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throwing clothes away

December 30, 2011

The most remarkable thing about our flight from Los Angeles to Paris wasn’t that it was 11 hours, but rather that we made it a record 10 hours and 24 minutes before Maya threw up on me.

Walking after dinner at our favorite restaurant Al-Ajami

Really, I have to commend myself for keeping calm. A few years ago an episode like this would have had me in tears! But this time I held it together pretty well.

I held Maya’s barf bag too. I also held her hair back, cleaned her up the best I could, refrained from yelling at Ali to keep his “useful” suggestions to himself (why does he insist that drinking water is the cure all to everything?), and I somehow kept my own gagging to myself.

Oh, and I ignored the glares of other disgusted passengers (yes, Mr. Business Traveler in the Gucci loafers, I timed her motion sickness so she’d vomit on landing. Just to annoy you).

Giant Christmas tree at the gorgeous Galeries Lafayette

Now here’s where things got sketchy: What to do with Maya’s dirty clothes?

I obviously couldn’t pack her ruined clothes in my luggage and I had no plans to hand carry such items through customs, into a taxi, and then into our hotel room.

Window display at Printemps

So with no other options I put Maya’s spare outfit on and left the dirty stuff in the custody of Air France Flight 069.

I know. I totally contradict myself. I mean, why do I fear throwing away food but I have no problem throwing Maya’s perfectly good shirt and sweater into the trash? I make no sense sometimes – I realize that.

Maya sat down in a chair at Printemps and was asleep 5 minutes later.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about being a parent it’s that you just have to let some things go.

And so I did.

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112 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2011 12:10 am

    You seriously are an amazing mother. I can’t imagine having to clean up someone elses’s vomit. I still need my mom and I am almost 23…

    • December 30, 2011 1:52 pm

      An amazing mother soothes her kid when she’s throwing up. Me? I barely tolerate it!

  2. December 30, 2011 12:29 am

    That’s when you know you’re a mother…when you are okay with being puked on! I can’t imagine what my reaction would be when my time comes but I am pretty sure I won’t be as calm as you! Just one question: what did you do with your own clothes??

    • December 30, 2011 1:53 pm

      Luckily I shielded my clothes before it was too late. My hands and arms got the worst of it!

  3. December 30, 2011 12:39 am

    I don’t have children, but I’ve drank enough in my life to know that sometimes you just have to throw away clothing when these things happen. Its easier, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    • December 30, 2011 1:54 pm

      Thank you for relating…even if the situation is completely different! I feel better. 🙂

  4. December 30, 2011 3:02 am

    awwww…I guess with time we become immune to the nonsense that comes with kids that would throw us in the panic mode to begin with-to top that are the uncalled for and totally inappropriate suggestions of dear husbands, who know nothing and yet insist to being the know-it-all…

    gah! life as mothers! and sometimes it is easier to contradict ourselves than to abide by what we said-like….”meri marzi…sue me if you want”!

    Happy Holidays..:-)

    • December 30, 2011 1:55 pm

      Not sure if immune is the word but I would say I become more tolerable of things like vomit?

  5. December 30, 2011 4:10 am

    Oh man.. props to you for handling the situation with such grace! I would have flipped the heck out. I can handle blood and guts.. but heaven forbid someone throw up! I freak out haha.

    • December 30, 2011 1:56 pm

      I used to say the same thing! I swear. And then Maya was born and she started throwing up like it was her job. Things haven’t changed, as you can see!

  6. December 30, 2011 5:36 am

    What else could you do, unless you had thought to carry a clothing sized ziplock bag in anticipation of this eventuality? Poor little thing. I’m not a great flier so I can completely sympathize. I’ve never thrown up though. I have to fly in a few weeks so here I am jinxing myself! It’s only a 2 hour flight so I think I can keep things down that long. The photos are so lovely…especially the one of you and Maya walking away…hope you are all having a wonderful time!

    • December 30, 2011 1:57 pm

      So far Maya can tolerate up to 6 hours with no problem but anything longer than that and it’s ugly.

      Thank you for the compliment Fran! We are having a fantastic time.

  7. December 30, 2011 5:54 am

    🙂 Maya had a nice sleep…

    Mothers haan .. Good of you 🙂

    You having fun now in paris …

    Bikram’s

    • December 30, 2011 1:57 pm

      We had a great time in Paris and are now in Barcelona. And no barf! Yet.

  8. December 30, 2011 6:45 am

    Forget the puke. You gave your daughter the gift of Paris during the holidays. All is well in the world. : )

  9. December 30, 2011 7:45 am

    Aww.. I guess that’s what being a parent is all about. I”ve heard mom’s say they are so grossed out by puke, but if it is there own kid, they will handle it. at least you are prepared with her clothes and barf bag and all. did any of it get on you? i love your coat and boots – the coat looks light pink this time. maya looks so cute. and paris is just wow.. the cobblestone streets – i love it.
    I flew Air France once and it was okay … at least I got free wine and bread, constantly. 🙂

    • December 30, 2011 1:58 pm

      Thank you! This coat is a different one from the pink coat I had in NYC – you have a good eye. 🙂 And thank God my coat was spared!

  10. December 30, 2011 7:53 am

    Good for you for being prepared and for not letting Mr. Too tight Gucci loafers get to you. I am sure even he puked on his mother at some point. Have fun in Paris.

    • December 30, 2011 1:59 pm

      I wish I had been better prepared but it was what it was, right? One can never be 100% ready for barf!

  11. December 30, 2011 8:31 am

    throwing out Maya’s pukey clothes just leaves more room in the suitcase for some fancy new Parisian duds 🙂

    Well played, Ameena, well played.

    • December 30, 2011 2:00 pm

      You are too clever Jessica…you figured out my strategy! 🙂

  12. December 30, 2011 8:41 am

    I admire you. Fear of puking children is one of the main things that keeps me from having them. But there are many things.
    There was an adult puker on my last flight. I was pissed.

  13. December 30, 2011 8:50 am

    like a pro. honestly, this is one of the reasons i am not biologically having a child…it’s that kind of stuff that i just don’t know how to handle at all. i’m a complete neat freak and still learning everyday how to navigate life’s most curious distractions. this is my fave eatery: http://www.lespapillesparis.fr/ i’m going back in may ’12 and cannot wait! ask for their house cellar red, it’s incredible!

    • December 30, 2011 2:01 pm

      I wish I had seen your comment before we left Paris! Any Barcelona suggestions? 🙂

  14. December 30, 2011 9:27 am

    poor maya! those long flights are a lot for a 5 year old to handle, understandably! you are SUCH a good mom, screw that outfit. haha.

    • December 30, 2011 2:02 pm

      I’m dreading the flight home Daisy! This time, it’s a connection. 😦

  15. December 30, 2011 10:14 am

    Poor thing..she looks exhausted. My husband thinks water is a cure to all the problems too.

    Printemps has the most colorful and fun displays. Is it cold?

    I miss Paris….

    • December 30, 2011 2:03 pm

      It was definitely chilly in Paris but not as bad as I thought it would be. Barcelona is chilly too! But it’s still gorgeous here.

  16. December 30, 2011 10:31 am

    I wish I could fall asleep like that!

  17. December 30, 2011 10:44 am

    First of all, I love all the pictures (especially the last one, ha!) I had to throw away my favorite-est purse a few months ago. I had a terrible migraine while in the car so instead of tossing the car in the garbage….my purse was my vomit bag. Sad, sad day.

    • December 30, 2011 2:04 pm

      Oh my God! I can’t even imagine. I have no idea what I would do – I think I’d rather throw up in my car than in my white purse!

  18. December 30, 2011 11:06 am

    Aww. Poor Maya, I know you mentioned before she is prone to Air Sickness (is that a word or do you still call it sea sickness if you are on a plane). Next time fly to NY stay there for a day or two then to paris, that should be only 7-8 hours right? That means you will have at least 3 hours to get to the hotel room before Maya gets sick.

    • December 30, 2011 2:04 pm

      There is really no rhyme or reason when it comes to Maya’s motion sickness but I don’t think she’s gotten sick going to NY yet so maybe you are on to something??

  19. December 30, 2011 11:11 am

    You have officially made me miss Paris…encore. I hope you all have a great time and get a lot of pictures taken and delicious food eaten.

    And sorry to hear about Maya. She always knows how to keep you on your toes.
    Note to Ali: Good try with the water idea. 😛

    • December 30, 2011 2:05 pm

      Maya certainly does keep me on my toes. Or on the defensive..depends on how you look at it. 🙂

  20. December 30, 2011 11:17 am

    Oh my gosh I can so relate. I can be so thrifty sometimes and others just so wasteful. Like when the kids were potty training. I threw away so many pairs of underwear. Sometimes you just get so grossed out you have no patience.

    Maya has such an angelic face. One of these days the vomiting episodes are sure to pass.

    • December 30, 2011 2:06 pm

      Ditto on the potty training…I threw away so many things! I guess the difference was that they were things like onesies versus the nice stuff Maya has now.

      So glad you can relate!

  21. December 30, 2011 11:20 am

    sleeping kids are so cute, and calm. !

    maya throws up a lot…its like a habit now…lol

    Happy new year you guys!

  22. December 30, 2011 11:38 am

    I feel your pain. Z threw up on me 12 hours into a 14hour flight, at which point I just wanted to burst into tears. I’m sure I would have heard a lot of useless suggestions had the hubby also been on our flight! Hope the rest of the stay is enjoyable!

    • December 30, 2011 2:08 pm

      I suppose we should be grateful that it was near the end but seriously? I can never be very happy about barf. No matter what time it happens.

  23. December 30, 2011 12:30 pm

    Hi! i’ve missed reading your blog…finally deciding to reintegrate myself into the blogosphere again…
    aw poor maya! poor YOU! i totally would’ve done the same thing with the clothes, for what its worth. Paris is amazing! Have a great time!

    • December 30, 2011 2:09 pm

      Rose! So good to hear from you! It’s been too long. Glad you are back. 🙂

  24. December 30, 2011 12:41 pm

    OMG my mom thinks the cure to everything is to drink more water too! It drives me bananas.

    • December 30, 2011 2:10 pm

      At least your mom probably has more of a clue what works and doesn’t work for certain situations…unlike other people around here. Not naming any names…

  25. December 30, 2011 1:28 pm

    –Ameena,
    I wish she would have thrown up on Mr. Gucci’s Loafers :)!!! Xx haaaa

  26. December 30, 2011 2:09 pm

    How I have missed your blog! 🙂 And although I’m totally envious of your Paris adventures, I don’t really envy you being puked on. Although really, I shouldn’t talk. I have lost track of how many times I’ve been pooped on in the last few weeks. Safe travels, friends (and happy new year) 🙂

    • December 31, 2011 12:46 am

      Pooped on, vomited on…it’s all the same after a while, isn’t it?

      Happy New Year to you too! I hope we get to see you in 2012. 🙂

  27. December 30, 2011 2:56 pm

    Good job on letting go. I lol’d at the point where you said you purposely timed her puking upon landing… some people give the dirtiest looks for things we can’t control. CRAZY!

    • December 31, 2011 12:46 am

      Exactly Allie. Maya’s vomit is totally out of my control!

      Happy New Year my friend!

  28. December 30, 2011 3:10 pm

    …and that’s why I will never have children.
    The only vomit I’m going to clean up is mine, and my friend’s because she was too drunk and it’s something she would have done for me (you know, an unspoken rule…).

    And agree with the commenter above. I think you did it so you can have more place in the luggage…hehe.

    • December 31, 2011 12:47 am

      I wouldn’t clean up a friend’s barf. There, I said it. 🙂

  29. December 30, 2011 4:10 pm

    You’ve got a good start on your New Year’s resolution (if this were it!)

    • December 31, 2011 12:47 am

      No more vomit has been my resolution for years…I have made no progress!

  30. December 30, 2011 4:17 pm

    Poor little Maya! My sister always got horrible motion sickness too. Do you just go to Paris often for Ali’s work? I’m just curious.

    • December 31, 2011 12:48 am

      No, we don’t go to Paris for anything work related. Not yet anyway. Maybe one day!

  31. December 30, 2011 4:18 pm

    Ohhh that brought back memories of dimly lit clubs and feeling the after effects of mixing too many drinks (also never insist on having tequila shots on an empty stomach).

    It takes a really good person to hold back the hair, not puke themselves over the smell and sound and soothe the other person.

    You’re a good mom 🙂

    Hope you have a wonderful New Years celebration too!

    • December 31, 2011 12:48 am

      You are the sweetest. Thank you. And Happy New Year to you too!

  32. December 30, 2011 4:42 pm

    so impressive. i might’ve still had the meltdown. paris and barcelona sound incredible. happy holidays to you guys!

  33. December 30, 2011 5:08 pm

    I totally would have done the same thing and I HATE wasting stuff. I’m sure I would have considered trying to wash it off in the sink but ick!! It’s just gross. Poor Maya. She probably felt terrible. Poor you…that is kinda embarrassing. Well hope the rest of your trip includes no vomit and plenty of fun.

    • December 31, 2011 12:49 am

      No more vomit…so far. Happy New Year to you my friend!

  34. December 30, 2011 7:09 pm

    I have to admit, I’ve thrown away soiled clothes as well. You do what you gotta do!

    • December 31, 2011 12:50 am

      It’s so nice to hear others relate. I thought what I did was unforgivable!

      Happy New Year Jen!

  35. December 30, 2011 9:07 pm

    I admire how very calm you sounded. Impressive.

    Oh I can so relate Ameena. Few years back just before we landed at Heathrow (for transit), I gave my oldest son his milk (very smart move.. not!), so of course few minutes later he threw up all over me (instead of my husband) & himself. The nice flight attendant offered me a spare of Virgin Atlantic’s crew’s pants & pullover that were unfortunately 2 sizes too big! I was soaked so I had no choice but to wear them (it was a pretty sad moment). I also threw my clothes & my son’s clothes away. There is no need to carry soiled clothes around.

    Happy New Year & have a safe return trip! 🙂

    • December 31, 2011 12:50 am

      What is it about Heathrow and barf? So many people have told me a similar story about that airport/city!

      Happy New Year to you as well Lydia!

  36. December 30, 2011 9:38 pm

    Poor Maya. You made a good call. She would have out grown that stuff in six months any way.

    Happy New Year. May 2012 hold less vomit for your family.

    • December 31, 2011 12:51 am

      That’s my logic too. 🙂 Hence why I don’t usually buy her expensive stuff in the first place!

      Happy New Year Andrea!

  37. December 30, 2011 9:39 pm

    Looks like you wove your way through a hurling situation remarkably well Ameena. Well done and boo to the man in Gucci loafers with the ugly stares.

    I don’t think you could’ve done anything BUT throw away the dirties. I don’t care to think back to the number of times I’ve thrown away my boys’ undies when they have the loosies. Some things are best trashed & foregotten.

    Here’s to keep on keepin’ on. You are in Paris after all 🙂 Happy New Year!

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    • December 31, 2011 12:51 am

      The loosies…I love it! Gross but so funny.

      Happy New Year to you as well Devaki!

  38. December 31, 2011 1:38 am

    Hope you are having a great time in Paris. I get motion sickness too, and I find sitting in the front of the plane really helps…and for my next boat trip I am totally going to get one of those motion sickness patches. So funny that you ditched the clothes. At least you were smart and brought a spare.

    • January 1, 2012 10:27 am

      So you never grew out of it? Sigh. Are people lying to me?? Will Maya be 15 and still throwing up?

  39. December 31, 2011 8:11 am

    dear jesus. all I want to do is go to Paris next year. Unfortunately my husband only gets one day off a week…IF that. Have a safe New Years…and I would have thrown out vomit laden clothing too…just means more Bloomingdale trips

    • January 1, 2012 10:28 am

      When you do go Paris let me know…I have lots of recommendations! Happy New Year Diana!

  40. December 31, 2011 9:29 am

    Good for Maya that she didn’t puke on the take-off!
    In the meantime, have a great time in Paris (how could you not?).
    I’m definitely jealous of the trip, but not so much of the barf bag!

    • January 1, 2012 10:29 am

      The trip and the barf…they go hand in hand.

      Happy New Year Kristina!

  41. December 31, 2011 9:46 am

    Of course Maya puked during the descent. I feel like she has a cat-like sense for when it might be the most inconvenient/most noticeable time to hit it. Since you can’t leave a child in custody of Air France, I think ditching the clothes was the right call. It’s trying enough to salvage that sort of situation from the comfort of your own home, much less a pressurized cabin.

    Happy New Year, Ameena! May your 2012 be a happy and healthy one. I am so very glad that I can call you a friend and I love keeping in-touch.

    • January 1, 2012 10:30 am

      And oh yes…I did contemplate leaving Maya in the custody of Air France. We think alike Kat…I love it!

      Happy New Year to you too. 🙂 You are the best!

  42. December 31, 2011 11:34 am

    Ah, the pleasures of motherhood! Sounds like you did a great job handling this one 🙂
    Wishing you a wonderful 2012 and a fabulous time in Paris!

    • January 1, 2012 10:30 am

      Thank you my friend! Happy New Year to you as well!

  43. December 31, 2011 12:01 pm

    ahh, i would have easily thrown it all out. No amount of washing can get that smell out sometimes. Hope she is recovered, and you are too! happy NY!

  44. December 31, 2011 12:38 pm

    Ohhhhhewwwww, I’d toss the clothes too. Seems downright logical given the circumstances:)

    • January 1, 2012 10:31 am

      Downright logical was my line of thought as well! Glad you agree Ellen!

  45. December 31, 2011 10:20 pm

    Ameena, Just pop by wish you and your family A Very Happy New Year! A BIG BEAR HUGS. I agree with you about letting go. You learn that early and you will have no problem letting Maya goes when she grown up and start her own family:D Been there done that.

    • January 1, 2012 10:32 am

      Happy New Year Quay Po! Hope you have a fantastic 2012. 🙂

  46. January 1, 2012 5:56 am

    I just love the vomit blog with beautiful photos interspersed. Paris, New York you get around (in a good way). I wish their was a way for Maya to vomit on Mr Gucci loafer.

    • January 1, 2012 10:32 am

      I have to say…the loafers were pretty stunning. Even if he was an a$$.

      Happy New Year Lauren!

  47. January 1, 2012 11:28 am

    You beared that so bravely! Happy 2012! 🙂

  48. Janelle permalink
    January 1, 2012 3:00 pm

    I would most certainly tolerate being covered in vomit if it meant I was on my way to Paris.

    Chucking out perfectly fine clothes isn’t OK – but chucking out clothes that were once perfectly fine, but are now covered in vomit? Totally acceptable behavior. Especially when the alternative is having your entire suitcase smell of bile. Ewww.

    • January 2, 2012 2:02 pm

      So why couldn’t my husband comprehend this?? He thought it would be no problem to haul it all along?

  49. January 2, 2012 2:55 am

    Oh my goodness, I can relate to this post COMPLETELY. I threw away my daughter’s outfit, without a second thought, last time we flew from Tokyo to Chicago for the exact same reason. Airports all over the world are probably full of great kids’ clothes that just need to be laundered. Motion sickness is awful, but I hope your holiday is improving.

    Happy New Year!

    • January 2, 2012 2:02 pm

      Sorry you had the same issue Emily but I am relieved to find out that others have done the same thing!

      Happy New Year to you as well!

  50. January 2, 2012 10:05 am

    Isn’t it funny that I still long for my mother when I am naseous and sick? It is in these small matters that big love unfolds. It isn’t about fixing it, or preventing it, or tolerating or even cleaning it…it is about your presence. You bring such honor to these things.
    🙂

  51. January 2, 2012 12:03 pm

    You are quite calm and collected with the vomit. I still have issues dealing with spit up. I really appreciate that you can just let it go. I have serious troubles.

    • January 2, 2012 2:03 pm

      Don’t fear…by the time your little one graduates to solids you’ll be a pro. I speak from experience here!

  52. January 2, 2012 3:38 pm

    Food and sicked on clothes are not the same. As I see it you had two choices, give them to Mr Gucci man or leave them on the plane. Perhaps it was best to take the least contentious option!! GG

  53. January 2, 2012 6:08 pm

    Yuck. Thank goodness neither of my kids gets motion sickness. Tossing the clothes seems like a reasonable option to me!

  54. January 2, 2012 6:44 pm

    Oh yeah, I’d have done the same thing.

  55. caloricandcrazy permalink
    January 3, 2012 10:41 am

    I love Maya’s jacket and the Printemps display 😀

  56. January 7, 2012 6:51 am

    I would have done the exact same thing my friend! My kids have never flown – I wonder if they would throw up too. What a beautiful experience the travelling is for Maya.

  57. January 9, 2012 9:03 pm

    Oh no! I hope she has a sickness free flight on the way back. She looks so cute in that last pic.

    • January 10, 2012 7:59 am

      Our return home involved barf…unfortunately. It seems inevitable!

  58. January 19, 2012 12:28 am

    Aww…poor Maya. She’s a brave girl to keep traveling though even though she knows she has motion sickness. I know some people would develop a fear of planes and trains for that reason. She’s a fighter, that one.
    And so true about letting some things go. I could easily make a long list right now.

    • January 19, 2012 3:38 pm

      Such a good point LeQuan…usually I’m so concerned about myself that I don’t consider how hard it must be for her!

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