“Daddy, daddy! Jack is throwing up!” Jack is our dog — a 10 pound terrier-chihuahua not much bigger than a cat, that we named Jack Bauer for the sake of amusement.
I sighed, paused my game of Call of Duty, and went to find the dog. Generally, dog vomit involves wiping it up with a dish towel and spraying it with carpet cleaner. However, as I walked into the living room, I found more dog vomit than I’d ever seen before! On the couch, under the couch, in various corners of the carpet — it was pretty much everywhere.
“What happened?” I shouted to whoever was within earshot.
“I don’t know,” The Wife™ replied.
“He ate some vitamins,” The Girl™ answered.
“Vitamins? How many did he eat?”
I surveyed the room for bits of those children’s gummy vitamins, which I think are normally shaped as small bears.
“I dunno” was the child’s response.
The Wife™ had already begun pulling pulling the covers from the couch cushions. I found the dog — who was clearly having a bad day, and thought it was about to get worse as I approached — in the corner of the room. I put him in the bathroom and closed the door. “At least the bathroom will be easier to clean up,” The Wife™ said.
As we cleaned up all puddles of dog vomit on the carpet, The Girl™ grabbed the quart-size vitamin bottle from the pantry. “Look how many are left!” I walked over and took the bottle from her. There were 6 gummies left. There was a 1/3 of a bottle this morning.
“Did someone leave the gummies out?!” I asked her.
“I think brother did,” she said — giving her best guess.
I walked over to the staircase and shouted up to the second floor. “Son! Get down here!”
“What?” was the reply.
“Get down here, now!”
“Get down here! One!” I shouted.
“I’m coming, I’m coming!”
The pitter-patter of footsteps was hurried — rushed — as he knew what a three-count meant for his backside.
“What is it, daddy?”
“Did you leave the vitamins out?” I asked, pointedly.
“It was an accident.”
“What was an accident?”
“I left them on the floor.”
“You what?” I asked as I narrowed my gaze. “You accidentally left an entire bottle of gummy vitamins on the floor?!”
He nodded. “Sorry,” he said, as his gaze fell.
I put my hand on his head and walked him into the living room so that he would better see the consequences of his carelessness. He failed to understand the point of the exercise. “What happened?” he asked.
I proceeded to explain to him that when he left out the gummies, the dog ate nearly all that were left, got a stomach ache, threw up all over the living room, and now mommy and daddy were trying to get it all cleaned up.
He looked at me, still failing to understand what was wrong and why I looked so upset. “The dog might have to go to the hospital because you weren’t paying attention.” Apparently, this was the thing that made sense to him. A worried look shot across his face.
“We’ll call the vet to see what they say,” mommy said. “Hopefully he’ll be okay.” He seemed less worried.
I sent The Boy™ back up to his room, then went to go check in on the dog. Apparently, he’d had such a horrible experience over the last 10 minutes that he’d managed to pee and poop in the bathroom as well. Normally, he gets busted for going potty in the house, so as soon as I opened the door to the bathroom, his head went down and his tail went between his legs. Fortunately, there wasn’t any more vomit, so I figured it was safe to assume that he was done.
I sat down next to him, put him in my lap, started petting him, and asked if he was okay. He wasn’t sure why I was petting him when he’d just gone potty in the house, and seemed to be confused by the recent events in general. I just sat there petting him, telling him calmly that everything was going to be okay.
Back in 1980, Bill Cosby explained that all children are brain-damaged. The “Why did you do this? I don’t know.” exchange is evidence enough of this fact. I’ll never understand why The Boy™ thought it was okay to leave an opened bottle of gummy vitamins lying on the floor with the dog walking around. I’ll never understand how the dog could’ve managed to eat nearly all of the remaining gummy vitamins, then start throwing up all over the room before the girls even noticed.
In the end, it turns out that Jack will be okay. And despite my son’s inherent brain damage and the the new grey hair I sprouted tonight, I think that he’ll be okay too.