Monday, February 13, 2012

How did I Miss Training on Barf-Cleaning?

Long ago, when my sister threw up on our nubbly green carpet, I remember being amazed as Mama calmly took care of her and then scrubbed the carpet on her hands and knees.  I thought, "I'm never going to be able to do that."

And sure enough.  I'm not.

This morning, a kid was practicing piano and made a horrible gurgling sound.  I happened to be at home rather than the gym because I needed to interview a volunteer at 7 a.m. down near MIT.

"What's going on?" I said in a not-so-calm voice.

"I don't know." And then another retching gulping noise.

"Get to the toilet!"  I shouted.

The kid got there, retching and retching, "I feel like I'm going to throw up but there's nothing's coming up."

"Just stay there," I warned.

And then the sound changed.  There certainly was something coming up.  When the kid stumbled away from the bathroom, I said, "Didn't you flush the toilet?"


I followed the kid back to the bathroom and saw to my horror--tomato soup.  Sorry to be graphic.  But it was everywhere, all over the toilet, on the walls, on the floor.

"Were you going to leave that whole mess?" I asked.

I'm sure all you other kind, nice, gentle and sacrificial parents out there would have sent your dear child to bed.  But I gave my child a bin of Clorox wipes and said, "Clean it up."

The child made an effort and then tried to escape to bed.

"Take a bowl with you!!  But did you wash your hands first??"

Because my co-interviewer leaves tomorrow for Costa Rica, there was no way to cancel or change the interview.  I left the sick kid in bed and the other two getting ready for school with orders to avoid the bathroom.

During the interview, the volunteer candidate asked about whether we had on-line training modules.  Sadly, no.  Although we have all sorts of great training opportunities, thus far we haven't done well at orienting them towards volunteers, especially volunteers who work a normal schedule.  And I wonder how many ministry skills can actually be trained through an on-line module.  Surely it's most helpful to be trained in person?

Finishing the interview, I came home, checked on sick kid who's still in bed but hasn't thrown up again. . . yet. . . and proceeded to the bathroom.  As I realized that the nice formerly white bead board around the toilet had tomato soup in all its grooves, and that I needed a toothbrush along with bleach solution and sponge to restore the walls to their former white glory, I thought, "I haven't been trained in this.  Where's my neat training module?"

The toilet's scrubbed.  The beadboard's been toothbrushed over.  The grout and tile wiped.  The garbage can, magazine rack, toilet plunger and toilet scrub brush all disinfected. . .  I hope.  But I fear I might have missed something.  I needed training here.

Or better yet, a trainer who would have led the way and done it for me so I could observe.
Not our bathroom, but you get the picture.

1 comment:

Scott MacLean said...

Omigosh. I didn't know about the tomoato soup part. For the record, I volunteered to come home from work. Happily, Kathy said she had it "covered." eeew.