Having animals before children is good preparation for the endless bodily fluid clean up that dominates the early childrearing years. In fact, before we adopted our dear doggie back in 2004 I thought the very idea of picking up dog poo quite foul, so I have come a long way. I had been strongly conditioned against dog turds as a child, by my mothers tales (true, to my knowledge) of children going half blind from getting dog poop on their shoes and bringing doggy worms into the house. But dog ownership taught me that when it is your own dog, the poop pick up becomes no big deal. I still flinch at picking up an unknown poop, though will do so in the name of being a responsible dog owning citizen.
What I'm getting at is that these days I am usually unphased the by various sources and species of poop, vomit, and puddles of pee that come my way. So when I was awoken at 1.00am the other night by Geekygirl's little voice in my ear, saying "Mummy, there is something yucky in my bed", I expected a damp patch, or at worst, a bit of child vomit.
When I entered the dim lit room I saw two saucer sized dark brownish splodges on her pillow and duvet. I drew in my breath, thinking that it was dried blood, and ran my eyes over her for evidence of a nosebleed or worse. But she seemed completely clean. "Did you throw up sweetie?" I asked. She shook her head. "Someone put peanut butter in my bed" she said with conviction. I cautiously examined the splats. They did look a bit like peanut butter, the chunky kind. I took the bedclothes out into the light and sniffed them gingerly. The faint fishy odor, and the evidence of fine hairs in the mixture gave it away. Cat puke. All over my daughters bed. And, as I realized belatedly by the wet sensation under my foot, on the floor, and on many of the books and toys strewn across the floor too.
Gross as it sounds, it was nothing a bed stripping and a box of baby wipes couldn't solve, so we did that and slept on until morning.
Over breakfast the incident was a hot topic of discussion. Curiously, Geekygirl was still convinced that someone had snuck in during the night and smeared peanut butter on her bedclothes. That seemed an equally logical explanation to my version, that one of the cats (who often sleep with her) had thrown up on her bed. This got me thinking about how bizarre and inexplicable much of the workings of the world must be to an almost four year old. That there may be many things that happen in her life that are equally as arbitrary to her mind as a night time peanut butter smearing, but that to an adult seem completely logical.
I eventually convinced her that the cat theory was the most likely, after which she responded "Mummy, can you buy something for the cats to throw up in, because cats should not throw up in people's beds!"
On that we can all agree.