Puke and Stuff

After my fabulous week off (spent in sunny fabulous places- I love you frequent flier miles!), I came back to work ready to be more patient and amazing than ever. My friends and I have had a great week. We jumped right back in and have gotten so much accomplished, our days have been easy and uneventful. No one is funky or grouchy. It is lovely. Reminiscent of my Dream Year last year. Even Big Boy and I have seemed to come to an understanding. He did actual work today…I almost cried.

Speaking of bodily fluids…

As you have heard me say before, “I work in an incubator of germ and snot.” My daily work life, and that of elementary teachers everywhere, is filled with a wide variety of bodily fluids. Pee, puke, poop, snot, drool, spit, and the occasionally, blood. That’s a pretty thorough list in my opinion…I mean, there are very few other liquids that actually can come out of a person.

I have had children pee on chairs, floors and rugs. They have peed by accident and, on a few occassions, on purpose. Just to get back at me for asking them to sit out of an art project.

I have pulled apart pages glued together by snot. Wiped drool off arms of sleeping children and water fountains. Shaken my finger at friends who spit on other friends.

Friends have puked in garbage cans, on desks, on chairs, on each other! But today…

a friend puked on me.

Eight years of teaching and I have never been puked on. Ever. But today, I lost my vomit virginity* and am now a card carrying member of the Puke Party.

We were lined up and on our way out of the classroom. I was leading my friends down the hall (so my back was to them), when one very sick little girl must have gotten out of line and walked quickly to the front to tell me she was sick. Or maybe she got out of line to run to the bathroom. Maybe she was aiming for me. Who knows? It doesn’t really matter because all of a sudden a warm, wet, something felt like it was being thrown at the back of my legs.

And that warm, wet something was a stomach full of boot.

My friend then proceeded to hurl all over the hallway and herself. At least she’s thorough. Once empty, she promptly burst into tears and said, “I’m sorry Mrs. Mimi!” I quickly pulled myself together (Don’t worry…she didn’t get my shoes, so my moment of panic was very short lived), told her it was OK, took her pukey hand (Hey, why stop at just pukey legs?), and walked her down to the nurse with my whole class in tow.

And this time, the nurse didn’t have the balls to refuse me.

* Special thanks to debbie, a wonderful reader who suggested some brilliant alliteration!

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  • Let me first say ‘m glad you are back. Not because I hate vacations and think no one deserves them, but because I was waiting for a new post.

    I had my 3rd grader vom all over the place last week. I made a sincere announcement that any student who felt they were sick or hurt enough to go to the nurse was also going to be considered sick and hurt enough to skip recess. (I had a little problem with students going just for the heck of it.) That very day, several students asked to go, and when I reminded them of the new no recess policy sat quietly back down.
    My little rockstar/genius/adorable friend asked politely midday if she could go to the nurse because she wasn’t feeling well. I reminded her of no recess, and she sat down for a minute but decided to go anyway.
    She returned to class a few minutes later, with no note from the nurse. About half an hour later, while we are watching a video about the constitution, she coughs once, and proceeds to projectile vomit all over everything in sight. Desk, floor, neighbor.. You get the gist.
    I get a trash can, page the nurse and custodian and personally call her mother. The nurse never comes, so rockstar walks to the nurse with trash can in tow and never returns.
    I guess they never grow out of it. Luckily I do not have to deal with pee or poop (or at least haven’t yet)

    February 26, 2009 at 11:35 pm
  • I am very happy to say that after 20 years, I am still a puke virgin, but I do think “vomit virgin” has a nice alliterative ring to it:)

    February 26, 2009 at 11:38 pm
  • debbie, you are brilliant! And I am secretly ashamed that I didn’t come up with “vomit virgin” myself! Mind if I change the post right now? It’s too good to let go.

    Chelsea – projectile vomit blows. Ha ha! Get it? Blows? Anyway, I hope they didn’t send any of those germs your way!!!

    All I can say is – antibacterial wipes! I should buys stock in those things…

    February 27, 2009 at 12:15 am
  • I was puked on at the Winter Pageant performance. Fa la la la… bleh. Seriously. Covered from hair to shoes. Puke was stuck to my nylons. Of course there were grandparents and relatives I’d never met that wanted to greet me. Best first impression I’ve ever made.

    February 27, 2009 at 1:32 am
  • Thank God I can say it’s never been projectile in the 22 years in 2nd! My, shoes, YES!

    The worst case I ever witnessed: Picture 50+ kids on the steps leading to the altar for the Christmas concert – you know the sick child was in the middle of everyone and threw up forward, don’t you! God Bless the music teacher she kept on playing that song and the unaffected kids attempting to keep singing! (Teachers from the pews “rescued” the affected – yes, in my brand-new Christmas outfit!)

    February 27, 2009 at 1:44 am
  • An “incubus” is a male succubus. A sex demon.

    Now THAT’s not a bodily fluid in your list.

    You want an incubator.

    February 27, 2009 at 2:26 am
  • And THIS is why I teach high school!!

    February 27, 2009 at 3:12 am
  • Oh yeah, I joined that club years ago! Fun, isn’t it?

    February 27, 2009 at 3:15 am
  • Two weeks ago one of our 1st grade teachers was working one on one with a child who was sitting across the table. The child projectiled all over the table and teacher. She had to go home because it was in her hair and all over her blouse.

    February 27, 2009 at 5:00 am
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    February 27, 2009 at 5:16 am
  • I only made it 6 months as a “vomit virgin”. I had a kiddo puke on Tuesday at the carpet during a read-aloud. He just kind of sat there not saying anything. I didn’t even notice till one of my sweet little girls raised her hand and said “Ms. W, I think he needs your help.”

    February 27, 2009 at 5:18 am
  • My office is right next door to the school nurse. During bouts of vomit viruses running rampant in the school, I always lose a few pounds. Hearing puking kids is always a good appetite killer.

    February 27, 2009 at 11:02 am
  • Beth, ha, ha, ha! I had to comment because my situation is similar. My former room was next to the bathrooms. You literally had to pass both doors to get to my room. The stench was unbelievable (mixed with the smells of the cafeteria, which was right down the hall)! In the four years I was there, I never got observed! Now I’m on a new floor behind the bathrooms. I now hear everything that goes on including those students who think they have a shot at American Idol!

    February 27, 2009 at 1:28 pm
  • And this is why I tell my kids, “if you think you’re going to throw up-run- don’t walk- out of the classroom”.

    A Card Carrying Vomit Virgin Who Intends to Retire With Said Virginity Intact

    February 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm
  • And that is the very reason that I hammer into my students the first day of school that if they feel like they are going to get sick…straight to the bathroom…not me!!!

    Don’t you love strangers who give you stories about puke since you wrote one? In college, for our teaching observation, we had a classmate who was puked on by a parent. Come on…don’t you think parents would know when they’re going to ralph?

    February 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm
  • This post made me laugh (in an “I understand your pain” kind of way). I actually just had a SERIOUS conversation with my first graders about bodily fluids because we got a new rug in our classroom (thanks Donorschoose!). They know that if they feel the least bit urge to puke, they are to lean over onto the tile floor, and they can tell you this in all seriousness. It’s hilarious. They actually know where it is okay to have an accident with bodily fluids and where it is not. I think I should add not puking on the teacher to our conversation.

    March 1, 2009 at 1:25 pm
  • Mrs. Mimi,

    I know we all have puke stories, but listen to this one…

    I was teaching first grade (about 25 years ago)…it was an evaluation year and the principal (a jerk) was in my class observing me.

    Time for lunch…I line the class up…Mr. Jerk and I are standing at the back of the line.

    Up walks Andy looking rather green and says “Teacher, I don’t feel good.” Actually, he said, “Teeker, I do fee goo” (took me most of the year to learn to translate his brand of speech).

    In one movement, I took a step BACKWARD and pointed to the bathroom saying, “Go to the bathroom!”

    Too late, but lucky I backed up…he threw up all over the principal…and it DID get in his shoes!

    I silently cheered as the principal squished back to his office.

    March 3, 2009 at 3:58 pm
  • I loved your story! I have been teaching for 30 years and only once has someone puked in my classroom. This happened my second year of teaching. Unfortunately I have a terrible gag reflex and as soon as I heard the sounds, I started gagging as well. Soon my whole class and I were in the hall waiting for the custodian! Thank goodness that scene has not repeated itself since.

    March 4, 2009 at 11:21 pm
  • omg!
    i've been spit on but never puked on…yet!

    i've been googling for a word that describes a person who wants to throw up at the sight of bodily fluids and then i stumbled upon your blog.

    nice one.

    October 30, 2009 at 3:20 am

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