Em is not a party animal. My girl likes her sleep. When we got home I was not convinced that she wasn’t just desperate to sleep in her own bed. Ten minutes later when she filled half of a small trash can with puke I knew she wasn’t messing around.
Moms have skills. They can change gears rapidly. I was in Possibly Sexy Time Date Night mode only twenty minutes earlier and now I was spreading towels over every surface of my house. Operation Don’t Get Puke on the Carpet or the Couch was in full effect.
By 11 o’clock my New Year’s celebration was looking much different than I had imagined it. Emily had gone to bed (a bed covered in towels) and my boys were asleep on the couch.
Lucy was out cold on the floor.
I snapped these two pictures and sent them to a friend with comments about what a wild night we were having at out house.
And I sat back down in my chair. I was preparing to watch the ball drop all by my lonesome. It was 11:35. I heard Emily upstairs. She was awake. She was getting sick again. I needed to run upstairs and check on her but I couldn’t move. “Miiiike, wake up, Em is sick and…. SOOOOO AM I!!!”
Not since my days of frequenting fraternity parties have I seen someone go from having a great time to puking their guts out in a split second. It was crazy. One minute I was hanging out with my bad self, flipping channels and trying to figure out why I still love Jenny McCarthy. (It has been 18 years since MTV’s fantastic dating show Singled Out and I still love her.) The next minute I was sweating and shivering and puking my guts out.
At 11:54 I was in my bed in my bathrobe yelling to the living room “Is Emily ok?” I was going to just close my eyes for a minute and then I would hop out of bed and wish my sweet family a Happy New Year.
That’s not exactly how it went.
I passed Emily in the kitchen at around 3:30. She was dumping out her own barf bucket. I was weirdly proud of her. We sat on the couch together like you did in college after an ugly bender. We sipped water and told horror stories. “Oh man, were you awake when I barfed in the shower. That was crazy” and “do I smell like puke or do I just have puke in my nose so everything stinks?”
By morning we were certain we would live. MQD went out for Gatorade. We cancelled our brunch.
It has been two days. MQD eventually fell prey to the Nuclear Crud. He is camped out in our bedroom. I washed and folded the 800 towels we puked on. Lucy has been enjoying her new found freedom gained by the fact that no one is really paying attention to watch she is doing. She is playing in a pile of torn up magazines. Em is behind the couch watching a movie on the iPad. There is some superior parenting going on in this house.
So, yeah. As soon as we feel better I guess we will start eating ham biscuits and spicy bleu cheese chicken dip. Shit. I might have just puked in my mouth a little.